🔧 ClimateHack Vol 85: The rise of "Climate Tech Studios"

PLUS: $6.75M in funding for a 'good enough' approach to carbon capture.

Hi There,

“Venture Studios” aka: companies that create and build multiple startups at the same time, have been gaining in popularity for several years as a way for founders (and investors) to build, test, and potentially scale new breakthrough companies in a controlled environment.

The early results would seem to say the model is working too, with startups created in venture studios achieving seed funding twice as fast, as well as reaching exit 33% faster than conventional startups - so why not apply this model in climate too?

This week, we take a closer look at the 35 ClimateTech studios across the globe that are working on exactly that, including Paris based Marble, which is solely focused on building deep tech solutions to WaveMaker Impact, SouthEast Asia's first (and only) VC backed climate tech venture builder.

In Today’s Edition;

💨 Clairity raised $6.75M for their 'good enough' approach to carbon capture.
👩‍⚖️ London-based Climate Policy Radar raised $6.8M to track climate change policies and laws on a global scale.
🌾 India’s Varaha raised $8.7M to measure and quantify carbon sequestration and emissions reduction for regenerative agriculture.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: iStock

🌾 Varaha, based in India, raised $8.7 million in a Series A funding round led by early-stage VC firm RTP Global. Its tech platform measures and quantifies carbon sequestration and emissions reduction for regenerative agriculture, afforestation and biochar projects, and is designed to help smallholders in Asia and Africa transition to climate-friendly farming methods.

🍖 South Korean cultivated meat company Simple Planet secured $6 million pre-Series A funding to optimise its technology, designed to produce ingredients like powders and fats for cultivated meat, secure regulatory approval, and support its international expansion plans.

🌱 New Zealand-based Miruku raised $5 million pre-Series A funding to support its B2B molecular farming platform, with which it modifies oilseed crops to produce novel dairy proteins and fats.

🍄 Pacifico Biolabs, based in Berlin, emerged from stealth to raise $3.3 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round. It will use the funds to further scale its “unique” biomass fermentation process to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives, starting with seafood. 

☕️ Singapore-based Prefer raised $2 million seed funding to build a larger facility to produce beanless coffee from food industry sidestream ingredients like waste bread, soy milk pulp and spent brewer’s grain, and to support its Asia expansion plans.

🌿 Israeli startup Day 8 secured $750,000 pre-seed funding from food tech incubator and investor The Kitchen Hub. Day 8 produces upcycled plant-based proteins from Rubisco, found in green crops like duckweed, which is said to be the most abundant protein on the planet. 

🇬🇧 The UK government announced a £12 million investment into the Microbial Food Hub, a research centre focused on fermentation-based foods as a future food solution.

🇦🇷 Argentina has become the first country to certify carbon-negative beef, thanks to rigorous research and the adoption of cutting-edge practices, including the implementation of silvopastoral systems, the introduction of specific feed additives, and the exploration of gene-editing techniques and vaccines aimed at altering the digestive processes of livestock.

🇺🇸 The Alabama Senate has passed a bill prohibiting the sale of cultivated meat within the state, and is now advancing to the House for further deliberation to potentially become law. 

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Clarity Technologies Carbon

💨 Clairity raised $6.75 million in a seed round led by Initialized Capital and Lowercarbon Capital. The DAC startup is redefining the approach to carbon capture by championing a philosophy of 'good enough' efficiency, intentionally capturing carbon dioxide over 80% purity rather than striving for perfection.

🇺🇦 Kyiv-based DAC startup Carbominer signed a grant agreement with the EIC Accelerator Fund, securing a €1.5 million grant and eligibility for up to €7.5 million in equity at later stages. It will use the funds to scale its DAC machines to 50 and 250 tons per year, and establish a DAC-unit production line within the next four years. 

🌎 A new study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, demonstrates a method for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere using geothermal energy.

🇪🇺 The EU has reached a deal on the world’s first carbon removal certification scheme, aimed at scaling up high-quality carbon removal in the bloc to reach the Union’s objective of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050.

🗺 Useful: Check out this map of carbon accounting companies and the brands who use them.

Chemicals x Climate

Image Credits: AtmosZero

💨 AtmosZero secured $21 million Series A funding to decarbonise industrial steam, used across sectors such as food and beverage and chemical manufacturing. Its proprietary ‘Boiler 2.0’ technology extracts heat from the air to produce high-temperature steam with maximum efficiency and without emitting any carbon.

🧪 London-based FabricNano is using cell-free biocatalysts to transform industrial chemical processes and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. For example, it has successfully created chemicals like 1,3 propanediol from glycerin, a major waste product of biodiesel manufacturing.

🤝 Again is partnering with global chemicals organisation HELM for the distribution of its first product, acetic acid. Again’s novel biomanufacturing process collects unavoidable carbon outputs from industry and reuses them to manufacture emission-free chemicals.

Construction x Climate

Image Credits: Monumental

🧱 Dutch startup Monumental raised $25 million to lay bricks using robots. It is already piloting its autonomous system in the Netherlands and has secured 25 partnerships, including for low-income housing.

🏗 Lafarge Canada has completed a full transition from using traditional general-use cement to OneCem®, a limestone blended cement manufactured using less clinker than traditional Portland cement, resulting in significantly lower CO2 emissions, at its St-Constant Cement Plant in Quebec.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Antora Energy

🔋 Thermal battery maker Antora Energy raised $150 million in a funding round led by Blackrock and Temasek. It will use the funds to scale production of its batteries which store renewable energy as heat, that can then be used to manufacture industrial products like cement or glass.

🏡 South African startup Hohm Energy raised $8 million seed funding for its platform that connects homeowners with installers and financiers to ease the process of installing rooftop solar panels across the country, driven by interminable power cuts experienced by over seven million addressable households connected to South Africa’s national grid.

🔧 New US-based startup Eli Technologies came out of stealth to announce its $6.8 million seed round. Its goal is to provide contractors and installers with a digital infrastructure to access incentives that will put clean energy and electrification within reach for millions of households.

🌡 Rock Rabbit secured $3.1 million in a seed funding round led by Powerhouse Ventures to build out its software for energy rebates, with an initial focus on incentives for heat pumps.

📊 Research from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows that geothermal heat pump deployment could relieve stress on the grid and help to reduce carbon emissions, if widely implemented across the country within the next few decades.

☀️ A University of Queensland tech startup has developed a fast and effective system which uses machine learning algorithms to analyse data and detect faulty and underperforming solar farm panels, and to recommend targeted maintenance, helping to improve their efficiency.

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Materials x Climate

Image Credit: Hakio

👕 Danish SaaS company Hakio secured €4 million seed funding to expand its platform, which helps fashion and apparel companies make more accurate predictions about their future sales to optimise their inventory levels and reduce waste.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Ev.Energy

🔌 UK-based EV smart charging platform ev energy secured £32 million in public funding to expand charging solutions in California, including enrolling EV drivers into smart charging programmes and fostering the development of a dynamic EV virtual power plant.

⚡️ Another UK-based EV charging startup, EVIOS, raised £4 million Series A funding to provide at-home charging solutions with features such as solar integration and cost-based charging, designed to simplify EV adoption for UK consumers.

🚲 Dutch startup Sparqle secured €1.2 million in a pre-seed funding round led by a group of business angels, including the former Managing Director of Deliveroo EU and the former CTO of Just Eat Takeaway. Its sustainable last-mile delivery solution is powered by proprietary software, rider app, and a dedicated fleet of e-cargo bikes and electric vehicles.

Policy x Climate

Image Credits: Climate Policy Radar

👩‍⚖️ London-based Climate Policy Radar raised over $6.8 million to track climate change policies and laws on a global scale. Its platform is powered by data science and artificial intelligence, significantly accelerating its users’ abilities to map and analyse the climate policy landscape globally.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Golden Ventures

🇨🇦 Canadian VC Golden Ventures secured $100 million for its fifth fund. It will use the funds to support high-potential, seed-stage founders working across sectors including AI, climate, blockchain and quantum.

🇺🇸 WovenEarth Ventures closed its first fund with $152 million in capital commitments to support early-stage climate tech companies working within decarbonisation, water, agriculture, digital solutions and wildfire.

🇺🇸 Overture VC raised $60 million for its debut fund, with which it will focus on climate tech. It has already supported startups including geothermal heating and cooling startup Bedrock Energy, and electric trucking startup Forum Mobility.

🇺🇸 Chicago-based Bluestein Ventures closed its Fund III with $45 million to support early-stage startups working within consumer-facing technology across the food supply chain, including areas such as health and wellness, proprietary food tech, commerce and digital technology. Its portfolio already includes mycelium meat company Meati and animal-free cheese startup New Culture.

🇬🇧 Regenerate Asset Management completed a €40 million investment from its Regenerate European Sustainable Agriculture fund. It will acquire two farms, which will then be combined to form Regen Blue, a scaled blueberry business focused on regenerative methods, based in Central and Southern Portugal. 

💵 Cool: Check out Deep Checks, a group of deep tech angel investors and VCs on the planet looking to be the very first call for any deeptech founders.

Community x Climate

🇺🇸 FOAK, yeah! Come join our free ClimateHack Meetup in SF next Friday (March 1st) on how climate founders and investors can navigate first of a kind projects.

🎫 FYI: 30% of tickets to the HackSummit are already gone. If you’d like to join us at Europe’s largest gathering of Climate Tech Founders, Funders and LPs in June, reserve your tickets today (ticket prices increase next week).

👀 Useful: Yair Reem shared a five-step game plan on what to do when your climate tech startup is running out of cash.

Memes x Climate

🥲 No memes today. Please feel free to send in any quality memes next week!

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola