🍚 ClimateHack Vol 37: Decarbonized Rice

PLUS: Our list of 300+ women in climate tech.

Hey There,

Thanks to everyone who voted on last weeks poll for which country we should tackle in our next climate landscaping list. With a whopping 35% of the vote, France has come up on top.

We'll publish the full list and map of French climate tech's in next weeks edition, in the meantime, please do add any names we should be aware of to the comments here.

In today's edition:

📉 Agrifoodtech funding is down a staggering 44% year-on-year.🙋‍♀️ A list of 300+ female operators, investors and founders in climate tech.🍚 A conversation with Cell Capital on the urgency to decarbonize rice.

Digest x Climate

📉 What’s down? Funding for agrifoodtech startups totalled $29.6 billion in 2022, down a staggering 44% year-on-year, according to the latest data from AgFunder and Temasek. Interestingly, several climate-related categories (like Bioenergy & Biomaterials, Ag Biotech, and Novel Farming) bucked the global trend posting year-over-year increases.

📈 What’s up? According to a recent study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, if food production emissions continue at their current levels, they will cause at least 0.7°C of global warming by the end of the century.

🌊 Scientists at The University of Texas have discovered that global warming could reduce our oceans’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide, accelerating climate change.

🌨 And data published by the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service shows that Europe just finished its second-warmest winter on record.

Carbon x Climate

🌳 Ecosystem Restoration Standard, based in Paris, raised €5 million seed funding to launch its standard to certify ecosystem restoration projects in the voluntary carbon markets.

🪨 UK-based ViridiCO2, a spinout of the University of Southampton, secured £3 million seed funding to decarbonise the chemical industry via carbon capture technology, and repurpose “waste” CO2 into useful chemical products such as surfactants.

💻 Tasmanian carbon accounting software startup Sumday raised $2 million pre-seed funding to support its global expansion and help make non-financial accounting “part of business as usual”.

🚚 Switzerlands Qaptis has raised CHF 1.3 million in pre-seed funding to develop mobile carbon capture technology through their CO2 capturing device which helps decarbonize freight transport and supply chain

🤝 Energy technology company Baker Hughes is joining forces with HIF Global to develop and test carbon capture technology ahead of scaling for commercial use.

Food x Climate

🌱 Female-owned biotech Tiamat Sciences raised $2 million in a seed extension round. The startup is developing plant molecular farming technology to create affordable growth factors for cellular agriculture. (Fun fact: Tiamat's CEO will be speaking at our Summit in May).

🥛 New Zealand’s Daisy Lab secured NZD $1.5 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round to scale up production of its microbial whey protein, made via precision fermentation, and continue its research into caseins.

🚜 Lundberg Family Farms launched Regenerative Organic Certified rice and aims to certify its entire organic portfolio by 2027. It prioritises soil health through compost and cover crops, and floods a portion of its fields each winter to provide habitat and nutrition for wintering waterfowl.

🧬 US-based crop health and protection startup Texas Crop Science emerged from stealth after nearly a decade in business to announce a partnership with plant genetics company GDM to develop high-yielding soybeans.

🏭 Naylor Farms, based in the UK, has begun constructing a €38 million facility that it claims will be the first in the world dedicated to extracting brassica protein. It will extract protein, fibre and an umami syrup from cabbages.

💡 Good Read: Michal Klar of Better Bite Ventures breaks down the last year in alt protein funding and where he thinks its headed next.

Energy x Climate

☀️ Roofit.Solar, based in Estonia, secured €6.45 million, in a funding round led by BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures and EdgeCap Partners, to provide consumers with solar roofs as an alternative to traditional roofing.

📊 German startup trawa raised €2.4 million pre-seed funding to further develop its AI-based energy purchasing software. It optimises purchasing for energy-intensive industries to offer cost savings of up to 20% per year and supports decarbonisation through a mix of energy sources.

🇦🇺 Australia’s NSW government is investing $64 million into the state’s the first two green hydrogen hub projects, which include a 10 megawatt electrolyser to produce four tonnes of green hydrogen daily and a 12 megawatt electrolyser to convert green hydrogen and air captured nitrogen into green ammonia used to fertilise farms in the region.

🏭 Georgia Power, based in the US, announced that one of its nuclear reactors had started a nuclear reaction, and claims it will be fully in service by summer. The last time a nuclear reactor reached the same milestone was seven years ago.

Manufacturing x Climate

👨‍🏭 UK-based Evove raised £5.7 million to expand its manufacturing capacity. It uses nanotechnology and additive manufacturing processes and advanced membrane technology to reduce the impact of water filtration within the lithium, green hydrogen, desalination, food and beverage, and water and wastewater industries.

🏗 Local governments in the southwestern US are providing $150,000 to a project, undertaken by Aircapture, Carbon Built and Block-Lite, that will “turn air into concrete at scale”.

🛣 A first-of-its-kind pilot project in Western Sydney, called PAK-PAVE Roads, has used recycled paper coffee cups to create more sustainable roads made from up to 50% recycled materials. The material has been developed by State Asphalts NSW in collaboration with Closed Loop Environmental Solutions.

Transport x Climate

🚲 Brussels-based e-bike startup Cowboy closed its latest funding round and launched a new bike feature called “AdaptivePower,” which automatically adjusts the power of the motor according to the current slope and weather conditions.

🔌 New legislation in New York, announced by leading North American charging network operator FLO and charging station maintenance and analytics company ChargerHelp!, is aiming to ensure that local drivers have access to reliable EV charging stations.

🏭 VW Group spinout Scout Motors is set to build a $2 billion factory capable of producing 200,000 electric vehicles a year in South Carolina, right in the middle of the developing “battery belt”.

🚲 French startup Upway launched in the US this week, having already refurbished and resold more than 10,000 electric bikes throughout France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands since its launch in 2021.

Funds x Climate

🇩🇪 German VC Bitburger Ventures launched its €105 million early-stage fund, called Simon Capital, to support startups working within CPG, food tech and biotech.

🇺🇸 The Biden Administration has launched a $6 billion program to decarbonise industrial manufacturing, which accounts for 24% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

🇬🇧 The UK government has allocated £370 million in funding to support the newly established Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s investments into “trailblazing science and innovation”, including AI, quantum, and biotech.

Conversations x Climate

This week I chatted with Greg Michel, investment partner at Cell Capital where he focuses on deploying the Investbridge AgriTech fund into Seed to Series A agri food tech companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

There's a secret group of VC's chatting about the need to reduce methane emissions from rice cultivation but there's still little happening here both in terms of new startup creation and press coverage - so Greg set out to change that.

You can read the full piece here which goes into depth on why methane emissions from rice cultivation is a problem worth looking at, how methane is produced during cultivation and a whole array of possible solutions and bottlenecks to tackling this.


  • While public attention is mainly focused on methane coming from belching ruminants, another part of agriculture is, so far at least, flying largely below the radar: rice cultivation.

  • The good news is that we know pretty well how to effectively mitigate this methane through two interlinked practices that have been around for some time now : Systems of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Alternative Wetting and Drying (AWD).

  • The bad news is that you’re dealing with generational knowledge that’s been passed on for centuries and a highly fragmented landscape of small holder farms - making rolling out solutions, no matter how viable, complicated.

Resources x Climate

🙋‍♀️ For this years International Women's Day we wanted to highlight the incredible female founders, operators and investors active in climate tech.

After asking our subscribers and crowdsourcing suggestions on Linkedin - we've pulled together a list of over 300+ active female leaders in climate.

This includes GP's at top climate VC's, founders at leading climate startups, media personalities, policy makers, operators and pretty much everything in-between.

You can download the full list here, or check out 30 selected names here.

Events x Climate

🇩🇪 Free Meetup (Berlin) - 5 Speakers now announced for our Berlin ClimateHack Meetup on the 16th March, with a focus on Biodiversity. Come network with the who's who of Berlin's Climate scene next Thursday.

🌎 Interested in FoodTech? We have a total of 12 FoodHack Meetups coming up in the next two weeks, from San Francisco to Basel, Lisbon to Mexcio city. Check out the full list here and reserve your spot to attend (several are already at full capacity).

⏰ 26 Female Leaders: We spotlighted the 25+ female speakers who will be joining us at this years HackSummit. The lineup includes Jennifer Place, Climate Tech VC at Fifth Wall, Clea Kolster, Partner and Head of Science at Lowercarbon Capital, Ahrum Pak, CEO and co-founder at WNWN FoodLabs and many more.

Tweets x Climate

From the Paypal Mafia to the Tesla Mafia - a look at what the former EV employees are working on next in Climate.

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend ahead - and hit reply if you're ever bored and want to chat.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola.