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  • 🔮 ClimateHack Vol. 79: 2024 Predictions from 20 Top Climate Tech VCs

🔮 ClimateHack Vol. 79: 2024 Predictions from 20 Top Climate Tech VCs

PLUS: Sustainable Aviation Fuels set to take off this year.

Hi There,

We’re back 👋

After a slowed year in climate tech funding (in comparison to 2022 highs) climate startups, and their VCs - are headed into the new year with a little more precaution and a dash more uncertainty on future fundraises.

I opt into the “hard times make hard people” narrative so I’m optimistic and excited to see which companies (and funds) stick around over the next 12 months. Climate Tech isn’t going away anytime soon - but potentially fewer, larger players will emerge as capital consolidates.

But enough from my crystal ball - let’s ask the experts. To kick off 2024, we asked 20 top Climate Tech VC’s what they’re excited by this year, here’s what they had to say.

In Today’s Edition;

🇩🇰 Denmarks Kost Capital complete the first close of its targeted €25 million fund for future food solutions.
🌾 British biotech Fa Bio raised £5.3M to help restore the biodiversity of degraded soils and increase crop productivity.
🇩🇪 The European Commission approved a €902 million German state aid measure to keep Northvolt’s new facility in Germany.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: CTVC

📊 CTVC released their annual report on climate tech investment trends spotlighting venture and growth investments - a year which saw funding in 2023 totaled $32bn, down 30% from 2022.

📈 Bucking the trend: Research from HSBC Innovation Banking and Dealroom shows that UK climate tech firms raised an all-time high of $6.2 billion in 2023, and climate tech was the leading sub-sector for UK startup funding last year.

📉 What’s down? US electric scooter company Superpedestrian closed its doors on 31st December, having struggled financially in 2023 as it operated its shared scooter fleets in dozens of cities around the globe. 

🌡 The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service data shows that 2023 was the world’s hottest year by a huge margin.

💡 Good Read: MIT Technology Review rounds up its 10 breakthrough technologies for 2024. TLDR? Heat pumps, enhanced geothermal systems, and super-efficient solar cells are in there.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Perfect Day

🥛 Precision fermentation pioneer Perfect Day raised a pre-series E funding round of ‘up to $90 million’ to support its next chapter, and announced that co-founders Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi are stepping down.

🇯🇵 The Japanese government awarded grants worth $19.6 million to two alternative protein startups: plant-based egg company Umami United and cell culture technology firm IntegriCulture.

🌾 Indian agritech Fasal secured $12 million in a Series A funding. It will use the funds to scale and expand its B2B brand, Fasal Fresh, a precision horticulture platform that leverages AI, crop sciences and IOT to support resource optimisation and farm productivity.

🍄 Enifer, based in Finland, secured a recycling and reuse investment grant of more than €12 million to build its first commercial-scale PEKILO® mycoprotein ingredient factory. The startup uses sidestream raw materials as feedstock to produce a dry mycoprotein ingredient that can be used in livestock, pet and human-grade food products.

🦗 Nasekomo secured €8 million Series A funding to fuel its mission of becoming an AI-assisted Insect Bioconversion leader. It plans to open its first franchised insect protein industrialisation facility in Bulgaria next year, and will use the funds to drive further European expansion.

🧀 France’s Standing Ovation received €3 million from the French government and Bpifrance to support its CASPEX project, which aims to produce precision fermentation-derived caseins for novel dairy products at scale.

🛒 Dutch startup GreenSwapp demonstrated its AI-powered product carbon tracker, which works with electronic shelf labels and Point Of Sale systems to display carbon impact data on retail shelves, at CES 2024 this week.

🍯 MeliBio is rolling out its bee-free honey in the UK, Switzerland, and Austria, in partnership with Slovenian food maker Narayan, marking the first stage of a $10 million, four-year deal to reach 75,000 stores across Europe.

Biodiversity x Climate

Image Credits: Fa Bio

🌾 British biotech Fa Bio raised £5.3 million, in a funding round led by Clean Growth Fund, to help restore the biodiversity of degraded soils and increase crop productivity. It uses its ‘SporSenZ’ technology, a targeted microbial sampling strategy, to collect data and microbial isolates from agricultural fields, then develops the most promising microbes into agricultural bioproducts for the ‘most important crops’ in the global food system.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Standard Biocarbon

🏭 Standard Biocarbon secured $5 million from sustainable infrastructure capital provider Nexus Development Capital to scale its new biochar production facility, where it aims to begin production in the first quarter of 2024 with the goal of producing 16,000 cubic yards of biochar and capturing 3,000 tons of carbon annually.

💨 Parallel Carbon raised $3.6 million in a seed funding round led by Aramco Ventures. It will use the funds to scale its technology, which combines Direct Air Capture and Water Electrolysis processes to remove carbon from the atmosphere and affordably produce clean hydrogen.

💡 Good Read: Felix Winckler shares his views on where the carbon market is heading.

🔎 Useful: Thallo has rounded up the best reports on the carbon market that came out last year.

Construction x Climate

Image Credits: Hiboo

📊 Hiboo, based in Paris, raised €9.3 million Series A funding for its tech platform which collects and uses emissions data from fleets of industrial machinery and vehicles, making it possible to improve the carbon footprint of large construction sites by 20%.

Fundraising in 2024?

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Schedule a demo today to see how Kapital’s SPV solutions can help you expand your investor horizon and ensure a smooth closing in your upcoming fundraises.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Tokamak Energy

💫 British nuclear fusion startup Tokamak Energy secured over $50 million in an ongoing Series C funding round as it works towards creating commercial fusion technology using high temperature superconducting magnets within “tokamaks”.

🔋 Helsinki-based battery energy storage systems Cactos raised over €26 million in equity capital. It provides a full-service fleet of distributed energy storage systems made up of smart energy storage units and a cloud computing service, and will use the funds to scale its operations.

⚡️ Dutch startup tibo energy secured €3 million seed funding for its energy management software, which allows commercial and industrial customers to electrify more easily whilst avoiding costly grid expansion. 

🏡 UK-based Furbnow raised £950,000 pre-seed funding to reduce the carbon impact of the average household. It uses digital twin technology to test the impact of various solutions such as solar panels, heat pumps and insulation, on clients’ homes, then retrofits them with more efficient energy options.

📊 US-headquartered Lumian raised its inaugural funding round, at a valuation of $3.2 million. It will use the funds to scale its IoT-based SaaS platform, which uses AI to provide insights into energy provisioning and consumption patterns, bill analysis, and energy efficiency.  

🤝 Danish engineering company Danfoss acquired ENFOR’s district energy software for an undisclosed sum, and will bring it under the Danfoss Leanheat® suite of sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

🇬🇧 The UK government has outlined plans for the nation’s biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years, in order to help reduce electricity bills, support thousands of jobs and improve energy security.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Finn

🚗 German startup Finn raised €100 million Series C funding at a post-money valuation of €600 million. It will use the funds to expand its platform for new car subscriptions, and support its aim to have 80% of its car inventory electric by 2028.

🚲 UK-based GIN E-bikes secured £510,000 from Ukrainian investment company Toloka.vc. The startup specialises in producing hybrid bikes designed for long-distance journeys, and the new funds will support the launch of a specialised cargo bike model equipped with a carbon-based folding frame, designed for delivery drivers.

🔌 FLEXeCHARGE, based in Copenhagen, closed its “seven-figure” seed funding round with investments from VCs Greencode Ventures, Link Capital and Vireo Ventures. It will use the funds to further develop its smart load and energy management e-mobility platform, designed to support increased electricity demands driven by the growing number of EVs on roads. 

🇮🇳 Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast is planning an investment totalling $2 billion to break into the world’s third-largest automobile market, India, starting with a $500 million investment to set up an integrated facility. 

🇩🇪 The European Commission approved a €902 million German state aid measure to keep Germany as the location of Northvolt's new EV battery manufacturing facility. Without the funds, Northvolt would establish its plant in the US thanks to backing offered through the Inflation Reduction Act.

🛩 Hyundai Motor Group’s advanced air mobility company, Supernal, unveiled its latest iteration of an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft called the S-A2 that it says will shuttle passengers by 2028, as it continues on its path to get into the yet-to-exist electric air taxi business.

🗺 Google Maps will soon track and display real-time battery information for electric vehicles, starting with Ford.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Mogu

🍄 Italian material innovation firm Mogu raised €11 million Series A funding to further develop and scale its mycelium solutions for the interior design, fashion, and automotive industries.

👜 Netherlands-based Quorium, which boasts cultivated meat pioneer Mark Post as its Chief Scientific Officer, secured investment from Brightlands Venture Partners and Sofinnova Partners to support commercialisation of its cell-cultured leather.

🧈 Upfield unveiled what it says is the “world’s first” plastic-free recyclable tub for its plant-based butters and spreads, developed in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group and designed to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, saving over 25,000 tons of plastic waste per year.

Water x Climate

Image Credits: MolluSCAN

🦪 French startup MolluSCAN is attaching a simple, non-invasive sensor to bivalves like clams, mussels and oysters to monitor everything from feeding to reproduction and stress responses, which are excellent predictors of various qualities in the water, and can act as an early warning system for problems like toxic substances.

🌊 Scientists at the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering have developed “Zwitterionic” hydrogels which capture organic and inorganic micropollutants in water.

👀 Interesting: Leo Rayman shared Climate Central’s map showing the parts of London which may be underwater by 2030.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Kost Capital

🇩🇰 Kost Capital completed the first close of its targeted €25 million first fund, with which it will support 20-25 pre-seed and seed-stage European startups using renewable biological resources to produce future food solutions. Its portfolio so far includes Estonian palm oil replacement company Äio, French infant formula company Numi, and Denmark’s Nutrumami.

🌍 One Acre Fund announced a reinsurance fund to protect smallholder farmers in Africa against the impact of extreme weather events, helping to prevent losses when disaster strikes.

🔮 We asked 20 top Climate Tech VC’s what they’re excited about - from SpeedInvest to FirstMinute Capital, Extantia to Planet A Ventures here’s what they’re looking to invest in over the next 12 months.

Community x Climate

Free ClimateHack meetups coming up globally in:

Trends x Climate: Sustainable Aviation Fuels

The Why; Demand for flying is expected to grow rapidly through 2030 and is one of the most challenging industries in terms of climate impact abatement. This is problematic because aviation is a high-polluting industry that has so far been long on pledges and short on progress.

🛩 The What; But Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) are one approach to decarbonising the sector. SAF is a catch-all phrase for nine different processes and formulations of low-carbon jet fuel that the industry says could help meet 65% of aviation’s 2050 carbon emissions goals. The most common formulation is a biofuel derived from pork fat, beef tallow, and residual vegetable oil.

📊 The Stats; Aviation accounts for only 2.5% of global CO2 emissions (but 3.5% when you take non-CO2 climate impacts like contrails and cirrus cloud formation into account).

👀 The Who; There are 25 companies globally working on Sustainable Aviation Fuels, including
- Switzerlands Metafuels who recently raised $8M to make affordable net-zero aviation a reality with a breakthrough SAF technology they call aerobrew.
- Netherlands SkyNRG who have raised $191M to scale up SAF demand and production capacity.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and the 25+ companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Contrarian Ventures in our latest climate deep dive.

Memes x Climate

Credit to: Vojtech Vosecky,

p.s. we’re hiring come help us build the best climate tech event of the year 👀

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola