🌴 ClimateHack Vol 15: Fats x Climate

PLUS: Timberhub's €5.8 million raise to “digitise the timber trade”

Hey There,

There's some incredible VC's out there, there's also some terrible ones - in order to help startups identify the best Food (and Climate) Investors to work with, we're collecting data from founders around the globe.

All responses are anonymozed and only reviewed by the our team. The result of the top selected Investors will be announced in November. If you're a founder - take part here

What’s in today's edition? 🪵 Netherland's Timberhub raise €5.8 million to “digitise the timber trade”🇩🇪 Germany's one • fıve secures €10.5 to transform packaging with biomaterials 🌴 A chat with Swedish VC Trellis Road on the need for alternative fat solutions

Digest x Climate

📈 What’s up? Electric vehicle sales are set to hit an “all-time high” this year, according to the IEA, and will count for 13% of total light duty vehicle sales globally.

🔋 However, research from the RAC shows that EV charge points in the UK are now nearly as expensive as gasoline, potentially disincentivising consumers.

🌳 A study, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are making trees bigger in forests in the US.

🇨🇭 Just shy of 90% of Zurich citizens have voted to support a new article to promote a cleaner and more efficient use of resources, to reduce both waste and energy use.

📉 What’s down? New research from Globescan finds that growing consumer concern over climate change is driving 40% of people to avoid having children.

Carbon x Climate 

💨 German startup Carbonfuture raised €5.5 million for its end-to-end digital platform, designed to support companies who want to participate in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Its customers already include the likes of Microsoft, SwissRe, Klarna and South Pole.

🌾 US-based Yard Stick secured $18 million from the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative for its faster, cheaper soil management tools that provide near-instant carbon measurement, reporting and verification.

🤝 Givaudan announced this week that it is collaborating with LanzaTech to develop sustainable fragrance ingredients from renewable carbon.

Food x Climate

🐜 Vienna’s Livin Farms closed $5.8 million Series A funding to create alternative protein from insects. Its modular system, Hive Pro, is designed to automate the process of rearing and processing black soldier flies, which are then powdered for consumption.

🥩 Orbillion Bio announced a partnership with Dutch speciality meat distributor Luiten Food to bring its cultivated wagyu beef to market in 35 European countries.

🎃 A 600-year-old traditional German farm, The Gottschallerhof, has switched to biocyclic and vegan management methods for its pumpkin products and grains, having ceased to rear livestock in 2020.

💡 Good Read: How climate change is impacting these thirteen foods, including wine, coffee, and chocolate.

Materials x Climate

🇩🇪 Hamburg-based one • fıve secured €10.5 million seed funding to transform the packaging industry with biomaterials. It’s first targeting the single-use, non-recyclable sachet with its machine learning platform that discovers and assesses biomaterial innovations and transforms them into market-ready products.

🇺🇸 Bucha Bio, based in Texas, closed an oversubscribed seed funding round with $1.1 million for its biobased materials that function as a sustainable alternative to animal and plastic leather, produced by a kombucha-based bacterial nanocellulose along with plant-based materials.

Construction x Climate

🪵 Netherlands-based Timberhub raised €5.8 million to “digitise the timber trade”, tapping into the growing market for timber in construction, a much cleaner material than concrete or steel.

⛏ Northern Irish mining startup Rock Extraction secured £500,000 for its rock-breaking tool, designed to reduce reliance on polluting explosives used in the mining industry. We took a deep dive into the mining industry last week in Vol 14

Energy x Climate

⚡️ California-based Moxion Power raised $100 million Series B funding for its carbon-free portable generators that enable last-mile electrification in several sectors, including construction, transportation and telecommunications. 

🏭 The US Department of Energy announced that it will provide $50 million to private nuclear fusion companies in public-private partnerships, marking the first time that substantial amounts of money have gone to for-profit companies.

🌡 Munich-based Orcan Energy closed a €28.5 million “late-stage” growth round to support geographical expansion of its tech which turns waste heat into clean energy using the second law of thermodynamics,“at the worldwide lowest possible generation cost.”

🧑‍🔧 Woltair, based in Prague, secured €16.3 million in a Series A round led by Canadian VC ArcTern Ventures. Its digital platform is designed to connect consumers who want to install sustainable energy solutions with installation and maintenance technicians.

🖥 Irish startup VRAI raised £3 million, in a round led by Northstar Ventures, for its VR simulation training platform for the offshore wind energy sector.

Funds x Climate

🇺🇸 Prime Movers Lab raised $500 million for its first early growth fund, supporting “breakthrough science”. Its portfolio includes indoor farming startup Upward Farms, and grid-scale storage company Energy Vault. Brad from Prime Movers Lab was a featured guest here back on Vol 8 talking about Synbio x Climate

🥤 Coca-Cola HBC issued its first green bond and raised $500 million to support its sustainability projects, including circularity, energy efficiency, water stewardship, biodiversity, sustainable packaging innovation and sustainable agriculture.

🏦 Santander AM and EIT InnoEnergy are launching a new climate tech fund to support early-stage companies working on the “energy trilemma” – making energy affordable, available and sustainable.

Conversations x Climate: Alternative Fats

This week I reached out to Anna Ottosson, Founding Partner at Trellis Road, an $18m micro fund investing in pre-seed and seed rounds of ambitious high-impact foodtech startups globally.

Founded by two former founders, Trellis Road have backed companies like Swedish alt-cheese creators, Stockeld Dreamery, German plant-meat textruzation startup, Project Eaden, and Mexican lemna grower, microTERRA. 

💡 Biggest area(s) in climate you’d like to see more founders working on and investment going to?

Alternative Fats.

We invest in high-impact startups across the entire food system, and there are so many areas within food and agriculture that need the attention of brilliant founders.

In the last few years the alternative protein transition has attracted plenty of founder and investor interest, but another highly relevant area, especially from a deforestation perspective, is alternative fats and more specifically palm oil replacements.

We recently wrote a blog post on the topic (shorter summary below), and would love to see more founders working on solutions there.


  • 🌴 Palm oil is used everywhere, and market demand keeps growing.

  • 🌏 Palm crops are linked to deforestation affecting climate and biodiversity.

  • 👀 Consumer awareness and new regulations are driving demand for palm oil substitutes and for a deforestation-free supply chain.

  • 🚀 Innovators working on alternatives include C16, Zero Acre, NoPalm, Colipi, Circe, Kern-Tec, Farmsow, Green-On, and many more.

  • 💲It is hard to replicate all the palm oil exceptional properties (texture, taste, odor, melting point, etc), but even harder to do it at scale and at a competitive price.

🌴 What’s the deal with palm oil?

Palm oil can be found in nearly everything; half of the packaged products in supermarkets contain palm oil and the market is expected to reach almost $100 billion by 2030.

The main attributes making palm oil so attractive for food producers is its versatile functionality combined with a lower price than most other vegetable oils. 

But while palm oil demand is ubiquitous, supply is concentrated in the tropics, in particular, in Indonesia and Malaysia, which are responsible for over 85% of global production. The expansion of palm crops plays a significant role in deforestation and contributes to biodiversity loss and climate change. Growers often burn forests to clear the land, thus destroying carbon sinks, releasing CO2, and polluting the air. Replacing biodiversity-rich areas with palm monocultures contributes to soil erosion, and is also linked to water and soil pollution.

👀 Who is working on a replacement?

Innovators are exploring new pathways to make palm oil sustainably, using food byproducts, insects, modified plants, or most commonly fermentation. Founded in 2017, the startup C16 stood among the first movers to use microbial fermentation to produce a new generation of palm oil equivalent and had raised $24 million in its last round to pursue this mission. Zero Acre Farms who raised $37 million earlier in 2022 claims that its cultivated oil is not only better for the environment but also healthier for humans.

To further reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and land use, early startups are looking for different carbon sources to feed the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation process.

Among these new players, we see companies like NoPalm exploring waste biomass, Corbion exploring algae, and Colipi incorporating industrial sidestreams with their carbon capture and utilization (CCU) solution to provide a carbon source for their yeast fermentation. Another example is Circe which is also betting on the gas fermentation approach engineering microorganisms to produce different types of oils and fats.

There are plenty of other startups using various technologies to crack the palm oil code; a very flexible and versatile fat source at a very low price. Not an easy feat, but one with tremendous potential if you succeed.

If you’re working on the space of alternative fats, we'd love to chat - You can reach me at [email protected]

Bit of Fun: 

These carbon offset solutions are really getting out of hand 😁

That's for reading, and have a great weekend ahead,

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Curated by Nicola & Arman