🙋‍♀️ ClimateHack Vol. 71: 30+ Female Climate Angels

PLUS: Berlin's Smalt raise €4.1M to upskill immigrant workers for the green workforce.

Hey There,

Over the last few years there’s been a rise in prolific female angel investors and GPs who are setting the example for the next generation of investors to follow.

So this week, we profiled 30 women angels in Climate who are closing the gender investment gap and coming from all types of backgrounds - from the exited founders to the full-time GPs writing angel checks on the side.

In Today’s Edition;

🌍 Norrsken22, a Pan-African impact venture capital firm close its debut fund of $205M.
👨‍🏭 Berlin based Smalt raised €4.1M to upskill immigrant workers for the green workforce.
💨 US-based AirLoom Energy came out of stealth with $4M for its nontraditional windpower concept.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Planet A

🦜 German based climate tech VC Planet A Ventures released an extensive map and market data on the current state of the European biodiversity startup ecosystem.

📈 What’s up? President Biden announced $1.3 billion in funding to build three new interstate power lines and upgrade the US electricity grid to clean energy, setting a 2035 deadline to convert the nation to a carbon-pollution free power sector.

📉 What’s down? Danish wind power developer Orsted is cancelling two New Jersey offshore wind projects, citing “significant adverse developments from supply chain challenges, leading to delays in the project schedule, and rising interest rates,” and announced a $4 billion write-down for the first nine months of the year.

🎉 ClimateHack Meetups:
- Last night; We wrapped up our first ever ClimateHack Cape Town meetup where 30 climate enthusiasts hiked around Table Mountain.
- Coming up; ClimateHack Paris on the 21st of November at Station F - free to attend but registration required.

Mitigation x Climate

Image Credits: Torsten Blackwood

🧊 Researchers at the University of California, Irvine secured a grant of $2.8 million from NASA to support a five-year project surveying Antarctica's ice sheet, to help provide the most detailed record yet of the condition of glaciers on the vast southern continent, with a particular focus on the effects of global climate change.

👩‍⚖️ Finnish startup Kausal raised €880,000 seed funding to scale its operations in the DACH region and North America. It provides climate action plan information to support impact assessment of policy measures and decision making for cities and governments.

Fintech x Climate

Image Credits: Twinco Capital

💰 Spanish fintech Twinco Capital secured €50 million from BBVA Spark to support its customers in 'building sustainable and competitive global supply chains', with its sustainable supply chain finance solutions which provide over $250 million in funding to suppliers in emerging markets.

🌾 Agrifintech startup Verqor has raised $7.5 million in funding to connect more farmers with credit via its alternative underwriting process. Verqor’s solution is to bypass traditional loans and offer cashless credits to farmers based on alternative criteria than that used by traditional banks.

🌳 Forest IQ launched this week as a new data platform for financial institutions to build and assess deforestation-free portfolios by easily screen portfolios and engage with the most relevant companies.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Triplebar

🔬 Californian biotech Triplebar raised $20 million Series A funding, in a round led by Synthesis Capital, to expand its tech platform for optimising biomanufacturing. It uses microfluidics and rapid testing, coupled with AI and machine learning, for its ‘hyper-throughput’ screening platform which develops more efficient biomanufacturing platforms.

🌾 Danish bioindustrial startup Bioomix secured €6.3 million to develop all-natural microbial products that can help farmers achieve a higher and better yield and eliminate pesticides, antibiotics, and synthetic fertilisers from their processes.

🐄 BiomEdit received a $4.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop microbiome-based solutions that reduce cattle methane emissions and enhance feed efficiency, with a particular focus on smallholders and pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

🍄 Tupu, based in Berlin, raised $3.2 million in a seed funding round co-led by FoodLabs and Zubi Capital. It combines its patent-pending modular farming tech with bioscience, robotics and artificial intelligence to “redefine mushroom cultivation” and grow mushrooms directly in cities.

🤝 A new platform of industry stakeholders across nine Asia-Pacific countries, the APAC Regulatory Coordination Forum, launched at Singapore International Agri-Food Week to facilitate collaboration to advance the regulatory approval of cultivated meat in the region.

🇸🇬 Singapore is working on a new Food Safety and Security Bill to offer greater clarity on regulatory frameworks for novel foods like cultivated meat and help prevent foodborne illnesses.

As traditional LP sources have slowed, more funds and founders have turned to SPVs to help them to continue to raise and deploy capital in a challenging environment.

In this short guide, we cover the ways in which VCs can use SPVs to grow and the key consideration to have in mind, including:

  • What are SPVs?

  • How does an SPV work?

  • What are the benefits of an SPV?

  • What type of assets SPVs can be used for?

  • What to ask when selecting an SPV provider ?

Learn more about how Funds have been using SPVs to continue to grow and operate in a challenging LP environment.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: SunDrive

☀️ Sydney-based solar technology company SunDrive secured $11 million from the government-backed Australian Renewable Energy Agency to open a pilot production and commercialisation facility for its rooftop solar panels, which could be 20-30% cheaper than existing panels by using copper, rather than silver, in the production process.

👨‍🏭 Berlin based Smalt announced their €4.1 million pre-seed fundraising, led by La Famiglia for their B2B platfrom that helps upskill immigrant workers through specialised training and get them into the green workforce.

💨 AirLoom Energy, based in the US, came out of stealth to close its seed funding round with $4 million. Its nontraditional windpower concept consists of 10-metre wings that travel along a lightweight track, supported by a series of poles that are only 25 metres high, to support flexibility in where they can be built.

💨 French startup WIND my ROOF raised €2 million in a funding round featuring GROUP IDEC INVEST, business angel Antoine Fuentes, EIT InnoEnergy and VINCI Energies. Its tech, WindBox, is a solar and wind hybrid module consisting of a wind turbine developed specifically to capture wind at the edge of the roof, coupled with two solar panels.

👀 Swiss based Netra Power have emerged from stealth with the mission to make the energy transition a reality, by making clean energy installations available to all companies.

💡 Interesting thread: from Nick Van Osdol on the current challenges experienced in the wind energy sector - from bankruptcies to lack of investor interest.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: SkyCell

🛫 Switzerland-based SkyCell secured $57 million, at a valuation of $600 million, from M&G's Catalyst Fund. It will use the funds to expand its temperature-controlled container solutions, which help reduce the use of air cargo in pharmaceutical transport.

🤝 Ford is acquiring Californian startup Auto Motive Power, which operates as an energy management solutions provider for e-mobility, to “bolster its charging, battery management and power conversion tech”.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Cambrium

🧬 Berlin-based synbio startup Cambrium raised €8 million seed funding from international investors to expand its sustainable designer proteins operations, including scaling its proof of concept product, a custom derivative of collagen called NovaColl.

🎋 Fibmold, based in Mumbai, secured $10 million in a funding round led by Omnivore and Accel. It makes sustainable, moulded fibre packaging products, made from natural fibres like bamboo, bagasse, husk, wheat straw, and waste paper, that mimic the functionality of rigid plastics. 

🧑‍🏭 Germany’s TVARIT raised €6.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Momentum. It will use the funds to scale its AI-powered solutions which help metal manufacturers to reduce waste, energy consumption, and GHG emissions.

🌱 US plant-based material science company Algenesis secured $5 million seed funding to expand production and further accelerate commercialisation of its Soleic PU, a plastic biomaterial made from plants and algae.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Norrsken22

🌍 Norrsken22, a Pan-African venture capital firm, achieves the final close of its debut fund, raising a total of $205 million, surpassing its initial target. The fund aims to bridge the gap from growth to late-stage investments - with a focus on fintech, edtech, medtech [health tech], and market-enabling solutions that deliver strong returns and have a positive impact across Africa.

👀 2100 Ventures is a newly launched €30M early-stage fund to back European B2B businesses across three core themes: Fintech & data, SaaS and Climate Tech.

🇸🇬 Singaporean agrifood investor VisVires New Protein rebranded to Clay Capital and closed its second fund with $145 million. It will use the funds to support companies across Asia, Israel and Europe which are “applying technology to remedy fundamental problems in the food system”.

🤝 Sydney-based VC fund Investible is partnering with Mandiri Capital Indonesia to launch a new global climate tech fund, which will support startups in the Southeast Asia and Oceania regions and beyond.

Trends x Climate: Smart Grid Innovation

⚡️ The Brief;
- The What: Smart grids are electricity networks that use digital technologies, sensors and software to better match the supply and demand of electricity in real time while minimising costs and maintaining the stability and reliability of the grid.
- The Driver: Power networks are under more strain than ever, with the move towards clean energy increasing demand. Smart grid technologies can help to manage this transition while reducing the need for costly new grid infrastructure, and reduce the frequency of cuts, surges and other costly problems.
- The Market: In 2021, the global smart grid market size was valued at $43.1BN. Analysts expect it to reach $206.25BN by 2030.

🤔 Who; There are 20 companies globally working on Smart Grid Innovation, including
- UK-based SNRG who offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for smart grid solutions that includes grid connections, distribution networks, solar PV panels, batteries, heat pumps and community EV charging.
- Norweigan based Enode who developed an API that allows companies to connect users’ energy devices (think EVs, solar inverters, home batteries and thermostats) to their apps.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of Smart Grid Innovation and the 20 companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Felix Winckler of White Star Capital and Alison Imbert from Partech Partners in our latest climate deep dive.

Tweets x Climate

🏭 For all your hardware-loving geeks out there - this thread is awesome:

Bonus: This meme highlights how we’re all feeling on November zoom calls.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola