👀 ClimateHack Vol 84: Climate Tech added to Y Combinators list

PLUS: Stockholm's Fever raise €10 million to expand its virtual power plant platform.

Hi There,

This Sunday is the last day to apply to become a ClimateHack ambassador. 

Over 200+ of you have already applied, including analysts at some of the most active climate funds, operators behind the worlds largest corporates, builders at high growth climate startups, and everything in-between.

Becoming an ambassador is likely the single fastest way to build your own climate tech network in 2024.

If you’d like to bring ClimateHack to your city and start fostering your local climate tech community, apply here before midnight on Sunday.

In Today’s Edition;

📊 Stockholm's Fever raise €10 million in seed funding to expand its virtual power plant platform.
🛩 UK-based Velocys secures $40 million, as part of a rescue deal that took it private after facing insolvency last year.
🌊 US-based startup, Banyu Carbon, has developed an ocean carbon dioxide removal system that is powered by sunlight and seawater.

Digest x Climate

🌊 Interesting Infographic: this graphic shows the oceanic pH around the world over the past 40 years.

📈 What’s up? Data from BloombergNEF shows that climate-tech companies raised $51 billion in venture capital and private equity funding across more than a thousand deals last year.

📉 What’s down? A study from UCL has uncovered carbon particles originating from the combustion of fossil fuels within corals for the first time.

🚲 Stockholm-based micro mobility startup ​​Vässla has declared bankruptcy, just days away from securing the necessary funds to exit restructuring.

👀 Y Combinator released their newest request for startups - this year the global startup incubator and fund is on the lookout for startups working within spatial computing, climate tech and applications of AI technology for its latest cohort.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Hippo Harves

🤖 Hippo Harvest raised $21 million Series B funding, in a round led by Standard Investments, at a $145 million post-money valuation. It uses closed-loop, direct-to-root fertiliser systems, machine learning and robots to grow fresh produce in repurposed greenhouses, reducing food waste and land use.

🦗 Israel’s FreezeM secured $14.2 million, in a Series A funding round led by an undisclosed group of “industrial investors” and the European Innovation Council Fund. It intends to build a hub of breeding facilities for its insect breeding-as-a-service model to support insect farmers in different regions.

🍖 South Korea-based cultivated meat startup Simple Planet raised 8 billion won (approximately $6 million) pre-Series A funding to accelerate its R&D efforts and scale production of its cell-based meat, which it claims has a higher concentration of fatty acids than conventional meat.

🐓 Brazil’s first startup developing cultivated animal ingredients, Cellva Ingredients, secured R$6.5 million (approximately $1.3 million) in a funding round led by Seed4SCience to scale its cultivated pork fat, which it claims to be able to produce in just 21 days.

🔬 British startup twig has been awarded £340,000 by InnovateUK, and will work with the team at UCL to build out its high-throughput fermentation array for bioprocess development.

💰 Scottish mycoprotein startup ENOUGH secured an undisclosed investment from Cargill, as a “top up” to its recent Series C fundraise, and expanded its strategic partnership in order for Cargill to use and market its ‘ABUNDA’ mycoprotein.

💪 Nestlé unveiled its first precision fermentation dairy protein powder, an animal-free and lactose-free whey isolate product which it will sell under the Orgain brand.

🌾 Israeli startup SaliCrop unveiled a new seed treatment capable of transforming deserts into arable land for growing food, increasing crop cultivation in arid regions and supporting food security. 

🍚 Scientists at Yonsei University in South Korea have developed a ‘beef-rice’ hybrid, growing beef muscle and fat cells inside grains of rice to create a new food source which may “serve as relief for famine, military ration, or even space food”.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Banyu Carbon

🌊 A new, US-based startup, Banyu Carbon, has developed an ocean carbon dioxide removal system that is powered by sunlight and seawater. Its tech contains a synthetic molecule that, when exposed to light, changes shape and becomes acidic. Then, when it interacts with seawater, the resulting process removes CO2 from the water.

♻️ A recent study from the University of Cordoba shows that sewage sludge, the solid material that remains after treating wastewater, can be recycled into activated carbon for use in decontamination operations like gas treatment and water purification.

🥫 Lidl UK is switching from paper pricing tags to Electronic Shelf Labels, in a move which it estimates will save over 206 tonnes of carbon annually through paper and packaging reductions.

🤝 Carbonx Climate announced its purchase of 2,000 tons of carbon removal from its partner Andes, which uses microorganisms to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere at scale.

🏗 Swiss startup neustark announced that it will deliver 27,600 tons of carbon removal credits to Microsoft over the next six years, using its solution to permanently store CO₂ from the air in recycled mineral waste such as demolished concrete.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Fever

📊 Stockholm-based Fever raised €10 million in a seed funding round led by General Catalyst. It will use the funds to expand its virtual power plant platform, which enhances grid resilience by integrating distributed energy assets with advanced software and machine learning capabilities.

💨 Aegir Insights, based in Copenhagen, raised €8.5 million Series A funding to accelerate the offshore wind energy segment. It offers comprehensive intelligence solutions that cover more than 70 offshore wind markets, providing thematic insights and up-to-date market data.

🌡 US startup Arch closed its seed funding round with $6.2 million. Its software is designed to support home heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors to install more heat pumps, using publicly available data about homes to suggest appropriate heat pump capacity within minutes.

🔋 Chicago-based Celadyne raised $4.5 million seed funding, in a round led by Dynamo Ventures and Maniv, to scale its nanoparticle coating that can be applied to existing hydrogen fuel cell and electrolyser membranes to make them more efficient.

⚡️ Arnergy, based in Nigeria, secured $3 million in a bridge round financed by off-grid energy impact investment company All On. It provides solar power systems to homes and businesses in Nigeria, and will use the funds to further expand its operations.

☀️ Zurich-based MPower Ventures secured €375,000 from Clean Energy and Energy Inclusion for Africa, matching its ongoing crowdfunding campaign on Crowd4Climate, for its B2B platform that provides small- and medium-scale solar energy infrastructure in developing countries.

🪵 Swedish startup Modvion unveiled its first 105m tall wind turbine tower made with plywood and glue, which is cheaper, more sustainable and weighs 30% less than steel and easier to put together than tightening 50,000 bolts as the tower is erected. 

💡 A new study from the University of Limerick reveals a new technique for producing electricity from low-grade heat recovered from membranes made from lignin, a viable residue from pulp and paper manufacturing.

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Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Cirplus

♻️ Europe's largest digital procurement platform for recycled plastics, Cirplus, secured a seven-figure sum to further expand its operations. Its B2B platform is already used by more than 3,000 companies from over 100 countries in the plastics and recycling industry.

💰 The University of Portsmouth will share in £100 million of funding from the UK Department for Science, Innovation & Technology to lead a major science and tech hub to transform end-of-life plastic waste.

👛 Danish fashion brand Ganni unveiled a line of bags featuring a plant-based fur alternative from biomaterials startup BioFluff, made with fibres from plants such as nettles, flax, and hemp.

👀 Planet A Ventures unveiled their list of European critical minerals ecosystem featuring over 40+ companies.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Velocys

🛩 UK-based Velocys secured $40 million, as part of a rescue deal that took it private after facing insolvency last year, to decarbonise the air travel industry with its sustainable aviation fuel.

🏍 Kenyan EV startup Roam raised $24 million Series A funding, in a round led by Africa-focused climate tech VC fund Equator, to scale production of electric motorcycles and buses to 1,000 and 40 per month, respectively.

🔌 Daze, based in Italy, closed its Series A funding round with €15 million. It has developed DazePlug, the first totally autonomous conductive charging system for Electric Vehicles, and will use the funds to further expand its operations.

🚛 UK-based OX Delivers received a £1.2 million grant from Energy Catalyst to support commercialisation of its next-generation affordable all-electric OX4 truck, and to expand the rollout of its transport-as-a-service offering across the Global South, starting with the African continent.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Founderful

🇨🇭 Zurich-based Founderful secured $85 million at the first close for its second fund dedicated to backing founders based in Switzerland, and hopes to reach a final close of $120 million by July. It will use the funds to give an edge to Swiss startups working in everything from robotics and AI, to computer vision technologies and construction tech.

🇦🇺 Australian fund Mandalay Venture Partners raised $26.74 million to support the country’s growing agrifood tech sector, specifically areas such as sustainability, on-farm efficiencies, supply chain automation, autonomous vehicles, future foods, eCommerce and eGrocery. Its portfolio already includes FUL Foods, which makes a nutritious protein from spirulina, and Naturo, whose patented milk processing technology results in milk with increased protein bioavailability, improved tolerance, additional health benefits and a significantly increased shelf life.

Community x Climate

👀 Come join 1,500+ curated Climate Tech Founders, Funders and LPs at the fourth edition of our annual HackSummit - taking place this June 13th & 14th.

🌳 Brainforest, the world’s first Venture Studio for Climate and forest, launched the Biodiversity Lab Venture Program and is now accepting applications - details here.

🤖 The Climate Robotics Summit is a virtual event on May 2nd-3rd, which will explore the role of robotics as part of the climate solution.

💻 Join EarthAI's upcomong hackathons In Nairobi (8th-9th March) and Delhi (5th-6th April) to build the future of AI x Climate tech solutions

💨 JustCarbon launched an investment accelerator to help scale carbon removal projects and to reduce the carbon removal industry’s funding gap, which stands at $700 billion.

⏰ Final call: Apply to become your city's ClimateHack Ambassador and foster your local climate tech community through in-person events. Applications close this Sunday at midnight.

Trends x Climate: Green hydrogen

🧪 The What; Green hydrogen requires no carbon inputs and creates no emissions (other than oxygen). It’s made by using clean electricity from surplus renewable energy sources to electrolyse water — an electrochemical reaction that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

But there’s a catch: today, it’s expensive and inefficient to produce - meaning an alarming majority of the hydrogen used today isn’t ‘green’ but ‘grey’.

The Why; Extantia’s Iris ten Have tells us that if we eliminated the need for grey hydrogen by scaling green hydrogen technology worldwide, we would save roughly 1B tonnes of direct CO2 emissions each year.

📊 The Stats; Demand has grown nearly three-fold since 1975, and is set to grow up to six-fold in the decades ahead. Currently, it’s almost entirely (99.6%) supplied from fossil fuels. Around 71% is grey hydrogen, and most of the rest is brown hydrogen, which is made from coal via gasification.

👀 The Who; There are 20+ companies globally working on Green Hydrogen, including:

- US based Electric Hydrogen who have raised $380M to date to manufacture, deliver, and commission electrolysers for critical industries to produce low-cost green hydrogen.
- France's Spark Cleantech who have raised €4M to date to develop local production sources of clean hydrogen with methane plasmalysis, a process which has low electric consumption and a long-term carbon sequestration.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of Green Hydrogen and the 20+ companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Extantia for their insights in our latest climate deep dive.

Memes x Climate

🚢 Wait, wut?

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola