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  • 🇺🇸 ClimateHack Vol. 77: Ara Partners close $3B industrial decarbonization fund

🇺🇸 ClimateHack Vol. 77: Ara Partners close $3B industrial decarbonization fund

PLUS: Switzerlands' Metafuels secures $8 million for sustainable aviation fuel.

Hi There,

Over the last year, our team have written 44 weekly reports deep diving into a sub-sector of climate tech: from nuclear fusion to enhanced rock weathering, heat pumps to biodiversity credits.

These reports first started as an executive summary for ourselves to quickly learn about (and meet with) the different areas of climate tech.

Today, each weekly report is packed with:

  • A list of all companies per domain.

  • Key opportunties and risks in the market.

  • Case studies on the most promising solutions.

  • Expert opinions from sector-specific founders and funders.

+500 investors (including tier 1 firms) read our reports each week to help them write their investment memos and spot new opportunties.

If you want to give someone the gift of climate tech knowledge next year - consider getting them a membership to HackTrends.

In Today’s Edition;

🏗 Berlins ecoworks raised €40 million to offer modular, climate-neutral insulation facades.
🛩 Switzerland-based Metafuels secured $8 million to produce their sustainable aviation fuel.
🇺🇸 US-Irish Ara Partners raised $3 billion in capital commitments for their industrial decarbonisation fund.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Catalyst Fund

🌍 Good Read: Catalyst Fund and Africa: The Big Deal have published a report packed with essential insights to understand the state of climate tech and venture investing on the continent. 

📕 Good Reads: Nathan Paumier shares his list of 12 books every climate innovator should read. A New Year’s Resolution, perhaps?

💡 Google is running the Startups for Sustainable Development program and looking to scale its support to more startups with innovative technology and SDGs focus. Learn more any apply to the program here.

📈 What’s up? Data from the University of Münster shows that China is outperforming Europe and the US in battery recycling.

📉 What’s down? The German government is set to slash subsidies for green energy and construction, as well as transport spending, cutting funding to the country’s climate and transformation fund by €12 billion in 2024.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Tacto

🔎 Tacto, based in Germany, secured €50 million for its AI-based operating system, which ensures ESG compliant and sustainable supply chains and enables efficient material sourcing.

🌾 Tallinn-based Arbonics closed its seed funding round with €5.5 million from NordicNinja, Plural and Tilia Impact Ventures. Its platform combines 30+ layers of data, including on-the-ground sensors, soil readings and satellite imagery, with in-house ecology and forestry expertise, to calculate the carbon removal potential of land in European countries.

🧊 Germany’s NeoCarbon, raised €3.2 million in a seed funding round led by RAISE Seed For Good to remove carbon from the air using industrial cooling towers. It will use the funds to accelerate the rollout of its proprietary reactor technology units to customer sites.

Construction x Climate

Image Credits: ecoworks

🏗 Berlin-based ecoworks closed one of the largest Series A rounds to date in the global construction technology sector with €40 million. It offers modular, climate-neutral insulation facades for the housing industry, which reduce heat loss and incorporate the necessary pipework and cables to deliver new heating services powered by clean energy.

⚡️ 4QT Holding AG, based in Zurich, raised CHF1.9 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Unruly Capital. It is on a mission to electrify the world's 20+ million heavy-duty machines for the construction industry, which emit 3.2 Giga tons of CO2, more than all of India.

Finance x Climate

Image Credits: Ecobase / Unsplash

💸 Estonia’s Ecobase secured €2.5 million seed funding to “unlock carbon finance for European landowners” by scaling its pan-European afforestation/reforestation program in degraded and abandoned areas.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Spore Bio

🧬 Spore Bio raised €8 million pre-seed funding for the “world’s first” device that uses AI to detect bacteria in food, drink, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products faster, reducing sampling times from 20 days to only minutes and working directly on the factory floor.

🥬 Seasony secured €1.5 million to “revolutionise indoor farming through advanced robotics”. Its flagship mobile robot, Watney, automates farming tasks like planting seeds and harvesting in vertical farms, to optimise efficiency and productivity.

🥛 German startup Senara came out of stealth and claims to be the first cultivated milk company in Europe. It sources cells from milk itself, rather from cows, so does not have to separate its protein from biomass, making its process more efficient than cultivated meat production.

💰 The European Union has committed €50 million over the next year to aid startups and small businesses in scaling alternative protein production through its European Innovation Council Work Programme 2024, with a particular focus on technologies such as precision fermentation.

🌳 The UK government has introduced new legislation to ban supermarkets from selling goods linked to illegal deforestation, potentially affecting products made with palm oil, cocoa, beef, leather and soy.

🧫 Food Standards Australia New Zealand has concluded that Australian cultivated meat startup Vow’s cultivated quail is safe to eat, bringing it a step closer to receiving novel foods approval to produce and sell in both countries.

Think it’s too late to tidy up a messy cap table? Think again.

KAPITAL's retroactive roll-ups enable founders to roll-up prior investors through a single vehicle even after the round has closed.

  • One vehicle to roll-up an unlimited number of early investors as a single line on the cap table.

  • Appoint a single proxy to represent the voting rights of all the underlying investors.

  • Fully digitised end-to-end process with no trip to the post office required.

Schedule a demo today to see how Kapital’s SPV solutions can help ensure a smooth closing in your past or future funding rounds.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Quaise Energy / The Engine

🌎 US startup Quaise Energy secured $25 million to bolster its geothermal drilling efforts. Its gyrotron-powered drilling platform vaporises boreholes through rock and provides access to deep geothermal heat without complex downhole equipment.

🔋 Fourth Power, based in the US, raised $19 million Series A funding to build a prototype system for its grid-scale thermal battery storage technology, scheduled to be ready in 2026.

🔌 Switzerland’s PLAN-B NET ZERO raised €9.2 million Series A funding to develop and implement sustainable energy solutions, promote renewable energy worldwide, and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

🏭 Swedish company Enerpoly has been awarded an $8.4 million three-year grant from the Swedish Energy Agency to build the world's first mega factory for zinc-ion batteries, with a final capacity throughput of 100 MWh annually.

🧑‍🏭 Berlin-based montamo secured €2.1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Project A Ventures. With its specialised training centres and digital solutions, its aim is to address the lack of skilled workers needed for the green energy transition.

🌡 Labatt Breweries of Canada is investing CAD 6 million in a new heat recovery system, which will convert previously unused heat expelled from its refrigeration systems and use it within the pasteurisation process in brewing, reducing energy consumption and helping to decarbonise the brewing process.

💰 French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies has acquired three startups to boost its Electrical Business operations. Predictive Layer uses AI to forecast energy prices, while NASH Renewables offers a SaaS platfor m to design and optimise renewables projects and Dsflow’s SaaS product helps B2B customers to pilot their electricity assets.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Vammo

🏍 São Paulo-based startup Vammo raised $30 million Series A funding to scale electric motorcycle battery swapping in Latin America. It offers an e-motorcycle subscription that comes with unlimited access to battery swapping stations, and has already clocked up more than 150,000 battery exchanges in under a year.

🛢 Ithaca Energy, based in New York, closed its Series A funding round with $20 million. It produces sustainable aviation fuel from carbon dioxide emissions and water, and will use the funds to ramp up its production. 

🛩 Switzerland-based Metafuels secured $8 million to produce sustainable aviation fuel using renewable electricity, and is aiming to produce a viable 100% synthetic jet fuel substitute by 2030.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: METCYCLE

⛏ German scrap metal trading platform METCYCLE raised $5 million to expand its operations and meet growing demand for recycling raw materials, including aluminium used in electric vehicles and lithium used for batteries.

🥤 Netherlands-based RTI Blockchain raised €2.5 million from investors including Borski Fund to scale its platform, which helps companies manage reusable packaging items in the logistics sector.

🐑 Woola, based in Estonia, raised €2.5 million to scale production of its protective wool packaging, designed as a sustainable alternative to plastic bubble wrap.

👕 Turkish startup Myth AI secured $1.3 million seed funding to combat fashion industry waste. Its AI-powered technology generates textile patterns to help reduce waste and create a more sustainable design and production process.

♻️ Sweden’s FineCell closed a €1 million seed funding round led by Metsä Spring to scale its patent-protected technology which converts dry pulp fibre into CellOx, a biobased material that FineCell claims requires between 80% and 90% less energy to manufacture.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Ara Partners

🤑 Ara Partners announced over $3 billion in capital commitments to support decarbonising sectors including chemicals and materials, energy efficiency and green fuels, and food and agriculture. 

🇺🇸 BoxGroup, based in the US, secured $425 million in capital commitments across two new funds - BoxGroup Six, a pre-seed and seed-stage fund, and BoxGroup Picks, its third opportunity fund - which will invest across consumer enterprise, healthcare, financial, biotech and climate.

🇺🇸 Early-stage VC Playground Global closed its Fund III with $410 million to invest in deep tech and science companies working across computing, automation, infrastructure, logistics, decarbonisation and engineered biology.

🇫🇷 Paris-based VC Singular raised €400 million for its second fund, with which it will support European startups at Series A stage or beyond. It invests across a wide array of sectors, but has previously supported material science company Fairmat, which recycles carbon fiber composite materials for industries such as aeronautics, automotive and renewables.

🇺🇸 US-based VC, Climactic, closed a $65 million inaugural fund - founded by former Lyft, Airtable & Patreon Investors. It will use the new capital raised to back founders who are starting climate tech software companies.

🇺🇸 Israeli NGO Volcani International Partners and Western Negev Farmers launched ReGrow Israel, an Emergency Fund seeking to raise $50 million to help restore and rebuild farming communities hardest hit by the October 7th terrorist attacks. 

Trends x Climate: MRV for Carbon Capture

🔎 The Brief;
- The What: Monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) is a multistep process that seeks to prove the positive impact of a climate project by measuring the emissions removed, and certifying that the removals are real, additional, verifiable, and permanent, with the aim of generating verified carbon removal credits.
- The Why: “Getting MRV right is the single most important step in scaling CDR to climate relevance. Without it, we simply do not know if removal is actually happening. As such, MRV should be front and center of everything we do and talk about in this industry”
- The Stats: Between 2020–2022, governments worldwide contributed $4BN towards greenhouse gas removal (GGR) research, development, and demonstration. And private capital contributed an additional $200M over the same period.

👀 Who; There are 25 companies globally working on MRV for Carbon Capture, including
- Germany's Carbonfuture who have raised €5.5M to date for their solution that connects the entire carbon removal lifecycle to ensure the highest standards of quality and reliability.
- Australia's AgriProve, the first company to have taken a farmer on the complete journey from building soil carbon through to carbon credit sales.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of MRV for Carbon Capture and the 25+ companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Counteract VC, Everest Carbon, PMN Ventures, Mati Carbon, InPlanet, Carbonfuture, Isometric, UNDO in our latest climate deep dive.

Tweets x Climate

 🪨 Good thread on metal decarbonisation from Jacob Brown:

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola