🛩 ClimateHack Vol 86: Flying on Hydrogen

PLUS: 23 African ClimateTech Startups to Watch, according to Impact Investors.

Hi There,

Thinking of joining us at the HackSummit this year? Looking for a way to get a free ticket?

We just opened up applications to the Hack Volunteers team. Come join 50 fellow volunteers and help us make the 2024 edition special.

From greeting attendees at the door to getting a workout building up the sustainable stages - there’s something for everyone.

Plus, a few days in the sunshine on the shores of Lac Léman - what’s not to love.

Apply here to join.

In Today’s Edition;

🛩 France's Beyond Aero makes their first manned hydrogen-electric flight.
☀️ Germany's ENVIRIA raise over €185M from Blackrock for their decentralised energy.
🇺🇸 US-baed Zacua Ventures launched a new $56M fund targeting early-stage construction technology startups.

Digest x Climate

🌍 Here’s the 23 African ClimateTech Startups to Watch, according to Impact Investors.

📈 What’s up? A new report by Australian national science agency CSIRO estimates that the synthetic biology sector offers a $30 billion opportunity

🙋‍♀️ Nearly 40% of the 600 climate tech startups in India are female-led, according to DPIIT Secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh.

📉 What’s down? Swedish textile-to-textile recycler Renewcell, the company behind the Circulose fibre, is filing for bankruptcy after failing to secure funding.

🌳 The European Parliament passed a groundbreaking Nature Restoration Law this week, with the aim of restoring 20% of the EU's land and seas by 2030, and 90% by 2050.

🦄 Good Read: Sifted shares its predictions on European climate tech soonicorns.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Oishii

🍓 US vertical farming company Oishii, which primarily produces berries, secured $134 million Series B funding in a round led by Japanese telecommunications firm NTT to expand its distribution to new markets, open a new solar-powered facility and invest in advanced robotics and energy-saving innovations.

🍫 Food Brewer AG, based in Zurich, secured over CHF 5 million seed funding to support its plant cell culturing approach to making alternatives to cocoa and coffee, plus sustainable fats. 

🔎 Mondra, based in London, raised £3.6 million pre-Series A funding for its food supply chain decarbonisation platform, which uses AI to create digital twins of food supply chains and provides tools to encourage participating organisations to collaborate on net zero policies.

🔬 Israeli startup Ingrediome secured $2.46 million to develop recombinant animal matrix proteins made from carbon dioxide to produce alternative meat and seafood which ‘taste better’ than existing options. 

🇬🇧 Three groups in the North East of England – the Centre for Process Innovation, MarraBio and Aelius Biotech – have collectively been awarded £500,000 in grant funding from Innovate UK to support a project to develop cost-effective cultivated meat in the region.

🥛 Fonterra’s dairy ingredients and solutions brand, NZMP, unveiled its ‘first-of-its-kind’ digital Carbon Footprint tracker to provide emissions profiles on New Zealand-sourced dairy products, and to forecast potential emission reductions for products up to 2030.

Chemicals x Climate

Image Credits: Sonichem

🌳 UK-based Sonichem raised £1.2 million to turn forestry by-products such as sawdust into sustainable chemicals for use in the cosmetics, materials and pharmaceuticals industries.

ESG x Climate

Image Credits: Sunhat

📊 German startup Sunhat extended its seed round to €5 million to provide companies with sustainability data. Its platform uses AI to collate responses to sustainability questionnaires, ESG ratings, and reporting checklists and provide answers to sustainability teams.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: ENVIRIA

☀️ Germany’s ENVIRIA secured over €185 million from Blackrock to support the expansion of its projects to offer decentralised energy via rooftop solar and adjacent services at scale. Its tech challenges traditional ‘grey’ power plants and is designed to gradually reduce dependence on fossil fuels by feeding electricity directly into the grid. 

🔋 Anthro raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Collaborative Fund. Its polymer electrolyte technology can be introduced into lithium-ion batteries via conventional manufacturing processes, helping to solve their fire problem.

💰 US-based geothermal startup Fervo Energy is raising $221 million, having just received a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy. In November, it connected a first-of-its-kind 3.5-megawatt Project Red power plant to the Nevada grid to power Google’s data centers in the state, and will use the funds to further expand its operations.

💨 Cool: Windcredible installed the first pilot of its Urban wind energy model in Lisbon. Here’s a video of it in action.

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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.

Materials x Climate

Image Credit: SnackTime

🌿 Californian startup Sway unveiled its Thermoplastic Seaweed plastic alternative, a “breakthrough” biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants, designed to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing. 

👗 Researchers at the Barcelona School of Design and Engineering are developing a method to upcycle kombucha into biodegradable threads, designed for applications such as weaving it into fashion accessories, making biodegradable netting for product packaging, or creating textiles for furniture.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Polestar

💰 Polestar secured a loan of $950 million to keep its EV plans on track, after Volvo pulled back its financial support.

🔌 Lisbon-based Powerdot raised €100 million, in a round led by Antin Infrastructure Partners and Arié Group, to expand its EV charging infrastructure across Europe. It plans to add 10,000 more charging points, having experienced an ‘explosion of growth’ through 2023.

🛩 LanzaJet secured $30 million from Southwest Airlines. It is building both domestic and global production capacity for its sustainable aviation fuel, made with low carbon intensity ethanol.

👀 Cool: Check out France’s first manned hydrogen-electric flight, which took place this week courtesy of Beyond Aero.

Good Watch: A few weeks ago British startup Seabound completed a successful maiden voyage for its carbon-capture machine that can be retrofitted onto ships. Here’s how it “cracked the code” on maritime carbon capture and an 8-minute mini documentary that brings the pilot adventure to life. 

Methane x Climate

Image Credits: atmio

🏭 Hamburg-based atmio emerged from stealth, having raised €1.3 million funding to date to combat methane emissions. It offers a ground-level hardware and software solution to natural gas operators, claiming it has the potential to find, fix, and report methane emissions 10x faster than today’s methods.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Verdane

🇳🇴 Norwegian private equity firm Verdane closed its newest fund Edda III with €1.1 billion, more than doubling the size of its predecessor and ‘significantly’ exceeding its target. It will use the funds to continue to invest in leading European companies that help digitalise and decarbonise the economy.

🇺🇸 Zacua Ventures launched a new $56 million fund targeting early-stage construction technology startups, particularly those addressing sustainability as well as productivity and urbanisation.

🇺🇸 Rock Yard Ventures announced the first close of its inaugural fund, with which it will invest in pre-seed and seed-stage startups working across core industries such as construction, real estate, supply chain, manufacturing, and engineering.

🇩🇪 New venture capital fund TOMORROW went live this week to support pre-seed and seed-stage deep tech startups working on cutting-edge breakthrough technologies. Its first investments include all-electric aircraft startup Cosmic Aerospace and nuclear fusion company Proxima Fusion.

🇳🇴 Norweigan based impact investor Katapult Group is downsizing from 28 to 20 employees and announced they'll be discounting their Katapult Climate fund in an effort to "reduce costs and task that have not been directly value-creating".

Carbon Capture for Utilisation (CCU) is one of several ways to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

Dante Luu of Carbon Upcycling told us ‘When you look at CCS or DACs it is limited to the largest conglomerates that have access to geological storage. CCU offers an opportunity for accessible, affordable carbon reduction especially when accounting for raw material abatement.’

🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Dioxycle, CarbonCure)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 31 companies capturing carbon emissions for strategic use (and reuse)

Memes x Climate

🚲 This is how I’ll be flying in to the HackSummit this year.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola