Fifth Wall, Robert Downey invest in climate tech financing firm

Sealed aims to encourage home energy upgrades through novel financing tool

Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and actor Robert Downey Jr. (Getty)
Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and actor Robert Downey Jr. (Getty)

Venture capital firm Fifth Wall and actor Robert Downey Jr. are investing in a firm that offers financing incentives for homeowners who want to reduce their energy consumption.

The company, Sealed, scored $16 million in Series B funding, led by Fifth Wall. Investors include Downey’s newly-created FootPrint Coalition Ventures, Cyrus Capital and CityRock Ventures.

New York-based Sealed seeks to reduce homeowner energy use by paying upfront costs of upgrades for insulation, heating and cooling. Homeowners pay Sealed back through that energy savings, the company said. Sealed also handles the process of hiring a contractor for the installation.

The goal is to incentivize homeowners to upgrade their older heating and cooling systems, which can be large greenhouse gas emitters.

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Sealed’s financing model is based on an algorithm that looks at usage and consumption data to predict energy use and savings. The company said with improved and upgraded systems, homeowners can reduce their energy use by up to 60 percent.

Sealed was the lead investment in Fifth Wall’s climate technology fund. The fund looks to invest in technologies that help real estate combat climate change. In March, the Fifth Wall fund secured an investment from Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Sealed’s model “makes vital upgrades accessible to consumers, and maps a blueprint for decarbonizing homes,” said Greg Smithies, who leads Fifth Wall’s climate technology investment team. The firm is led by Brendan Wallace.

Sealed was founded in 2012 by Lauren Salz and Andy Frank. It plans to use the funding to expand into new locations outside New York, including New Jersey and Connecticut.

Sealed has raised a total $33 million, and is backed by a credit facility with New York Green Bank and an insurance program from Munich Re.

Downey, a two-time Academy Award nominee, launched FootPrint Coalition Ventures in January. It includes a series of funds that invest in sustainable technologies and firms seeking to combat climate change.