🇫🇷 ClimateHack Vol 38: French Climate Startups

PLUS: our record breaking week.

Hey There,

It's been a record breaking week for us here, with a total of 8 Food and ClimateHack meetups in the last 4 days across San Francisco, London, Berlin, Lisbon, Cape Town, Basel, Milan, Wageningen, and over 800+ participants hosted in-person.

Meetups are how we first got our climate community started years ago and today are a core part of enabling us to connect different ecosystem players together (like investors and startups or talent and employers) while raising awareness on climate solutions.

If you're keen for us to come to your city, or want to support with a future event, please hit reply to let us know where and we'll reach out.

In today's edition:

🇪🇺 EU's long awaited Net-Zero Industry Act is unveiled.🇫🇷 Our list of 70+ French climate tech startups to know. 🇸🇪 Sweden's Klimato secures €4.2M for carbon friendly foods.

Digest x Climate

🏊‍♂️ Random: A public swimming pool in Devon, England, is being heated by a washing-machine-sized data centre, whose computers are surrounded by oil to capture their heat, saving thousands of pounds on energy bills.

🇪🇺 The European Commission proposed the Net-Zero Industry Act this week, including new targets of at least 40% of clean energy technologies to be manufactured in the EU by 2030. Some experts are now asking if thats enough.

📈 What’s up? Scientists are warning that "zombie" viruses that have spent up to 48,500 years frozen in the ground could “reawaken” as the Arctic permafrost melts due to climate change. Not great.

👩‍💼 In better news, female-led and climate tech startups are leading Australia’s startup ecosystem, according to data from VC Giant Leap.

📉 What’s down? EV startup Arrival, which was founded in the UK but listed on the Nasdaq in 2021, is predicting losses as high as $1.01 billion in its 2022 full-year results, thanks to “non-cash impairment charges” and around $406 million in write-offs.

Carbon x Climate

🔎 The Climate Choice, based in Berlin, raised $2 million in an equity financing round led by Gutter Capital. Its tech is designed to help businesses track and reduce their carbon emissions.

🌳 Finnish company CollectiveCrunch secured €1.4 million, in a round led by Nidoco AB, to support the international expansion of its AI-powered forestry platform, which “enables sustainable forestry by utilising climate, geo, and customer process data to arrive at better predictions of forest inventory at scale”.

💎 New York-based Aether is growing sustainable diamonds with full traceability from thin air. It captures carbon dioxide from the air then synthesises into the hydrocarbon material required to grow diamonds, one layer at a time.

🍄 Scientists at the University of Stirling, Scotland, say that growing edible mushrooms alongside trees can help to capture carbon and reduce the need for deforestation for planting crops.

Food x Climate

🍯 MeliBio (portfolio co.) released its first commercial bee-free honey product, Mellody, to more than 65,000 consumers at Expo West last week, and is set to launch it into foodservice companies in the US.

📊 Swedish startup Klimato secured €4.2 million for its proprietary, cloud-based carbon management platform that helps food service providers and food producers to measure, reduce and report their carbon impact. To date, it has 500 clients in 12 countries, and has helped them to decrease their CO2 emissions by an average of 23%.

🇫🇷 The French government has passed a new law that means, from 1st January next year, every household in the country has to be able to recycle food waste at home, and local authorities must offer biowaste collection bins to their residents.

🥛 Singapore’s TurtleTree launched the world’s first precision fermentation-produced lactoferrin, a “highly prized” bioactive milk protein and one of the most powerful components found in cow’s milk.

🌾 San Diego-based startup Brutal Foods has created a line of puffed snacks made with chocho, a nutritious, regenerative crop which boasts more protein per serving than salmon, tofu or chickpeas.

🇪🇺 A group of European precision fermentation startups, including Formo, Onego Bio, Imagindairy, Better Dairy and Those Vegan Cowboys, has formed Food Fermentation Europe, a new trade association aiming to help startups navigate the regulatory pathway for approving novel foods in the EU, a difficult and lengthy process described as a “black box”.

Energy x Climate

☀️ Sunhero, based in Barcelona, raised €10 million Series A funding in a round led by Planet A and Vorwerk Ventures. It will use the funds to scale its residential solar energy business in Spain.

🌡 Amarenco Group, based in France and Ireland, secured €300 million in a round led by Arjun Infrastructure Partners. It specialises in photovoltaic energy, and will use the funds to support its strategic and geographical expansion.

⛏ A researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology is undertaking a $2 million project, funded by the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to improve the yield of energy-relevant critical minerals recovered from silicate materials to support the country’s transition towards clean energy.

🪟 German startup Phytonics closed its Series A funding round with an undisclosed “low seven figure” amount. It will use the funds to support the market launch of its PV module 'anti-reflective' coating..

🤝 A collaboration between Corteva Agriscience and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. will see the introduction of proprietary winter canola hybrids that produce plant-based oil with a lower carbon profile, to increase the availability of vegetable oil feedstocks for the growing domestic renewable fuels market.

💡 Good Read: From Yale Environment on what happens next as millions of solar panels age out and reach their functional lifespan?

Transport x Climate

🚗 Struggling EV startup Arrival secured $300 million from Westwood Capital, which it says “extends its runway to late 2023”. It is seeking more funding ahead of starting production of its Class 4 XL van late next year.

🔌 Autel is working with leading Malaysian smart EV charging supplier, ChargeSini EV Charging, to expand into the Asian and Australian markets with new energy vehicles charging solutions for both residential and commercial use.

🔋 Connected Energy has installed two E-STOR battery energy storage systems, made from second life Renault batteries, at a site in Nottingham, UK, creating one of the largest EV fleet charging installations of its kind.

Funds x Climate

💰 Munich-based Rethink Ventures launched a €50 million specialist fund to support Seed to Series A investments in sustainable transport. It has so far invested in three startups: automotive charging platform Deftpower, freight transportation carbon mitigation company Shipzero, and Rydes, a SaaS platform which helps businesses to foster sustainable employee mobility.

🇬🇧 The new UK Budget was announced this week, and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt promised more than $20 billion over the next two decades for carbon capture and sustainable energy projects, including a target for nuclear power to “provide up to one quarter of our electricity by 2050”.

Resources x Climate

🇫🇷 We just launched our list of 70+ French Climate Tech startups building everything from cultivated foie gras to stellarators for fusion energy.

A few observations:

  • Enterprise focussed climate tracking and mitigation tools, along with carbon credits, seems to be the hottest sectors in French climate tech.

  • Agriculture & FoodTech startups here have brought in some of the most funding - with large rounds coming from GOURMEY, Ÿnsect, Umiami and more.

  • Interestingly, many of these startups are graduates from Entrepreneur First, including Neoplants (bioengineered houseplants), CarbonFarm (satellite data for farmers), Fairbrics (synthetic polyester fibre) and Faircraft (lab-grown leather), among others.

Trends x Climate

⛏ From electric car batteries to decarbonised steel for constructing buildings, there’s no question that sustainable metals are vital to a low-carbon future.

  • In order to make the transition to a clean energy future, global production of nearly every base metal (including copper, aluminium, magnesium, nickel, and lead) is expected to increase by 225%–250% in the next 30 years, according to the World Bank. So finding sustainable ways of meeting this demand are urgently needed.

  • Luckily there's a whole host of different companies launching to create new ways of extracting, recycling, and creating enough metal supply to meet our global demands - from deep sea harvesting to AI scouting for undiscovered sources of precious metals.

Read our latest deep dive on the rise of Green Mining & Metals - a market that grew from $8.94BN in 2022 to $9.63BN in 2023 at a CAGR of 7.7%

Events x Climate

Last Call: Launching something new in Climate Tech and looking for your first funding? Apply to pitch at this years HackSummit for a chance to win a $100k investment from us, along with access to the world's leading Climate VCs.

Past winners include: MeliBio ($6M+ raised since), Michroma ($5M+ raised since), Hyfe ($2M+ raised since).

Tweets x Climate

I enjoyed this short video on the magic of mushrooms in sustainable construction.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this weekend is less eventful than the last!

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola.