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  • 📈 ClimateHack Vol. 78: Europe's Largest Deals in 2023? Climate Tech.

📈 ClimateHack Vol. 78: Europe's Largest Deals in 2023? Climate Tech.

PLUS: The “ultimate list” of non-VC investors in climate.

Hi There,

It’s been a big year for us here at Hack.

Looking back we’re to proud to see how the FoodHack and ClimateHack communities have grown and the impact they’ve had from in-person connections to accessible insights.

In 2023, we achieved:

📈 470% subscriber growth.
👋 950 attendees at the HackSummit.
📍 48 Chapters hosting local Meetups.
✏️ 75 Trend Reports and exclusive articles.
🙌 8,500 attendees attended HackMeetups.

Thank you to the 90+ incredible ambassadors who drive their local communities and to all the attendees, speakers, partners, collaborators and readers here who we’ve have the pleasure to interact with this year.

Looking ahead to 2024, we’re doubling down on inspiring and connecting the global climate tech community. If you’re a builder, operator, funder or enthusiast in climate tech - you’re in the right place.

In Today’s Edition;

🛩 South Africa’s Cloudline raised $6 million to build the frontier of carbon emissions-free autonomous flights.
🐙 Octopus Energy Group raised $800 million from its existing shareholders, hitting a $7.8 billion valuation.
🪵 Californian startup Lingrove secured $10 million for its carbon-negative wood veneer.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Sifted

📈 What’s up? Data from Sifted shows that the four largest deals in European tech this year all went to climate tech companies.

📉 What’s down? US-based electric scooter company Bird has filed for bankruptcy in order to “strengthen its balance sheet” in the pursuit of “long-term, sustainable growth.”

🇪🇺 EU lawmakers and council of member states have agreed that large companies in the bloc will have to identify and take remedial action if they find their supply chains employing child labour or damaging the environment.

Good Reads:
- 💨 Robert Höglund shared a new, free dataset on the GHG emissions and profits of the world’s biggest companies.
- 🌾 AgFunderNews reflected on the good, the bad and the ugly of agrifoodtech in 2023.
- 🌳 Future Planet rounded up nine breakthroughs for climate and nature in 2023 that you may have missed.
- 💸 The Big Book of Venture Capital will give you an insightful overview of 2023 dynamic landscape and the year ahead.
- 💡 Useful: Yoann Berno of Climate Insiders shared the “ultimate list” of non-VC investors.

🎁 Need last-minute gift ideas for the holidays? Simon Berthoud shared his top ten books that challenge ‘Business as usual’.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: NewLeaf Symbiotics

🍃 Ag biotech startup NewLeaf Symbiotics, based in the US, secured $45 million in a Series D funding round led by Gullspång Re:food to further develop its pink-pigmented facultative methylotroph technology for use in biologicals for row crops.

🐄 A consortium led by Finnish startup Solar Foods has been awarded €5.5 million from the European Innovation Council Pathfinder program to fund HYDROCOW, a project aiming to use precision fermentation to produce whey protein from microbes fed with carbon dioxide and hydrogen instead of sugars.

🛒 US-based Guac secured $2.3 million seed funding, in a round led by 1984 Ventures, for its AI-powered platform which predicts how many items grocers will sell on a per-item basis each day at a given store location, helping to cut waste.

🍄 Spanish biotech Libre Foods received a €335,000 public R&D grant from Neotec, a program which supports technology-based companies. It will use the funds to develop a low-cost mycelium ingredient to enhance the texture and nutrition in meat alternatives. 

☕️ Researchers at the VTT Research Centre of Finland have released the recipe for their lab-grown coffee as a proof of concept, with the aim of supporting development and commercialisation of the novel ingredient.

🥬 Japanese vertical farming company Spread unveiled its ‘Techno Fresh’ processing method to produce long-lasting cut lettuce. Its in-house developed processing technologies help to prevent bacterial growth, extending the shelf life of cut lettuce by up to two times without compromising freshness, taste or quality.

Biodiversity x Climate

Image Credits: Gentian

🌳 British startup Gentian raised $1.6 million in an oversubscribed funding round. It uses AI and remote sensing technologies to quickly and accurately assess biodiversity over wide areas, helping to contribute to the global effort to preserve biodiversity.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: KUMO

🤝 Germany carbon fintech platform KUMO together with Allcot digital environmental services firm announced the supposedly first-ever carbon-secured loan in history.

💡 Cool Infographic: Check out Plan A’s comparison of carbon insetting vs offsetting.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Octopus Energy Group

🐙 Octopus Energy Group raised $800 million from its existing shareholders, and hit a valuation of $7.8 billion, a 60% increase since its previous funding round in December 2021. It will use the funds to accelerate international growth and expansion of its low carbon technologies, especially heat pumps.

🔌 Italy’s Plenitude received €500 million from Energy Infrastructure Partner, which acquired a minority stake in the startup. Its platform integrates power generation from renewables, the sale of energy and energy solutions, and an extensive network of EV charging points. It currently supplies energy to around 10 million European customers in the retail market, and is targeting more than 11 million customers by 2026.

💡 Exeger, based in Sweden, secured a loan of up to €35 million from the European Investment Bank to scale its patented technology, Powerfoyle, which converts both indoor and outdoor light into electricity and allows low-consumption electronic appliances to become self-powered. 

💧 French startup Sweetch Energy secured €25 million in a Series A funding round led by Révolution Environnementale et Solidaire, a fund managed by Crédit Mutuel Impact. It will use the funds to finalise its first demonstrator for Its INOD® technology, which enables the production of clean electricity from salt water.

🦆 Netherlands-based SolarDuck raised €15 million for the development and deployment of Offshore Floating Solar power technology, designed to enable island and offshore installations – and even countries – to set up an independent supply of renewable energy.

🌊 Austrian startup Hydrogrid raised $8.5 million, in a Series A funding round led by Inven Capital and Karma Ventures, for its data tool that monitors the performance of hydropower plants.

📊 Spain’s Green Eagle Solutions raised €6 million Series A funding for its AI-powered Enterprise SaaS product which automates renewable energy asset operations, so its customers can implement revenue-based operations. 

🔋 Suena, based in Germany, closed a €3 million seed funding round to introduce its AI-powered “Autopilot” optimisation and power trading platform for flexible energy assets, such as large-scale battery storage, across Europe.

🏭 UK-based HiiROC secured investment from Cemex Ventures. The startup has developed a way to produce low-cost and zero-emission hydrogen and solid carbon, using patented plasma torch technology.

💡 Good Read: Does Lithium have a green future? Germany's Extantia explores in their latest deep dive report looking

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Cloudline

🛩 South African aerospace startup Cloudline raised $6 million, in a round led by Schmidt Futures, to help fulfill its aim of leading the global frontier of carbon emissions-free autonomous flight. It is building autonomous mini airships designed for deliveries and aerial monitoring. These 18-meter long blimps are powered by solar panels, have a flight range of up to 400km, and can each carry up to 40 kilograms.

🚚 Norwegian startup BRUDELI, which is developing technology to electrify trucks and make fleets more sustainable, raised €1.34 million in a funding round led by Hexagon Composites ASA and Leax Group AB. It will use the funds to launch its inaugural Powerhybrid heavy-duty vehicle. 

🏭 Scotland’s Munro Vehicles secured £1 million from Elbow Beach Capital to build 50 4x4 EVs by mid-2024, before transitioning to a new purpose-built site near Glasgow later in the year.

☀️ Lightyear, which develops solar-integrated technologies for third-party vehicle manufacturers,  announced a strategic investment from two South Korean venture capital funds, Sunbo Angel Partners and Lighthouse Combined Investment.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Lingrove

🪵 Californian startup Lingrove secured $10 million in a Series B funding round led by Lewis & Clark Agrifood and Diamond Edge Ventures. Its carbon-negative wood veneer alternative, ekoa, is made from flax fiber and plant-based resins and is “very high stiffness, durable, and resistant”.

👕 Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have compared how ordinary cotton and cotton genetically modified to withstand drought grow in space, studying their response to microgravity and stress to help produce more resilient cotton plants that use resources more efficiently.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Apax

💰 Apax closed its Apax Global Impact Fund with $900 million to support mission-driven companies tackling critical environmental or social issues, including health, wellness, environment, social and economic mobility, and enabling digital impact.

🇦🇺 Sydney-headquartered New Forests secured A$450 million at the first close of its Australia New Zealand Landscapes and Forestry Fund, which will invest in core forestry plantations and help to maximise the value of the whole landscape.

🇹🇷 Turkish VC Revo Capital is raising a $100 million fund to invest in regional startups, with particular focus on AI, energy, gaming, and B2B software.

Memes x VC

Shoutout to the founders out there chasing their investors to wire their funds so that they can get some rest over the holidays. We see you 🙏

From all of us at Hack, we’re wishing you a successful end to the year, and a great festive period ahead.

See you again on Friday the 12th, 2024 👋

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola