🌎 ClimateHack Vol 1: The Carbon Clock

PLUS: $11M in funding to test gene-edited rice and the challenge with carbon capture capture

Welcome to the first edition of ClimateHack! Thanks to to 100+ of you that subscribed here 👋

The TLDR of why we’re writing this is that the Climate issue has gotten to the point where we now need a pretty terrifying Carbon Clock to track monthly CO2 levels just to draw attention to the issue.

We hope that by brining some additional coverage to the Climate industry and making it both approachable to first timers that want to learn about the space and valuable to insiders that want to stay ahead of the latest news.

We can further drive mainstream interest into the Climate sector - and with that more founders, operators, scientists and investors towards working on solutions that actually move the needle to better planetary health.

Each week we’ll distill the top Climate news of the week - in under a 5-minute read.

Along the way we might throw in some interesting conversations we're having with Climate folks, share some Climate memes that made us laugh or cry and highlight some great companies that are moving the needle in the right direction.

Feel free to send in any links or news you think we should include next week, keep us accountable on any BS / Greenwashing, share your thoughts and feedback on how we can improve - and maybe forward this to 2-3 other Climate friends in the industry.

Food x Climate

🐄 Swedish seaweed startup Volta Greentech announced the launch of “the world’s first low-methane beef” at Coop and Protos stores across the country, made from cows which have been fed the startup’s seaweed supplement to successfully reduce methane emissions by 80-90%.

🍚 Researchers received $11m in funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to test whether gene-edited rice could fight climate change by trapping carbon dioxide in soil. The funding will go toward efforts to enhance plants — starting with rice — and soil so that they’re better at trapping carbon dioxide.

💡 European climate investors are under-investing in agrifoodtech according to recent research by AgFunder which found that of the $9.2 billion that was invested in agrifoodtech last year, just 25% went to startups developing technologies that could positively impact the environment.

📊 New data published in Nature Food shows that global “food miles” emissions are higher than previously thought, and account for 3 billion tonnes, or nearly 20%, of total food system emissions.

🌴 Unilever has formed a strategic partnership with San Diego-based biotech Genomatica, investing $120 million to commercialise the startup’s microbial fermented alternative to unsustainable palm oil.

🇧🇷 Brazilian online food ordering and delivery platform iFood partnered with Brazilian EV maker Voltz to launch a new electric motorcycle for its huge network of delivery partners in the country, as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral and plastic-free across its delivery operations by 2025.

Carbon x Climate

🛫 Qantas Airways is investing $200 million to bring sustainable aviation fuel to Australia’s airline industry, as part of its commitments to help reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

🌾 Researchers at Cornell University, Ohio State University, Technical University of Munich, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are conducting a study with synchrotron light to investigate how soil can reduce greenhouse gases, retain more moisture during droughts, and hold more soil organic carbon for greater crop resilience.

🔋 Renewable energy company Drax is joining forces with British Steel to build the world’s largest multi-billion-pound bioenergy with carbon capture and storage project at its power station in the UK.

🇦🇺 Newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Peter Albanese announced that the country is planning to reduce its carbon emissions by 43% by 2030 compared to 2004 levels, a significant step forward from the last government.

🇬🇧 The UK’s Infrastructure Bank is planning to funnel £22 billion into clean energy, including technologies like subsidy-free renewables, low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, to “tackle climate change and regional inequalities”.

🇨🇦 Canadian company Svante launched construction of its new world headquarters that it’s calling “The Centre of Excellence for Carbon Capture & Removal”, where its patented filter modules will be produced for the capture of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere and from industrial flue gas.

💡 Good Read: by US-based Climate fund Regeneration VC that gives an overview of the market for circular solutions which can simultaneously close the gap for energy transitions and open the door to a next generation of products and materials.

Construction x Climate

🧱 Hong Kong real estate developer Sino Group partnered with EcoBricks to upcycle 5,400kg of plastic waste into “green concrete” construction bricks that can be used in a range of industry-standard construction projects.

🏭 Lego Group is investing more than $1 billion to build a carbon-neutral factory in Virginia, which is expected to be operational by mid-2025.

Funding x Climate

💰 Kiko Ventures, an offshoot of FTSE 250-listed investment firm IP Group, launched a $450 million fund to invest in seed and Series A/B startups working on climate tech and “regenerative” technologies.

🏭 London-headquartered nuclear technology startup Newcleo secured €300 million to fund the construction of its first nuclear sites, which are smaller than conventional nuclear power plants but should cost significantly less to build, in the UK and France.

⚡️ Boston-based Electric Hydrogen raised $198 million Series B funding in a round led by Fifth Wall Climate Tech to scale its patented approach to hydrogen production via electrolysis, designed for industrial applications like steel, fertiliser and intercontinental energy transport.

💨 Tevva, based in London, raised £41.6 million to accelerate the production of its zero-emissions, all-electric and electric-hydrogen 7.5 tonne trucks.

🔌 Swedish startup Carla closed €19 million in a round led by Bonnier Ventures to support its expansion plans and product development for its e-commerce operation that sells and leases used electric vehicles in the country.

🚗 Electric vehicle fleet management startup Synop secured $10 million in a seed funding round led by Obvious Ventures to accelerate the adoption of EVs in commercial fleets.

🌿 US-based startup Symbrosia secured $7 million in a round led by Danone Manifesto Ventures to reduce livestock methane emissions with its seaweed-based feed additive. Symbrosia’s seaweed additive “SeaGraze”, supposedly led to an 80% drop in methane output from cows and sheep when added to their feed in two commercial trials.

🍎 Hong Kong-based KIN raised $3.7 million pre-Series A funding to help eliminate food waste and the negative environmental impact of food delivery with its learning algorithm-powered omnichannel food app.

🔌 Samara, based in Madrid, raised €2 million pre-seed funding to develop technology that will make it easier for Spanish households to switch to renewable energy systems, including solar installations, plus digital tools to make it easier to manage usage.

🌲 UK-based Bio-Sep closed an oversubscribed seed round with $1.7 million to convert low-value sawdust from forestry into high-value biochemicals that can be used in bio-based materials, cosmetics, medication and dental products.

💸 Australian green hydrogen producer LINE Hydrogen secured $1.38 million from crowdfunding after hitting its minimum target in just 12 hours, and plans to become one of the country’s first 100% renewable commercial-scale hydrogen producers and distributors.

🔥 British startup IPG raised £1 million via a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign for its IPG flameless generator, designed as a clean alternative to the diesel generator.

🌎 Europe’s €350 million dedicated climate-tech VC World Fund, whose goal is to save two gigatonnes of emissions by 2040, secured investment from auditing and consulting firm PwC Germany. To date, the fund has invested in five startups, including Slovenian plant-based filet mignon producer Juicy Marbles, and British startup Space Forge, which is developing the world’s first returnable satellite.

Data: "Most Active Climate Tech VCs

Interesting to see that 5/10 of the funds mentioned here are specialised Food & Ag funds (CPT, Unovis, AgFunder, Siddhi, S2G).

Reinforces the point we made earlier this week that Food investing is Climate investing and you'll be hard-pressed to find a Climate focussed VC that hasn't invested in FoodTech yet.

Watch: The Carbon Capture Challenge 💨

According to Swiss climate VC Übermorgen Ventures, "carbon capture and storage was once a fringe idea but has now become a key part of decarbonisation plans." Supporters argue that we need a way to remove CO2 already in the atmosphere to stay below 1.5° C of global warming. But could this technology risk providing big polluters a license to carry on as normal? The Financial Times weighs the pros and cons as well as the hopes, challenges and controversies of carbon capture.

Memes: The sad truth.

How did you like today's email?Love it 😁 Meh 😐 Hate it 🙁

Curated by Nicola & Arman

Until next time 👋

Hack Ventures Ltd, Rue Mercerie 12, 1003 Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland