🛰 ClimateHack Vol 88: Tracking the world biggest polluters

PLUS: New York city's vision to create a climate tech island

Hi There,

Lot’s to cover today, so let’s jump right in.

In Today’s Edition;

⛴ The "world's cleanest lake" is getting its first electric ferry, thanks to Sweden’s Candela.
🗽 A crop of climate tech companies are setting up on New York’s Governors Island to create a hub for climate solutions.
💨 German startup Orbio Earth secured $4M for its satellite imagery to track methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

🗽 Cool: Six new pilot projects are launching on Governors Island, New York, as part of plans to turn the island into both a living laboratory and a launchpad for entrepreneurs to showcase their bright ideas, with the public able to see and interact with the technologies.

These new pilots are all focused on water, tackling issues such as storm surges and ageing wastewater. For example, Cycleau will install low-cost greywater treatment units at an outdoor sink and within a bathroom trailer on the island, to treat used water in real time and at point of use.

❌ Closures:

💡 Useful: Yair Reem of Extantia shared his thoughts on what he terms the “Samples Deathtrap”, and ways for startups to overcome it.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Tierra Biosciences

🧪 Tierra Biosciences, based in California, secured $11.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Material Impact. Its platform is designed to enable customers to order proteins online that can make anything from antibodies to growth factor for a food product

🌿 Hawaii-based Kuehnle AgroSystems raised $3 million in a Series A2 funding round led by S2G Ventures to accelerate commercialisation of its method for producing natural astaxanthin, key to sustainable aquaculture systems and a human nutraceutical, from microalgae. 

🥛 Opalia, reportedly Canada’s only cell-based milk company, secured CAD$2 million in a funding round led by Netherlands-based Hoogwegt Group, which is the world’s largest independent supplier of dairy products and ingredients. 

☕️ Swiss startup Cotierra (formerly Terra Preta) raised €1 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round to decarbonise coffee farming. Its biochar solution is tailored to the Global South, and converts coffee tree residues into biochar which is then reapplied to soils to help store carbon and reduce emissions. 

🍖 Californian cultivated meat startup Orbillion Bio secured additional funding, bringing its total raised to date to $15 million, to scale production and further develop its biotech platform, which completed a 200-litre production run in September and for which it has developed an algorithm that can make low-cost manufacturing possible.

🤝 Singaporean cultivated seafood startups Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats have agreed to merge; the new combined entity will retain the Umami Bioworks name and be led by existing CEO Mihir Pershad while Shiok Meats CEO Sandhya Sriram will exit the company.

💰 The Bezos Earth Fund is investing $60 million to establish the Centers for Sustainable Protein, which will target tech barriers to making plant-based, fermentation-derived and cultivated meat products cheaper, healthier and tastier.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Orbio Earth

🛰 German startup Orbio Earth secured $4 million seed funding from the European Space Agency, Initialized Capital, and Y Combinator. It uses satellite imagery to track methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, helping to find leaks which could cost companies billions of dollars.

🇬🇧 The UK’s Industrial Decarbonisation Research & Innovation Centre received £1 million from UK Research and Innovation to support industrial decarbonisation across the nation.

🇺🇸 Swiss DAC startup Climeworks opened its US headquarters in Texas, alongside opening new office locations in New York, Washington, and California, and announced plans to triple its headcount in the country by the end of the year.

🌊 Useful: Check out GenZero’s ‘Blue Carbon Explainer’ to find out about blue carbon ecosystems and what is needed to scale.

🏭 Also Useful: DAC Coalition shared its Global Direct Air Capture Deployments Map, featuring comprehensive coverage and up-to-date info on DAC deployments worldwide.

Chemicals x Climate

Image Credits: Quantistry

🧪 Berlin-based Quantistry secured €3 million in a funding round led by Ananda Impact Ventures. Its cloud-based platform powered by small-scale quantum computers and AI allows users to determine material and molecular properties in simulation, rather than in real-life, and could help to transform chemical R&D.

Construction x Climate

Image Credits: Furno

🏗 US-based Furno raised $6.5 million in a seed funding round led by Energy Capital Ventures. Its aim is to disrupt the cement industry with its highly efficient modular kilns, which are cheaper to build and use less energy to run than conventional massive kilns currently favoured by the industry.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: SUBLIME Energy

💨 SUBLIME Energy secured €11.5 million for its proprietary biogas liquefaction technology, which enables the local collection of biogas from remote or small farms, making them economically viable by sharing the costs of purification.

☀️ Solar installation company Niko, based in Mexico City, came out of stealth to announce a successful $3.3 million seed round. It will use the funds  to tackle Mexico's solar power challenges and high electricity costs by providing services including financing, installation, and maintenance to residential customers and small commercial companies.

🏭 British startup Suiso raised £3 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund for its industrial-scale green hydrogen generators. It is aiming to supply generators the size of shipping containers to sustainably power hospitals, factories, warehouses and filling stations for hydrogen vehicles.

🌤 Barcelona-based Solarmente secured funding from actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. It offers a solar energy subscription model, and is developing a super app that helps its customers decide when to consume or sell the energy their solar panels generate.

🌦 Researchers at the University of Nottingham, UK received a share of £1 billion for an AI-powered project aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by improving the accuracy of short-range weather forecasting for photovoltaic production.

🔌 Alphabet spinout Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners launched a new project for more flexible data centre energy management, which incorporates “microgrids” based on advanced, high-power batteries with software to understand and allocate energy to specific tasks and applications, optimising usage.

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Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Voi

🛴 Micromobility operator Voi secured $25 million in an oversubscribed financing round and converted approximately $85 million of convertible loan notes from 2021 to equity. It will use the funds to expand its fleet in existing and new markets with its 3rd-generation e-bikes and 7th-generation e-scooters. 

🚚 London-based Packfleet raised $10 million Series A funding, in a round led by General Catalyst and Voyager Ventures, for its all-electric courier network, which already operates with more than 100 drivers across London.

📊 EV fleet management company Necture, based in Vienna, secured €7 million Series A funding for its predictive SaaS platform, which helps businesses optimise their fleets and transition seamlessly to EVs. 

🔋 UK-based Anaphite raised £1.6 million from a government grant and private sector investment. The battery tech startup will use the funds to continue developing its “dry-coating” technology, which it says can reduce the cost of electric vehicle battery manufacturing.

🛩 British startup Aerovolt launched what it says is the world’s first public charging network for electric planes, which can charge a Velis Electro aircraft with a 20kW engine in 30 minutes for around £17.

⛴ A lake in New Zealand is set to become home to the world’s first electric hydrofoiling ferry, the Swedish-made Candela P-12, to offer daily transport for workers at Manapōuri Power Station.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Ada Ventures

🇬🇧 UK-based Ada Ventures closed its second fund with $80 million to support founders addressing inclusivity and diversity. It will invest in pre-seed and seed-stage startups working within climate equity, economic empowerment and healthy ageing.

🇫🇷 Elaia‘s third deep tech seed fund, DTS3, secured $60 million at first closing. It will mainly focus on the computing, industry and life science sectors, but is also interested in the “future of industry”, including energy, climate tech and new materials.

🇬🇧 Underground Ventures launched with the aim of investing $40 million to support early-stage geothermal tech startups over the next three-five years, to help advance fossil-free geothermal energy globally.

🇱🇺 Luxembourg-based VC Ilavska Vuillermoz Capital launched its ClimateTech Fund, with the aim of raising €60 million to support early-stage European startups working on hardware or software decarbonisation solutions.

🇨🇦 The new PEI Cleantech Research and Innovation Fund will provide up to $500,000 to businesses, educational institutions, or Indigenous communities based on Prince Edward Island, Canada for research and development that contributes to the island’s cleantech industry.

🇪🇺 A new European food innovation coalition launched the Regenerative Innovation Portfolio, a €30 million initiative aimed at advancing regenerative agriculture practices across the continent.

🛠 FOAK first of a kind, can refer to any technology that’s newly created. But in climate tech, when people talk about FOAKs they’re usually referring to pilot plants where products or formulas that might only have existed in theory or in very small doses, such as those used in Direct Air Capture technology, can be scaled up to meet commercial demand.

Building physical infrastructure for these technologies is a costly and complicated bet, partly because FOAK technologies cost significantly more than later generations of the same tech.

🔎 In our latest HackTrends Report we explore the world of FOAK Infrastructure, including:
- 2x case studies (H2 Green Steel, Liberation Labs)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 20 companies bridging the valley of death

Find out more about how bridging the "valley of death" between climate tech prototypes and commercial viability will require overcoming severe funding and operational gaps. 

HackSummit x Climate

Image Credits: HackSummit

🇺🇸 Meet the speaker: Kidus Asfaw, Founder of Nairobi based Kubik - an environmental technology company using plastic waste to make low-carbon durable, and affordable buildings. In our recent speaker spotlight, we spoke with Kidus to learn more about what they’ve been up to since their $3.34M funding round last year.

👀 These are the top 10 AgriFoodTech speakers joining the HackSummit in June - including the CEO of Switzerland’s Planetary, working on scaling up the fermentation-based bioeconomy, to the CEO of cultivated seafood startup Umami Bioworks which just recently announced a major merger.

Memes x Productivity

 😓 The schedule of a Founder can be pretty demanding…

😰 But the schedule of a VC. That’s a whole other level.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola