🏭 ClimateHack Vol 26: Fusion x Climate

PLUS: YC's list of top Climate problems and solutions.

Hey There,

Loads of news this week in the ramp up to the end of the year.

So lets jump right in:

🏭 A major milestone for nuclear fusion.👀 YC's list of top climate problem and solutions. 📊 Data: 2022's top most active VC's in FoodTech.

p.s. if you like today's edition - share it with a friend or coworker, or your uncle Steve who still doesn't believe in climate change.

Digest x Climate

🏭 Nuclear fusion’s major milestone: The US Department of Energy and other federal scientific leaders announced that a nuclear fusion reaction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California achieved net energy, marking the first time humankind has achieved this landmark. Need a TLDR? Check out this video of nuclear scientist Marv Adams explaining what happened in the successful fusion experiment.

📈 What’s up? Data from the International Energy Agency shows that the world will deploy as much renewable energy in the next five years as in the last twenty.

💡 Good Reads: Here’s a great list by Ryan Bethencourt of the top 20 biotech accelerators and incubators. And here are Forbes’ sustainability and climate tech predictions for 2023, including fungi and fission.

💡 Deep Dive: Voluntary Carbon Credits: force for good or simply greenwashing? We deep dived into the sector to identify the 25+ players here, see how their offers stack up, and take a look at wether this its hype or here to stay.

Carbon x Climate

🏭 Competitive Power Ventures unveiled plans for a $3 billion carbon capture project in West Virginia, consisting of a ~1,800MW combined-cycle natural gas power station with carbon capture technology.

🇺🇸 The Biden-Harris Administration announced four projects, funded with $3.7 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to build a commercially viable, just, and responsible carbon dioxide removal industry in the United States.

🇪🇺 The European Union reached a landmark agreement on its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism pollution tax for imports, that will be established “to equalise the price of carbon paid for EU products operating under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the one for imported goods.”

🐄 US-based Arkea Bio Corp.raised $12 million seed funding, in a round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, to develop and commercialise technology to reduce farming methane emissions.

💨 Israel’s RepAir Carbon Capture raised $10 million for its Direct Air Capture technology, which uses large fans to push air through a filter and, it says, requires 70% less energy than the industry average to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.

📊 Pathzero, based in Sydney, secured $8.6 million Series A+ funding for its carbon management and data platform, designed to help businesses transition to net-zero.

🔎 Australian carbon management startup Avarni raised $3 million, in a round led by Main Sequence Ventures, less than 12 months after launching. Its platform uses artificial intelligence for rapid measurement and planning to help companies analyse and address their emissions.

🍓 Swiss startup Daphne Technology secured CHF 3 million in an extended Series B round to measure and reduce GHG emissions from industrial sources in tough-to-decarbonise industries by developing and scaling up its innovative technology.

Food x Climate

🍄 Hyfé (portfolio co), which transforms food manufacturing waste streams into fermentation feedstock, ​​has scaled production of its mycelium protein to 400L pilot bioreactors three months ahead of schedule.

🇪🇺 Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship research and innovation program, announced €25 million in funding for three projects developing cultivated and fermented proteins.

🧪 The UK’s Biotechnical and Biological Sciences Research Council, in partnership with Innovate UK, has committed £16 million to novel foods and sustainable protein research.

🥩 SciFi Foods has undertaken the world’s first Life Cycle Analysis on cultivated beef, and found that its burgers reduced GHG emissions by 88.5%, energy use dropped more than 37%, land use dropped more than 90%, and water used dropped by nearly 97% when compared to conventional beef burgers.

👨‍🌾 Mad Capital raised $4 million seed funding for its financing platform, designed with the aim of helping shift 10 million acres of farmland to regenerative practices by 2032.

🌳 Sustainability investor group FAIRR is aiming to influence major food companies to set time-based goals to eliminate deforestation, since these companies account for 60-80% of the world’s biodiversity loss.

💡 A new report, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Sustainability, maps the environmental impact of food production around the globe, with interesting results.

Energy x Climate

☀️ German photovoltaic systems provider Enpal raised $855 million in debt funding to expand its solar panel rental program that lasts 20 years and includes all installation, maintenance, and repair costs for a flat fee of €49/month.

☀️ Sun King, an off-grid solar energy provider based in Africa, expanded its Series D to $330 million to help communities and households in Africa access affordable and reliable solar technology.

🔋 Group14 raised an additional $214 million, bringing its Series C total to $614 million, marking one of the top ten climate tech raises in 2022. It is aggressively building Battery Active Materials factories globally, capable of producing commercial-scale quantities of advanced silicon battery technology.

🇨🇭 Swiss startup Synhelion secured $23.7 million to scale up its solar-powered industrial energy platform, designed to help decarbonise heavy industrial lines via synthesis gas created through solar energy.

⚡️ Pacifico Energy, based in Munich, secured €20 million from Eiffel Investment Group to jointly develop photovoltaic plants and battery energy storage systems, combining the power of solar panels and plants on farmland.

💨 Danish startup OKTO GRID raised €3 million to expand into the European market for transformer and wind turbine condition monitoring by digitising grid assets.

🔊 Engineers from RMIT University in Melbourne are using sound waves to boost production of green hydrogen by fourteen times through electrolysis.

🪨 Vietnam has agreed a $15.5 billion partnership with funders in the UK and European Union to help finance its transition away from coal, bringing its peak emissions date forward to 2030.

Biotech, ESG x Climate

🇬🇧 London-based biotech Basecamp Research raised $20 million Series A funding to build the world's largest database of natural DNA sequences that is entirely ethically sourced, which could make it easier for synbio companies to gain access to valuable genetic information which can help them develop new sustainable products.

🇦🇺 Australian ESG software startup FairSupply secured $6.3 million Series A funding to launch new products and expand into new markets and help prevent corporate greenwashing.

🇫🇮 Finnish startup The Upright Project raised €5 million to develop its open-access ESG reporting database to help businesses make the right impact-driven decisions.

🇨🇭 Oxyle, based in Zurich, secured $3 million pre-seed funding to bring its new wastewater treatment to market. Its tech involves a nanoporous catalyst that removes micropollutants, including PFAS, pharmaceuticals, hormones and pesticides.

Funds x Climate

🏗 Fifth Wall closed its Real Estate Technology Fund III with $866 million to support the future of proptech, including the decarbonisation of real estate and materials.

🏭 Australia’s Melt Ventures is already near to the first close of the country’s first dedicated Advanced Manufacturing Venture Fund, designed to support high-growth companies working within clean technologies, such as renewable energy and storage, automation and robotics, agriculture and transport, and advanced materials and space.

🏦 Barclays is set to increase its investment in climate tech startups to £500 million by 2027, and says it will have a greater focus on “carbon-intensive sectors” going forward.

🌿 CSIRO will revive its ON Accelerate program in 2023, focusing on ten companies working within world-changing innovation, including v2algae, which is creating a new biotechnology specialty ingredient manufacturing segment for Australia, and Rainstick, whose technology is designed to encourage fungi and plants’ natural systems to grow faster and increase yield.

👀 YCombinator have put out a long list of Climate Tech company types, including problems and solutions, that they're interested in funding next year.

Resources x Climate: Top FoodTech VC's 📊

This week our writer Sam Panzer looked at 2022's most active FoodTech investors and what they're investing in, along with some key takeaways on what it means for the sector.

While it is FoodTech specific, the takeaways highlighted have a lot of implications and crossover on the climate sector - and might give an indication of what to look out for in heated market.

You can find the full takeaways here, and below a list of the most active investors (including ourselves at HackCapital 🙌)

And yes - we will write a similar piece for Climate VC's next year!

Top 10 most active FoodTech Investors in 2022:

🥇 SOSV: with 56 investments this year and over $1.5B in assets under management, multistage VC SOSV’s portfolio grew this year to include companies like UPSIDE Foods, Milk Moovement, and NovoNutrients.

🧑‍🔬 FoodLabs: Berlin-based FoodLabs backs a range of leading foodtech startups across the entire foodtech value chain, including alt protein (Bosque Foods), vertical farming (Infarm), delivery (Gorillas), and consumer tech (mitte). 47 investments in 2022.

💡 Big Idea Ventures: alt-protein fund and accelerator Big Idea made 45 investments this year in startups like Animal Alternative, MeliBio, and Minutri (Lypid) via their $50m New Protein Fund. Based in NYC and Singapore.

🍃 S2G Ventures: with 45 multi-stage investments (including 18 led and 9 co-led) this year, Chicago-based S2G invests across food & ag with new investments in Atomo Coffee, Sound Agriculture, and Soli Organic joining a strong portfolio including Everytable, sweetgreen, Beyond Meat, and Apeel Sciences.

🤘 Rockstart AgriFood: investing to improve our food system ‘from soil to gut,’ Rockstart has inked 40 new investments this year in startups like MoooFarm, Orderlion, and Fieldsense.

🌎 Siddhi Capital: with strong operational and outsourcing experience under co-managing partners Melissa Facchina and Steven Finn, Siddhi Capital invested in 35 startups like Ark Biotech, Liberation Labs, and Melibio to expand a strong portfolio including Magic Spoon, BlueNalu, and Beyond Meat.

🥕 ProVeg: 30 investments via ProVeg Incubator under the ProVeg International NGO. Strong track record and focus on reducing consumption of animal-based products, with new investments in Libre Foods, Cultivated Biosciences, Bifidice, and ØZERS.

💜 HackCapital: with 24 investments, HackCapital’s 2022 investment highlights include Plantish, Hyfé Foods, Arkeon and Forsea Foods. Unlike other VCs on the list, HackCapital operates like a syndicate with a global group of climate-focused investors participating in rounds together.

🟦 Blue Horizon: Zürich-based foodtech VC Blue Horizon made 23 investments this year in pre-seed and growth companies like Atomo Coffee, Planetary, and Nucicer. Portfolio includes plant-based, cultivated meat, and synbio startups like Planted, Mosa Meat, and Geltor.

🌊 Astanor Ventures: Astanor’s 23 investments this year include Umiami, Planetary, and Source Ag, across regenerative food, ag, and ocean products. Prior investments include Stockeld Dreamery, Apeel, and Ynsect.

💯 In all, we identified 106 noteworthy investors. They’re a mix of foodtech-focused VCs (47%) or crossover VCs (33%), with some corporate funds (12%), accelerators / incubators (5%), and syndicates (2%).

👩 34% of this year’s funds are female-led, about the same as last year (32%), though is higher than the 15% of European VC general partners who are women. In the broader venture industry, women represent 43% of directors and principals, but only 18% of GPs.

🌎 Most of our profiled investors are based in EMEA (55%), though the USA (32%) is the most active individual country. 9% of our investors are APAC-based, and just 2% are in LATAM.

↔️ We see a wide spread of investment activity, with a median of 4 deals per investor but an average of 8.3. The median check size is $1m (though the average is $2.8m, as larger checks pull the mean up).

Discover the full list of top active VC's in FoodTech and market takeaways here along with a database of 100+ VC's in FoodTech here.

Memes x Climate: 

A day in the life of a Series A founder sounds a lot like a day in the life of a Seed stage founder.

Thanks for reading and wherever you are in the world, have a great weekend ahead.

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

Curated by Nicola & Arman