🏭 ClimateHack Vol 102: The OS for natural gas companies

PLUS: US-based carbon removal company Running Tide is shutting down

Hi There,

Last week we hinted at this, but now we’re excited to officially announce: the HackSummit is coming to the New York 🗽

Why? In short, US readers make up +60% of the total ClimateHack readership. Additionally our US meetups in SF and New York are regularly overcapacity. A US summit has been discussed multiple times at Hack, now it’s time we make it a reality.

When? 12-13th December. Yes it will be cold, but we’re suckers for Christmas lights. Additionally, maybe more importantly, December is when deals get made. We want the HackSummit to be the place where these deals get signed.

What? For our debut edition, we’ll focus exclusively on Climate Deep Tech spotlighting the builders creating gigaton scale solutions and the investors backing them. You can discover here the 7 topics that we’ll be narrowing in on.

Who? 500+ curated attendees, all by approval-only, all decision-makers. Ensuring we have the ideal mix across Founders (Stealth to Series B), Investors (Early to Growth), Corporates and Operators.

How can you get involved? Book your tickets here (ridiculously low rate for the first 50 tickets) or reach out if you think there’s other ways you can support!

Now enough of the future, let’s jump into the now.

In Today’s Edition;

🏭 German startup atmio secured €5.1M for its operating system for natural gas companies.
🔬 UK-based CuspAI secured $30M to bring generative AI to advanced and sustainable materials.
🌊 US-based carbon removal company Running Tide announced they’re in the process of shutting down.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Tender Food Inc

🍖 US-based Tender Food Inc., formerly Boston Meats, raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Rhapsody Venture Partners. Its technology involves spinning plant protein fibres to create structured cuts of meat, and its range already includes beef short rib, pulled pork, chicken breast and crab.

🌱 British plant-based meat startup THIS secured £20 million in a Series C funding round led by Planet First Partners. Its meat alternatives are already available in supermarkets across the UK, and it will use the funds to further expand its range.

🥩 Israel’s Ever After Foods secured $10 million for its cultivated meat bioreactor platform, which it says will allow producers to scale up their manufacturing whilst reducing their costs by up to 90%.

🌿 Microalgae protein producer Brevel received a grant of NIS 1,500,000 (approx $400,000) from the Israel Innovation Authority to develop microalgae-derived functional lipids for food applications.

🌾 PepsiCo is joining forces with AgMission™ to award $6.7 million across three grants to researchers in Australia, Mexico and Canada, to support evidence-based research on the effectiveness of climate-smart agriculture practices.

🇨🇦 Protein Industries Canada is partnering with Roquette, Prairie Fava, BioNeutra, and Plant Up on a $24.5 million project to advance the country’s plant-based food innovation and market diversification. 

🤝 Two leading Swiss vertical farming companies, YASAI and GreenState AG, are merging, and will work together to provide fresh, locally-grown produce to the Swiss market.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: forward earth

📊 Berlin-based forward earth raised €3.2 million pre-seed funding for its AI-powered ESG compliance optimisation services, designed to dramatically simplify environmental data reporting.

🔎 Switzerland’s GIST Impact secured investment from UBS to scale its tech platform, which helps companies measure and benchmark their monetary impact on society and nature.

💨 Salesforce announced a $25 million commitment to carbon dioxide removal technology through Stripe’s Frontier, as part of its pledge to purchase $100 million worth of CO2 removal credits by 2030. 

🌊 In a statement released on Linkedin by ocean carbon removal company Running Tide the company announced it’s in the process of shutting down due to “being unable to secure the right kind of financing to continue our work with the urgency it requires”. Running Tide had previously raised $50 million in funding and worked with corporate partners such as Microsoft, Shopify, Stripe, Patch, and Good Zero.

Chemicals x Climate

Image Credits: INERATEC

🛢 INERATEC is partnering with SOLER Group to build a Power-to-Liquid plant in Southern France, where it will produce renewable biocarbon and e-Fuels using wood and renewable hydrogen as feedstocks, avoiding an equivalent of 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Construction x Climate

Image Credits: Bisly

🏢 Tallinn-based Bisly raised €6.2 million Series A funding to expand its emissions-slashing smart building platform. The digital twin system is designed to transform conventional buildings into energy-efficient intelligent buildings, and it will use the funds to expand into Germany and the UK.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Hometree Group

☀️ UK-based Hometree Group raised £250 million to consolidate and securitising the market for residential renewables. It will use the funds to finance 28,000 residential solar panel systems, batteries and heat pumps over the next two years.

🏭 German startup atmio secured €5.1 million, in a seed funding round led by Notion Capital, to further expand its operating system that allows natural gas companies to find, fix, and report methane emissions.

🏡 US-based Balto Energy came out of stealth with $1 million in funding from KDX, Leap Forward Ventures and others. It is building software to try and predict the value of solar and home electrification, designed to support homeowners and installers to save costs on switching to solar energy.

🔋 Rondo Energy secured investment from H&M Group for its Rondo Heat Battery, which harnesses low-cost renewable electricity to deliver the “world's highest temperature, highest efficiency energy storage of any kind”.

💨 Innovate UK is funding a project, led by Swansea University, to optimise a floating offshore wind platform called PelaFlex for the Celtic Sea and support Tata Steel UK to achieve its goal of decarbonising steel production in Port Talbot.

♻️ A new project, dubbed VALPLAST, is working to convert biodegradable plastic waste into a biogas stream that can be used as a form of clean energy, through anaerobic co-digestion treatment with sludge from sewage treatment plants. 

Time for a Summer Cap Table Tidy Up?

It takes a village to raise a child. But it takes just one messy cap table to kill a startup.

You’ve probably heard about good cap table hygiene before, but here’s a refresher on why messy cap tables are working against you:

📉 Slower company decision making - the opposite of what you want as a fast, high growth startup.

📑 More administrative paperwork (and costs) - somebody needs to handle all those shareholders and their annual tax reports.

 👀 Negative signalling - later stage investors tend to avoid companies with a large number of direct shareholders.

Is there a solution? Yes, they’re called SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) and founders have been using them to roll-up smaller ticket or international investors to ensure good cap table hygiene and governance.

KAPITAL's SPVs have the added advantage that they can be used even after you’ve raised, to retroactively roll-up your investors. Plus they’re applicable globally, no matter where you or your investors are in the world.

Book a demo here to speak to the KAPITAL team and see how they can help with your cap table tidy-up’s.

Materials x Climate

Image Credits: CuspAI

🔬 UK-based CuspAI secured $30 million to bring generative AI to advanced materials. It is developing an AI search engine for users to request specific properties for new materials, such as the ability to selectively bind carbon dioxide.

♻️ Researchers at RMIT University are leading a project to tackle solar panel recycling, which can include precious materials like lead and tin, since more than 100,000 tons of solar panels are expected to enter Australia’s waste stream by 2035.

🍍 Scientists at Thailand’s Mahidol University have developed a new pineapple-based leather alternative which they claim is stronger than PU, made by mechanically extracting pineapple leaf fibres from waste pineapple leaves, that are then formed into non-woven sheets and coated with compounded natural rubber latex before being heat-treated and compressed.

Mobility x Climate

Image Credits: Fisker

🚗 US EV maker Fisker has filed for bankruptcy, having struggled on many counts “from the start”. TechCrunch shared a timeline of events for the troubled EV startup.

🔋 Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt’s €2 billion deal to supply battery cells to BMW has been cancelled, reportedly due to production delays.

💡 Interesting: Kyle Chan shared this chart from the recent IEA Global EV Outlook 2024 report, showing that EV flows tend to stay within a region.

Nature x Climate

Image Credits: Shutterstock

🇪🇺 The European Council has adopted a landmark legislation, the Nature Restoration Law, setting a legal standard for member states to restore 20% of degraded EU land and sea ecosystems by 2030. 

🌊 Researchers at Florida State University have received a $600,000 seed grant for projects including developing autonomous systems to map reefs and coastal habitats that are vulnerable to climate change, and increasing EV usage in rural areas.

🇬🇧 The UK’s supreme court has declared, in a landmark ruling, that the full environmental impact of oil, gas and coal must be considered in planning applications.

Water x Climate

Image Credits: Kilimo

🌾 Kilimo, based in Argentia, raised $7.5 million Series A funding. It uses its catalogue of 100,000 soil samples taken from 45 different crop types in a number of different countries to connect soil moisture to satellite imagery of farm fields, so it can then remotely monitor farm fields and advise farmers on their water use.

💧 UK-based Spotless Water raised £3.6 million to supply ultra-pure water for cleaning equipment such as solar panels, via self-service dispensing stations powered by its in-house automation software, and claims to be the only eco-solution for the UPW sector.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Wind VC

🇫🇷 French early-stage VC Wind secured €90 million at the first close of its new fund, with which it will support sustainable seed and Series A Deeptech startups working across sectors including food and air quality, mobility and energy, construction, and security.

💰 The Nato Innovation Fund announced its first investments from its inaugural €1 billion fund, including British startups Space Forge, which is developing fully returnable satellites, and iCOMAT, which has developed a patented manufacturing process for making advanced carbon fibre composite parts.

🇩🇪 Forbion BioEconomy Fund I led by Alexander Hoffmann and Joy Faucherech is a new €75 million fund that just made their first close to focus on backing biotech-enabled solutions in hashtag Food, Agriculture, Materials, Environmental Technologies.

🤝 The Government of Canada and the Asian Development Bank are partnering on a C$360 million fund to support private-sector efforts in the APAC region that focus on climate and nature-based solutions, whilst also promoting gender equity. 

🤷‍♂️ A new study from ESG_VC and Marriott Harrison reveals that ‘achieving net zero’ is the least important motivation for over half of VCs.

Community x Climate

💡  Highlights: One week since the event ended and we’re feeling the blues. So for a little pick-me-up, we crowdsourced the key takeaways and insights from the HackSummit in Lausanne and summarized them here.

💚 Thank you! To all 200+ of you who shared your experience attending the HackSummit on Linkedin! We were genuinely floored by the kind words and couldn’t stop ourselves from making this cheesy highlights reel.

📸 Discover: The photo gallery which is packed with memories and unforgettable moments. Download your favourite photos and share them with colleagues and your network (only if you attended, otherwise that would be kind of weird, right?).

Trends x Climate: Waste to Chemicals

🧪 The What; Scaling up the various waste-to-chemical technologies would be a big step towards enabling a circular economy and the carbon neutrality of materials in this hard-to-abate sector – not to mention mitigating environmental harm. While some technologies have proven commercial success, we still have a ways to go.

📊 The Stats; 
- Of all the sectors, the chemical sector eats up the most energy – it uses up more than 10% of fossil fuels produced globally. And it’s the third largest industry subsector in terms of direct CO2 emissions (about half is used as feedstock for products).
- The IEA says the chemical sector needs to decouple CO2 emissions from production by 2030 to get on track with the Net Zero Emissions (NZE) by 2050 Scenario.
- Chemicals are used in, well, just about everything – from the production of energy to the synthesis of biofertilisers to use in the textile industry.

👀 The Who; There are 20+ companies globally working on Waste to Chemicals, including:
- Germany’s carbonauten GmbH, making food, materials, and energy more renewable, better, and cheaper by creating super materials from waste.
- US based LanzaTech who are enabling their industrial partners to capture and process carbon-rich gases before they enter the atmosphere and cause environmental harm.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of Waste to Chemicals and the 20+ companies working in this space, with expert insights from Nadine Geiser at World Fund for her insights in our latest climate deep dive.

Memes x Climate  

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola