Unity co-founder David Helgason’s next act: Gaming the climate crisis

Unity co-founder David Helgason tackles climate through Transition Ventures and new game project.

: After stepping down as CEO of Unity, David Helgason founded Transition Ventures, focusing on climate tech investments. His venture capital firm supports diverse startups aimed at environmental solutions, highlighting a strategic engagement with the climate crisis. Additionally, Helgason is venturing into gaming with a project aimed at leveraging video games to combat climate change.

David Helgason, co-founder of Unity, has redirected his entrepreneurial focus towards combating climate change through his venture capital firm, Transition Ventures, founded in 2021. This firm invests in early-stage startups that address various aspects of environmental sustainability, ranging from synthetic biology to renewable energy. Helgason’s interest in climate tech was sparked by his sibling's involvement in a lab-grown leather company, guiding him to engage more deeply with startups that prioritize eco-friendly innovations.

Transition Ventures operates as a full-fledged venture fund, backed by both mission-aligned and financially driven limited partners (LPs). Despite challenging market conditions, Helgason managed to secure a diverse group of LPs, committing to generate financial returns while focusing on expediting solutions amidst the climate crisis. The fund’s portfolio includes companies like Electricity Maps and FabricNano, which are developing technologies to optimize energy consumption and improve biomanufacturing processes, respectively.

Aside from his activities in venture capital, Helgason is exploring the intersection of gaming and climate action with a new initiative named Cleanplay, set to be unveiled at the Dice Europe conference. This project, which also involves notable figures from the gaming and carbon management sectors, aims to harness the widespread appeal of video games to promote environmental awareness and action. Through these ventures, Helgason exemplifies a proactive approach to leveraging technology and innovation in the fight against global climate challenges.