💨 ClimateHack Vol. 63: Carbon Captures Strong Quarter

PLUS: These 12 companies received $7M from Stripe's Frontier

Hey There,

Love it or hate it, carbon capture, storage and removal has been having a great quarter - here’s a few highlights from the last 3 months:

  • Carbo Culture opened one of Europe’s largest biochar plants.

  • Running Tide accomplishes “first-ever” open ocean carbon removal.

  • Isometric raised $25M for "high-quality, long-duration" carbon credits.

  • Occidental purchase carbon air capture tech firm for $1.1 billion

  • The US Department of Energy giving $1.2 billion to carbon removal.

And just this week Stripe’s Frontier announced their latest $7M purchase from 12 carbon removal companies, Heirloom and Microsoft signed one of the largest permanent CO2 removals deals, and 2 new startups (Spiritus and Vaulted Deep) launch out of stealth with a joint $19M in funding.

Phew 💨

It seems that despite the controversy around the sector (see Al Gore’s Ted talk) carbon capture is very much here to stay - with the the global CSS market expected to reach USD 5.61 billion by 2023, and the global carbon credit market expected to reach US$2.68 trillion by 2028.

So in typical ClimateHack fashion, lets put an age old debate up to a poll:

What's your opinion on carbon capture & storage as as a climate solution?

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Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Spiritus

👀 New US-based startup Spiritus came out of stealth this week to announce an $11 million funding raise led by Khosla Ventures. Spiritus has developed and scaled a new direct air capture technology that mimics the architecture of a human lung, using a material that absorbs carbon dioxide passively.

🪨 Vaulted Deep came out of stealth with an $8M seed round led by Lowercarbon Capital for their geologic sequestration of organic waste for permanent carbon removal.

🔎 London-based climate fintech Opna secured $6.5 million seed funding for its platform which connects corporates with carbon projects searching for financing, in a bid to “rebuild trust” in voluntary carbon markets. Here’s the deck they used.

🤝 Heirloom and Microsoft have signed one of the largest permanent CO2 removals deals to date, which, notably, is also bankable. Microsoft is set to purchase up to 315,000 metric tons of CO2 removal over a multi-year period from Heirloom, which harnesses the natural properties of limestone to remove CO2 from the atmosphere

🌊 Seafields, a carbon removal startup based in the UK, completed the world’s first seaweed biomass sinking trials for carbon removal to test the impact on the surrounding environment. It’s anticipated that the bales of seaweed will be able to lock away carbon for “millennia” as they sink to the bottom of the sea floor.

🏢 New research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, states that “dozens” of European cities could achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the next decade by including green solutions, such as parks, streetscaping, and roof gardens, into their infrastructure.

💸 Frontier, owned by payment processing firm Stripe, says it has facilitated the purchase of $7 million in carbon removal from a dozen new companies.

Food x Climate

Image Credits: Phycom

🌿 Netherlands-based Phycom secured €9 million from key partners to scale production of its microalgae to an industrial level, for use in alternative protein products.

🥛 A research consortium led by Finnish company Solar Foods has been selected by the European Innovation Council’s Pathfinder Challenge 2022 to receive €5.5 million investment for its project to produce sustainable milk protein from CO2 and electricity.

🥩 Israel’s Steakholder Foods unveiled its proprietary Light CAD Editor, a new software designed to enable its clients to create, test, and optimise 3D models and fibrous textures for its 3D bioprinters.

🧫 Dutch cultivated meat pioneer Mosa Meat has become the first cultivated meat company in the world to attain B Corp certification, and confirmed that it’s planning to apply for regulatory approval in various countries across the world.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Sunfire

🏭 Germany's Sunfire which produces large-scale electrolyzers secured €169 million in grant funding from the IPCEI “Important Projects of Common European Interest” which will be used to establish the first industrial series production of its electrolysis technologies.

🔆 Ambient Photonics secured $30 million, in a Series A2 funding round led by Fine Structure Ventures, for its proprietary low-light energy harvesting technology, designed to replace disposable batteries in connected devices.

⛽️ Berlin-based switchgear firm Nuventura raised €25 million Series A funding. It provides SF6-free, medium-voltage gas-insulated switchgear technologies to support the transition away from SF6, or Sulphur hexafluoride, the world's strongest greenhouse gas.

☀️ Okra Solar, based in Australia, secured $12 million Series A funding to bring solar power to grids in developing areas. Its mesh-based solar solution re-apportions excess energy based on proximity, prioritising neighbouring homes rather than redirecting energy to a centralised area to increase efficiency while decreasing cost.

🔎 German climate tech Ostrom raised $8 million in a funding round led by SE Ventures. Its tech is designed to help consumers to switch, track, and reduce their electricity consumption through its seamless, multilingual energy management platform.

📊 Also in Germany, battery analytics pioneer volytica diagnostics raised €5.5 million in a round led by SHIFT Invest and EnBW New Ventures. It will use the funds to scale its operations, refine its technology, and expand into global markets.

🌊 Scottish startup Mocean Energy received £3.2 million in EU funding to deploy its technology, which harnesses the energy of waves, offshore in Orkney. Its Blue Horizon 250 (kW) machine will be connected to the grid via the European Marine Energy Centre and tested for 12 months.

💡 Good Read: Check out Ben James’ guide to the four batteries most relevant to the energy transition.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Lydian

🛩 US-based Lydian secured $12 million seed funding to produce power-to-liquids fuels designed to decarbonise air travel. Its tech involves using electric heat and a catalytic cell to produce jet fuel using fewer inputs and less energy than conventional methods.

⚡️ Germany’s e-mobilio raised €9.5 million Series A funding to expand its electric vehicle recommendation and purchasing platform, which helps drivers to make the switch to electric mobility, into more European markets.

🔌 Estonian startup VOOL secured €1.3 million seed funding and received a €1.6 million grant from the Estonian government to scale its smart EV charging system, which it claims uses the existing grid three times more efficiently than average thanks to its “three-phase” technology.

💰 Several UK projects, including Dolphin N2’s hydrogen tractors and Wrightbus’ hydrogen buses, plus self-driving cars and automotive sensors, are set to collectively receive over £50 million of government grant funding.

🔋 Allye, based in London, is repurposing batteries from crashed Teslas and other electric vehicles to offer cheaper energy to households. It plans to install them in homes, apartment blocks and on streets, so consumers could use them to store energy from the grid when it is cheapest and use it when needed.

Materials x Climate

Image Credits: Paptic

🪵 Finnish wood-fibre based packaging materials manufacturer Paptic secured €23 million, in a round led by Ecolab and European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, to accelerate its international expansion plans.

💼 UK researchers have developed a “self-healing” vegan leather using the mycelium of a medicinal mushroom from Asia. The leather has dormant fungal spores that the researchers claim can regrow and repair damaged areas such as scratches and holes.

Biodiversity x Climate

Image Credits: Simon Stirrup/Alamy

🦅 The UK House of Lords is debating mandating swift bricks in new homes this week. These hollow bricks are described as an ‘easy win’ to help several endangered species and halt wildlife decline.

📊 Cool infographic: Josef Seidl explains where the Fortune Global 500 companies stand on nature.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Founders Future

🇫🇷 French VC Founders Future raised €80 million at the first close of its new €150 million fund, with which it will invest in seed and post-Series A AI, circular economy and climate tech startups across Europe.

🇪🇺 EIT InnoEnergy secured over €140 million in a private placement round to support early-stage innovative technologies and teams in the sustainable energy sector. Its portfolio companies are currently on track to generate €110 billion in revenue and save 2.1G tonnes of CO2e cumulatively by 2030.

🇩🇪 Berlin-based VC World Fund secured another €50 million to support climate tech startups. Most recently, it co-led Scottish mycoprotein biotech Enough’s €40 million growth funding round.

🙋‍♀️ New, female-founded VC fund Unconventional Ventures reached the “half-way” close of its targeted €30 million fund, with which it will invest solely in climate-focused companies with diverse founding teams and startups. Its portfolio so far features startups such as Ocean Oasis, which is developing sustainable desalination using wave energy.

🌍 The Catalyst Fund secured $8.6 million at the first close of its $40 million fund to support climate tech startups in Africa, including agtechs, insurtechs, climate fintechs and startups in fishery management, food systems, cold chain, waste management and water management.

💸 Antler secured €50 million at the first close of its second Nordic fund, which has a target size of €150 million. It will use the funds to support early-stage climate tech startups in the region.

🇮🇱 Israeli food giant Strauss Group’s food tech incubator and investment arm, The Kitchen Hub, is raising a $70 million fund and launching The Kitchen Labs, a new innovation centre for startups with the support of the Israeli Innovation Authority.

Trends x Climate: Cooling technology

🧊 What; Keeping food and medicines cool during their production, storage and distribution requires huge amounts of electricity and releases toxic greenhouse gases. So startups are rising to the challenge of modernising, retrofitting and leveraging new technologies for more sustainable alternatives in the cold supply chain.

📈 The Brief;
- Cause: Cooling is a huge challenge - it’s the second largest contributor to growth in electricity demand, and is reliant on gases that are terrible for the atmosphere and for people. But cold storage and refrigeration are essential for preserving food and pharmaceuticals.
- Effect: During hot weather, refrigeration facilities have to work at max capacity and require more maintenance. With the world heating up at terrifying speed, cold chain operators’ jobs are getting harder.
- Valuation: The global cold storage market size reached $119.8BN in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% from 2023 to 2030.

🤔 Who; There are over 25+ companies globally working on improved cooling solutions - some of the notable players include Artyc who design and manufacture electro-magnetic containers that run by reusable batteries to replace one-off packaging and SnoFox the US startup that's raised $5.7M for their business intelligence tool that provides data analytics for the global cold chain.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of cooling solutions, the 25+ companies working in this space and the expert insights from AENU, Mudcake and Pale Blue Dot in our latest climate deep dive.

Memes x Climate

🛑 Extantia’s Yair Reem and Zero Carbon Capital’s Alex Gawley shared their top 5 cap table mistakes they see climate startups make, and how to avoid or fix them.

p.s. dealing with a messy cap table? We’ve helped 50+ startups this year with their cap table tidy ups through HackCapital - wether it’s for a round you’re currently putting together, or for a retroactive roll-up from a previous round - reach out to see if we can be of help ([email protected]).

Thanks for reading and have a great end to your week,

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola.