🌊 ClimateHack Vol. 72: How Oceans help absorb carbon

PLUS: German-Brazilian startup InPlanet raise €5.6M for enhanced rock weathering.

Hey There,

Today only 2.2% of venture capital goes to all-female founder teams, and it’s not much better when you look at the recent numbers in climate tech where women founders have received just 6.9% of venture dollars in Q1 2023 (down from 8.9% highs in 2022).

But there are female founders who have bucked the trend - like Siyu Huang, Founder and CEO at Factorial Energy who’s raised $240M to date to build out high performance batteries, and Magi Richani, Founder and CEO at Nobell Foods who’s raised $75M to create sustainable dairy alternatives.

So this week we spotlight the women leaders in climate that have raised large rounds in our roundup of 15 Female Led Series B+ climate startups in the US.

In Today’s Edition;

🪨 German-Brazilian startup InPlanet raise a €5.6M Seed round for enhanced rock weathering.
📱 Vienna-based Refurbed raised $57M to further expand its marketplace for refurbished electronics.
👷‍♂️ San Francisco-based and YC-backed Coperniq raised $4M for it's SAAS solar platform.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Sean Dietrich

👀 Sean Dietrich shared his map of the most active European climate-focused VCs of 2023.

💡 Yoann Berno, of Climate Insiders, shares his top ten tips to help climate founders scale their business.

🌳 Simon Berthoud explains why climate change is not the main source of biodiversity loss.

🌎 Rumbo Ventures showcases 140+ companies in LatAm building sustainable solutions to climate change.

Upcoming ClimateHack Meetups:
- 🇫🇷 ClimateHack Paris on the 21st of November at Station F - free to attend, register here.
- 🇺🇸 ClimateHack New York on the 30th of November - with Trinity Capital, Alumni Ventures and SOSV - free to attend, register here.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: InPlanet

🪨 German-Brazilian startup InPlanet raised an oversubscribed seed funding round, bringing its total raised to date to €5.6 million, to “become the leading Enhanced Rock Weathering company in the tropics”.

💨 Researchers at the University of Oklahoma received nearly $1.5 million from the US Department of Energy to investigate the mechanisms involved in CO2 fixation, a critical research area for mitigating the levels of atmospheric carbon that contribute to global climate warming.

🏭 Occidental and BlackRock have formed a joint venture to invest $550 million in the development of STRATOS, the world's largest Direct Air Capture facility, based in Texas.

🚜 Good watch: Here’s why farmers are sprinkling volcanic dust in their fields.

Fintech x Climate

Image Credits: Goodvest

💸 French climate-friendly savings fintech Goodvest raised €10 million in a funding round led by Ring Capital to support its mission to “decarbonize the savings of the French” with its environment-focused life insurance and investment products.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Triplebar

🌾 Talus Renewables, based in New York, raised $22 million Series A funding to accelerate production of its green ammonia technology, which uses water, air, and renewable power to create sustainable fertiliser.

🥕 UK-based Letoon Holding secured £20 million in a growth equity commitment from Nimbus Capital as it prepares for a London IPO. The vegetable waste firm has developed a way to use ultrasonic technology to extract nutrients from plants and vegetables, which then have applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.

🍕 Italian startup Dreamfarm secured €5 million pre-seed funding to develop the perfect vegan mozzarella. Its clean-label plant-based mozzarella is made using a base of fermented almonds and comes traditionally packaged as a ball suspended in liquid.

🥛 French startup Nūmi, which makes breast milk from cell-cultured mammary glands, raised €3 million pre-seed funding as it gears up to file for regulatory approval in the US, followed by Europe and Asia.

🗑 Dublin-based Positive Carbon raised €2.3 million, in a round led by Business Venture Partners’ EIIS Fund, for its fully automated platform which uses high-tech sensors to track, trace and ultimately eliminate food waste.

🐛 Lithuanian insect producer Divaks is partnering with Swiss technology group Bühler to build its first commercial-scale yellow mealworm plant, which will produce protein for use in sectors including meat alternatives, sports nutrition, snacks, confectionery, and premium pet food.

Water x Climate

Image Credits: Oneka Technologies

🌊 Canadian startup Oneka Technologies has developed floating ocean desalination machines that harness wave motion to power a membrane-based filtration process. They are operational in waves as low as one metre to produce up to 49,000 litres of fresh water per day.

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: Hello Watt

📊 Paris-based Hello Watt raised €12 million from BNP Paribas and Starquest Capital for its platform which helps individuals to save money on energy. It will use the funds to accelerate its development strategy in France and Europe over the next 12 months.

👷‍♂️ San Francisco-based Coperniq raised $4 million seed funding for its software platform, designed to automate the entire solar workflow so contractors can focus on growing their business and helping more homeowners switch to solar energy.

☀️ Parisian startup Ensol secured €3 million from Otium Capital. It provides competitively-priced custom-made photovoltaic installations, helping households choose the best sizes and solar equipment for their needs and ensuring they get the maximum return on their investment.

🌡 London-based home energy management startup Boldr raised $1.2 million. It retrofits home heating and cooling systems of any make with energy-saving products that can be managed by its software platform.

💨 UK Export Finance has agreed to support Taiwan’s largest offshore wind project to date with its largest ever project financing guarantee for renewables, equivalent to £380 million.

⚡️ Spanish smart grid data platform Adaion has raised €2.6m for their solution that integrates data from sensorization and network topology into a unified model for increased voltage visibility for distributors.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: BasiGo

🚌 Kenya-based BasiGo has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to expand operations in Rwanda, directly supporting its electric bus pilot with Kigali’s leading bus operators and enabling rapid scaling of e-buses in the country.

🛩 Virgin Atlantic’s VS100 flight is scheduled for take-off on 28th November, and will be the world’s first transatlantic 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel flight, aimed at demonstrating the viability of SAF as a sustainable alternative to conventional jet fuel. 

🚕 Electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle startup Archer Aviation is joining forces with Indian travel and hospitality conglomerate InterGlobe Enterprises to launch an all-electric air taxi service in the country in 2026.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Refurbed

📱 Vienna-based Refurbed raised $57 million Series C funding to further expand its marketplace for refurbished electronics, having reached the milestone of selling over €1 billion in merchandise in June of this year.

📦 Estonia's RAIKU, which produces compostable packaging to substitute single-use plastic packaging, secured a €5.65 million grant from the European Innovation Council and €3.15 million in investments from private sector investors to scale its bubblewrap replacement made from wooden springs.

🧲 Finnish startup SpinDrive secured €3.8 million Series A funding to provide active magnetic bearings for original equipment manufacturers which are frictionless, smaller, more energy efficient, and more affordable than its competitors’.

🥤 New plastic reduction platform Phantm raised $2 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round. Its aim is to provide an independent pathway for businesses seeking to reduce their plastic footprint through making informed packaging and product decisions and accelerate the adoption of natural materials.

⛏ A team of researchers from China’s Shenyang University of Chemical Technology has developed a more sustainable production method for magnesium, a key material in the green revolution.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Acton Capttal

🇩🇪 Munich-based Acton Capital closed its largest fund to date at €225 million, with which it will support growth-stage startups across Europe and Canada with proven business models.

🇪🇸 New $30 million VC fund Yellow, founded by Glovo founders Oscar Pierre and Sacha Michaud and former Atomico investor Adam Lasri, launched to support pre-seed startups based across Southern Europe, in particular Spain, Italy and Portugal.

🇬🇧 British climate tech investment firm Sustainable Ventures secured £3 million, in a round led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, to expand from London to Manchester next year, with later plans for a “number of sites in the UK”.

Trends x Climate: Ocean Based CDR

🌊 The Brief;
- The What: There’s been a ton of focus on atmospheric (aka land-based) CDR in recent years - but that’s been at the expense of the planet’s biggest inbuilt carbon sink: the ocean.
- The How: Oceans are vital for absorbing carbon dioxide, and have the potential to remove more than 10Gt/year of CO2. Accurate measurement, reporting and verification solutions will be crucial in delivering and scaling up ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategies.
- The Market: The marine-based CDR removal market was valued at $480.3M last year, and is expected to grow to reach $2,083.4 million by 2031.

🤔 Who; There are 16 companies globally working on Ocean Based CDR, including
- US-based Ebb carbon who's raised $23M to date and founded by former Tesla, SolarCity, and Google X execs
- UK based Brilliant Planet who have raised $12M to date to develop a low-cost method of carbon capture by taking seawater and mimicking algal blooms in open-air saltwater ponds in the desert.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of Ocean Based CDR and the 16 companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Adrian Bührer from Ubermorgen Ventures, Florian Schabus from Planet A Ventures, Ashley Lin from Pronoe and Roberta Franchi from Counteract latest climate deep dive.

Tweets x Climate

😍 We’re in awe:

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola