⛴ ClimateHack Vol. 47: Engineering Moonshots

PLUS: Resurrect Bio's £1.6M seed for gene-edited super crops

Hey There,

I'm writing today's edition from a ferry between Genoa to Palermo.

Here, sustainability is definitely not top of mind as we all boarded one huge gas guzzling boat loaded with hundreds of gas guzzling cars, vans and trucks, everything is served in single use plastic, vegan options are limited, and the amount of waste bags filled in the first 12 hours into this journey is pretty mind boggling.

But seeing the engineering that goes into building a massive floating metal machine that can carry hundreds of people and vehicles, navigating choppy waters while offering an onsite casino, games room, two restaurants, and mini-shopping mall makes me hopeful that building a stellarator to produce nuclear fusion (e.g. like what Renaissance Fusion are working on) or making massive fans and filters that convert CO₂ into rocks (e.g. like the ones from Climeworks) or any of the other climate-technology that today seems like a faraway moonshots, is not a matter of if, but when. 

In today's edition:🌾 Resurrect Bio's £1.6M seed for gene-edited super crops.🏗 Tangibl's $3 million seed for low-carbon construction materials🔎 UK's Pledge bring in a further £8M for 'decarbonisation software'

Digest x Climate

🔮 HackSummit Recap: a week since the Summit passed, and attendees have been filling our feed with insights from the summit. Here's some great takeaways from the event including; Carbon13's top #climatetech insights, Jessica Burley of Planet A on the state of Nature-based Solutions (NbS), Mohammad Khalil El Hajj of Bright Biotech on Molecular Farming, Indy Kaur's photo's on what's new in foodtech, Christina Nesheva's of Officinae Bio on biotech observations, Camila Ferraz from Google on top takeaways from AI to Biodiversity and Daniel Skaven Ruben on why you absolutely should be feeling the fomo if you missed out this year (don't worry, there's always 2024!). 

📈  Here’s an interesting take on climate tech funding for 2023 from Goodwin Procter. Also, the reasons why 2023 is finally the year of the sustainability pivot, by Sustainable Brands.

👀 Yair Reem of Extantia Capital put out a great post on the reality of cap tables and their impact on future fundraising rounds. 

Carbon x Climate

🔎 Tech-powered climate action platform Cloverly secured $19 million Series A funding in a round led by Grotech Ventures. It will use the funds to further develop its digital infrastructure for the voluntary carbon markets.

📊 UK-based Pledge raised £8 million Series A funding to develop its decarbonisation software, which helps supply chain and logistics businesses to reduce their emissions and meet their climate goals.

📏 Carbonhound, based in Canada, secured CAD 1.3 million pre-seed funding for its turnkey platform which helps SMEs measure and reduce their environmental impact. 

🌿 Seafields, headquartered in the UK, is partnering with MacroCarbon to co-develop and accelerate the intellectual property needed to cultivate and harvest Sargassum seaweed in the Atlantic Ocean that it says will remove billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

💨 Frontier announced a commitment to pay Charm Industrial $53 million to remove 112,000 tons of CO2 between 2024 and 2030. Charm sequesters CO2 underground by gathering excess organic material, such as corn stover, the bits leftover in the field after corn harvest, and converting it into a bio-oil to be pumped into abandoned oil and gas wells.

🌳 Climate risk startup Mitiga Solutions, based in Barcelona, raised €13.25 million Series A funding to pioneer AI-driven climate risk modelling, which provides companies with essential tools to assess, measure, and report climate hazard-associated risks, and aims to prevent natural hazards from escalating into disasters..

Food x Climate

🧬 Pairwise’s first gene-edited greens, a blend of purple and green mustard greens under the brand name Conscious Greens, have officially launched into US foodservice, marking the first food product launched in the US to be developed with CRISPR technology.

🌾 UK-based Resurrect Bio closed a £1.61 million seed round. It uses gene editing to strengthen crop immune systems and make them more resistant to disease, and will use the funds to further develop its underlying disease resistance trait-discovery platform.

🍃 Proofminder, based in Hungary, secured €400,000 from Impact Ventures. Its leaf-level farming platform is designed to offer micro-level actionable insights on every leaf and plant, providing growers with the information they need to improve their yield with fewer resources.

👨‍🌾 Nairobi-based Amini raised $2 million pre-seed funding in a round led by Pale Blue Dot. It’s focused on solving Africa’s environmental data scarcity through AI and satellite technology, to help farmers and other stakeholders understand the impact of climate change.

💸 EIT Food announced two new investments this week. Israeli startup MEALA received €400,000 to develop functional ingredients from plant-based proteins, and French startup Green Spot Technologies received €500,000 to transform plant-based side streams into highly nutritious ingredients with its fermentation platform.

🧫 Impact investor Lever VC has released its internal playbook for benchmarking the scientific progress of cultivated meat and cell-based dairy startups, designed to support investors’ due diligence with technical expertise.

🤝 ADM is partnering with Air Protein to commercialise food products made out of thin air. The strategic agreement includes a jointly built and operated commercial-scale Air Protein plant that will “support a secure and sustainable food system for the future”.

Energy x Climate

🌡 US-based Kelvin, formerly Radiator Labs, secured $30 million Series A funding to expand beyond smart radiator covers, which solve steam radiator night sweats, into offering heat pumps “later this year”.

🏡 Heat pump systems startup Quilt raised $9 million seed funding to reduce home-based fossil fuel dependency. Its electric heat pump system for residential use features integrated AI to identify heating and cooling patterns and optimise efficiency, leading to long-term cost and emissions savings.

Materials x Climate

🧶 Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute secured a $100,000 grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute to combine waste wool from farms in New York State with hemp and artificial spider silk to produce a superior yarn with widespread applications while providing a new profit source for farmers.

🪵 Metsä Board is joining forces with Finnish circular economy company Soilfood to recycle wood fibre nutrients and boost soil quality. The wood-based soil improvement fibres made from side streams at Metsä Board’s cardboard mills are stored in the soil, improving its water retention as they reduce the run-off of phosphorus from fields by up to 50%. 

🎨 A British father and son team have developed a highly effective cooling paint, which can reduce surface temperature by up to 7 °C more than a standard cooling paint available in the market.

🦠 Australian recycling startup Samsara Eco, which uses enzyme-based tech to recycle plastics, textiles and other materials countless number of times, is partnering with Lululemon to create what they describe as the world’s first infinitely recycled nylon 6,6 and polyester from apparel waste.

Transport x Climate

🛩 Cosmic Aerospace, based in Denver, is working on building an emission-free electric plane with real range - i.e. it can fly for just over 600 miles, thanks to better propulsion systems and a unique air frame design.

Construction x Climate

🏗 Lafarge Canada secured $5 million from the CleanBC Industry Fund to further develop its carbon utilisation technology in cement production, which will capture CO2 from the plant's manufacturing facility and use it to produce synthetic fuels and alternative binders in cement.

🧱 San Francisco-based Tangible secured $3 million seed funding in a round led by Foundamental and Fifty Years. Its platform has been designed to support sustainability and development managers who use it as a tool to source low-carbon construction materials and demonstrate the changes being made on the ground.

Memes x Climate

The state of fundraising in 2023.

Thanks for reading and sorry for any typos or formatting issues this week, the wifi out in the ocean is stable at best.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola