💡 ClimateHack Vol 33: Differentiation in Climate VC

PLUS: a list of 30+ Climate VC's across APAC, MENA, Africa.

Hey There,

Is Climate VC getting too crowded?

In the past month we've mapped over 100+ VC's active in Climate Tech across US, Europe, and APAC, MENA, Africa and truth is most of them seem largely, the same.

Something along the lines of "backing purpose driven founders", "creating massive opportunity and impact" and "investing in the earliest stages".

Whilst I firmly believe we need far more capital in climate, and encourage even more VC's, mangers and LP's to enter this space, it would be nice to see a stronger focus on differentiation and speciality.

I put a few ideas out there on how that could look for emerging managers and would love to hear what others think (especially from founders who look to raise from Climate VCs).

In today's edition:

🌍 A list of 30+ Climate VC's across APAC, MENA, Africa.🇪🇺 Berlin-based Planet A announced their €160M Climate fund. 🪟 US-based LuxWall raise $33M for windows that retain 4x more heat.

Oceans x Research x Climate

🌊 Rotterdam-based non-profit Ocean Cleanup, whose aim is to remove lingering waste from the ocean and stop additional plastics entering our waters, secured a €23.2 million donation from Airbnb and Samara co-founder Joe Gebbia.

🐚 LA-based Olokun Minerals raised $1.1M in pre-seed funding led by Propeller. The company is developing a solution that diverts harmful saline drainage water away from ocean life and marine ecosystems, while also providing critical minerals and metals for various supply chains.

The UK government is launching a £77 million investment in clean maritime technology with a Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure competition designed to produce a zero-emission vessel by 2025 at the latest.

💰 A group of UK industry giants, universities and NGOs, with a total net worth of £73 billion, have begun a two-year program worth £5.4 million aimed at converting captured carbon from industrial waste gasses into sustainable materials for use in consumer products.

🔬 Nonprofit research organisation The Degrees Initiative announced $900,000 funding for scientists in several countries across the world to study the effects of releasing aerosols into the atmosphere to temporarily cool the Earth.

Food x Climate

🌱 Agri-tech company Better Seeds has engineered black-eyed peas for mechanised harvesting, designing them to stand up straighter so as to be harvested in the same way as soybeans, to enhance their productivity for mass-scale production.

🍄 Australian alt protein startup Fable Food Co raised $8.5 million Series A funding, in a round led by K3 Ventures, to bring its “delicious, clean label, and sustainable meaty mushroom products to every market in the world”.

🥛 Pigmentum, based in Israel, raised $6 million seed funding for its functional plant-based milk proteins, made via its technology that “turns plants into factories that produce valuable components”.

🧪 Estonian startup ÄIO raised €1 million to develop alternative oils and fats for the food industry from agricultural and wood industry side-streams, using a fermentation process which the company says is similar to brewing beer or raising bread with yeast.

Energy x Climate

🔋 Redwood Materials, founded by ex-Tesla CTO JB Straubel in 2017, secured a $2 billion loan from the US Department of Energy to build out its electric vehicle battery recycling campus in Nevada.

⚡️ New Zealand-based liquid hydrogen tech company Fabrum secured NZ$23 million Series A funding, in a round led by AP Ventures, to support green hydrogen production, storage, dispensing, and system integration.

💨 Swedish startup Modvion raised €11 million for its low-emissions wooden towers for wind turbine manufacturing, helping to deliver its first wind turbine installation, a 150-metre structure that will produce 2 MW of electricity.

📊 Ampotech, based in Singapore and originally a spin-off from an A*STAR and University of Illinois research institute, raised S$1.7 million pre-Series A funding for its artificial intelligence and internet of things enabled building energy management solutions.

Construction x Climate

🪟 US-based LuxWall raised $33 million in a Series A funding round, with participation from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Prelude Ventures. It has developed Net Zero Glass windows, which retain heat four times more effectively than single-pane windows, cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions by up to 45%.

Transport x Climate

🚗 Indian startup Zypp Electric raised $25 million, in a round led by Taiwanese battery giant Gogoro, to support expansion of its electric-vehicle-as-a-service platform that serves e-commerce companies and gig workers.

🏭 Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport is planning to award €80 million for the construction of electrolysis plants to ramp up green hydrogen production for the transport sector.

🛩 Good Read: Here’s why Bill Gates plans to carry on using private jets while campaigning on climate change.

Funds x Climate

🌍 Emerging Markets: Closing off our three-part series with our final list of 30+ Climate VC's across APAC, MENA and Africa. Compared to our US and European list, the number of dedicated and crossover Climate VC's in these regions is far fewer, which could highlight an interesting opportunity for emerging managers.

🇩🇪 Berlin-based VC Planet A closed its first fund with €160 million. It will only invest in startups that successfully pass a rigorous assessment by its in-house science team, to ensure the fund “has a positive impact on the world”. Their portfolio includes includes companies like Good Carbon, one • fıve and Carbon Re.

🇨🇴 Colombia is set to be the first country to benefit from the new $300 million Climate Investment Funds, made up of one-off donations from the governments of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Switzerland, receiving $70 million to help roll-out renewable energy across the country.

🇨🇿 Inven Capital, backed by Czech energy utility giant CEZ Group, is set to invest another €50 million in cleantech and decarbonisation startups, in partnership with the European Investment Bank. Previous investments include German green hydrogen producer Sunfire, and Czech solar energy platform Woltair.

Converastions x Climate

This week I spoke to Julius Strauss, part of the investment team at FoodLabs, a Berlin-based €100m VC fund and venture studio focused on early-stage companies with an impact on climate, food and agriculture.

In the article, Julius covers:

  • Why antimicrobial resistance might be one of the most overlooked threats of our time.

  • The different approaches to fight the spread of AMR (from prevention to treatment).

  • The role of biodiversity and bacteriophages to aid in preventing the spread of AMR.

You can read the full piece here. Whilst not directly climate related, the impact and urgency of AMR is a topic I was completely in the dark to and Julius does a great job at highlighting why we should pay more attention.

Events x Climate

🙌 Last Friday: we hosted our first ever ClimateHack Meetup in Zurich (some highlights here). Over 90+ climate innovators, builders and investors attended working on everything from decarbonized construction to lower emission foods.

🇬🇧 Next Wednesday: ClimateHack comes to London thanks to our co-hosts AMS and an incredible lineup of speakers from 2150 VC, Materials Nexus, Synthesis Capital, Systemiq Capital and Carbon13. Tickets are sold out, but you can follow the event page here incase we have any last minute openings.

Memes x Climate

The state of Climate VC in 2023:

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend ahead, and sorry to all the VC's I offended in today's edition 😅

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Curated by Nicola, Editorial by Arman