Small Steps Vol. 35: The disillusionment of online therapy 👨‍⚕️, why CleanTech 1.0 wasn’t a failure 🌞, and Ampol’s green hydrogen play 💚

Giant Leap Fund
4 min readJun 28, 2021

What stopped us in our tracks

🤯Teletherapy apps still have some major obstacles to overcome. Molly Fischer shared a collection of dud user experiences with Talkspace, an app promising 24/7 access to therapists, from one therapist juggling over 200 patients simultaneously to another copying and pasting the definition of “depression” to their patient (who just so happened to also be a therapist). The concerns are valid — it can be harder to provide professional help digitally when body language or tonal cues are not as apparent, and improving access to healthcare without increasing the supply of therapists only puts pressure on the scarce resource of therapist time.

🤕And, while the data suggests that teletherapy increased access to mental healthcare during the pandemic in the U.S., it left behind marginalised groups, with major drivers including poor healthcare funding programs and lack of diverse therapists. We see an impact opportunity here in training new, diverse therapists to increase the supply of a service that underpins our societal wellbeing.

☀️Was Cleantech 1.0’s failure called too soon? Cleantech 1.0 was a period between 2006–2011 that typically must be spoken of in hushed voices to avoid triggering some investors. Of the $25b invested into over 150 cleantech companies, MIT reported that investors had lost over half of this by 2016. Today, 6 venture-backed cleantech companies started in this period (including Tesla, Enphase, QuantumScape) represent over $600b in market cap and employ more than 50k people. David Mount estimates that investor returns in these companies would be over $200b, or 8x the $25b invested within 10–15 years. Even if every other investment failed, this is, by VC standards, an excellent result (top quartile VCs target 3x returns in 10 years). We believe there are huge market opportunities for cleantech, but investors need to think about cleantech on a longer time horizon.

♻️Speaking of cleantech, Endua, a CSIRO-backed startup that is developing tech to produce green hydrogen from off-grid solar and wind (i.e. from a panel on your roof), sold a 20% stake to Ampol (formerly Caltex Australia). This is Ampol’s first venture since announcing its strategy to shift from a petrol/diesel service network to EV charging and hydrogen. Endua is following the playbook of V2 foods, a plant-based meat company that partnered strategically with Hungry Jacks to rapidly scale a cleantech solution with success (they reported a$77m Series B raise and “hockey-stick” growth last year). It’s encouraging to see the strategic partner pathway, that can increase the speed to scaled decarbonised solutions, becoming more common.

Giant leaps

📦 Sendle announced a $45m raise with Afterpay Ventures to serve the rocketing ecommerce market with carbon neutral delivery.

🙌 Olympia Yarger, Founder of Goterra — the robotic maggots company — spoke to Imogen Baxter (Square Peg) about raising money as a ‘non-typical’ startup, getting brutal feedback, and getting so attached to your hardware, it starts to have a name. We love this company and this founder so much.

💪Audrey Khaing-Jones, Co-Founder of GlamCorner, shared her thoughts about the rise of fashion rentals.

Connect with us

😎 You’ll find us watching this panel on MedTech in Australia: The startup journey.

😀 Chat with Charlie (our Associate) at office hours.

Career pathways

🌏 Impact Club is looking for a new Manager who understands the impact sector and is passionate about helping people on their impact investing journey.

🤖Goterra is hiring a Senior Mechanical Engineer.

💻WORK180 is seeking a Senior Software Engineer.

👌Amber is looking for a Head of Talent.

👍Applied is hiring sales and engineering roles.

🔥 As always, there’s 60+ more jobs on the Giant Leap Fund jobs board and more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

For the road

🌶The “ warming stripes”, a design of stripes showing the warming of the earth by year due to man-made climate change, is going viral — showing up on dresses, cars, and even cake.

✈️The first test flights for an electric flying racing car were staged in the South Australian desert. 0 -> 100km in 2.8 seconds — here’s hoping they use it for ice cream home delivery.

💰Investible announced they’ve raised $35m for its second Fund, and Innovation Bay reported that 10% of capital could be allocated to impact investments. Woo!

😆Need to have “the talk” with your parents? You know the one. Impossible Foods has got your back with this adorable (and hilarious) guide to getting through the awkward moments of talking about climate change.

🙏Startmate’s Principal Lauren Capelin talks about embracing ambiguity and faith in creativity on your career journey in this thoughtful essay. Our favourite comment: “There are many reasons why I don’t ‘belong’ here. I didn’t study law, engineering, finance or science. I never had a graduate role in a big four; bank, management consulting firm or otherwise. I don’t have an MBA. And yet I have found a home working at the intersection of high-growth startups, technology innovation and venture capital investment, in close proximity to some of the most impressive people you could ever hope to meet, who are quite literally changing the world.”

😂When Dad just wants to watch the game

😵And a little reminder to take small steps (Artist: Soolooka).

We couldn’t do this alone. Thanks to all who chipped in for this edition and special shouts to Dave R. and Mick L.

Originally published at



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