ClimateHack Vol 93: Big week in Climate Biotech

PLUS: The 3 areas that the Bezos Earth Fund is ready to back

Hi There,

According to the latest report by CTVC, ClimateTech VC dry powder is nearing the heights of 2021 highs, with an estimated $41bn of remaining investable dry powder ready to deploy in ClimateTech startups globally.

So this week, we spotlight the 30 Presenting VC Partners - overseeing an estimated $4bn in freshly raised funds - who will be taking to the stage at the HackSummit this June 13-14th.

In Today’s Edition - a big week for climate x biotech;

🥩 Dutch cultivated meat pioneer Mosa Meat secured €40M to support the “next phase” of its growth plans.
🧥 Japan’s Spiber Materials secured $65M to accelerate mass production of its climate-friendly, fermentation-derived materials.
🇺🇸 SOSV closed its new $306M to continue the firm’s focus on investing into early-stage startups working on human and planetary health.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Nick Fewings

📈 What’s up? New research from charity EA Action Earth finds that 220 million tonnes of plastic waste will be generated in 2024, a 7.11% increase since 2021.

📉 What’s down? Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the International Coral Reef Initiative have confirmed the onset of the fourth global coral bleaching event.

🇪🇺 The EU has agreed new legislation to set packaging reduction targets for its member states (5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040), and will ban certain single use plastic packaging formats from 1st January 2030.

👨‍⚖️ The US state of Florida is about to remove any mention of climate change from most of its laws.

👀 The Climate Brick launched this week, their aim is to create a playbook for scaling climate tech to help founders and investors fast-track innovative technologies.

💡 Good Read: Yair Reem shared how to survive the cash vs. product crush that climate tech companies so often run into. 

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Mosa Meat

🥩 Dutch cultivated meat pioneer Mosa Meat secured €40 million, in a round led by Lowercarbon Capital and M Ventures, to support the “next phase” of its growth plans ahead of a planned launch in Singapore later this year.

💦 Netherlands-based VitalFluid BV secured €5 million to launch its sustainable alternative to agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilisers, Plasma Activated Water.

🪨 Bygen, based in Australia, raised $2.6 million in a Series A funding round led by government-backed investment fund Breakthrough Victoria. It will use the funds to establish its large-scale production plant, where it will turn agricultural waste into activated carbon.

🌾 OlsAro, based in Sweden, raised €2.5 million seed funding to expand its climate smart crop breeding platform, with a particular focus on its first product, first product, a salt-tolerant wheat variety designed to deliver significant increases in yield in saline soil. Here’s why they were backed.

🥒 Sweden’s Saveggy secured €1.76 million for its plant-based vegetable packaging, which consists of an additive-free formula of canola and oats that is coated onto fresh produce before it is delivered to stores.

Agteria Biotech, based in Sweden, announced a successful €1.4 million pre-seed funding round. It claims that its patent-pending one-gram daily feed additive cuts cow methane emissions by 70%.

🌭 Netherlands-based cultivated meat startup Meatable hosted the EU’s first public tasting event for cultivated meat, showcasing its hybrid pork sausages to chefs, journalists, industry stakeholders and public officials.

🏭 Finland’s Solar Foods announced the opening of its Factor 01, the world’s first commercial-scale air protein facility, where it will produce 160 tons of its flagship Solein protein annually.

🧀 Molecular farming startup Nobell Foods has rebranded to Alpine Bio and secured its 10th US patent, and says it is now working on up to 15 proteins that can be expressed in a variety of plants.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: Cozero

🔎 Germany’s Cozero secured €6.5 million Series A funding for its carbon management software, which supports enterprises in taking control of their environmental footprint and decarbonisation journey.

📊 Sumday, based in Tasmania, raised $5.3 million in a seed funding round led by Planeteer Capital. Its subscription-based software offers solutions to allow greenhouse gas accounting on company supply chains.

🤝 Singapore climate tech LEVELUP has acquired UK-based B2B carbon accounting startup Zevero, whose software platform uses AI-driven carbon modelling, in a “multi-million dollar deal”.

💻 US-based Nzero has developed a new algorithm to give building owners reports that estimate carbon pollution “down to the hour”.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: GridBeyond

⚡️ Dublin-based GridBeyond raised €52 million Series C funding, in a round led by Alantra’s Energy Transition Fund, Klima and new investors Energy Impact Partners, to rapidly scale its intelligent energy platform, designed to improve grid reliability and increase renewable energy output.

🌡 Quilt, based in the US, secured $33 million in a Series A funding round led by Energy Impact Partners and Galvanize Climate Solutions, to bring to market its new heat pump with centralised controls.

👨‍🏭 US startup Found Energy closed its oversubscribed seed round with $12 million to recover aluminium waste from landfills and produce hydrogen on-demand for less than $0.50 per kilogram of hydrogen, using a carbon-free process.

🔋 Australian renewable energy company MGA Thermal raised $5.7 million for its thermal energy storage system. It has developed what it calls Miscibility Gaps Alloy Blocks, which absorb and store thermal energy made from renewable power. 

🏡 London-based home energy services company Hometree secured funding from Blackrock to further expand its operations. It fixes, instals and finances home energy hardware, to help homeowners “transition to low-carbon living”.

🛒 UK supermarket Tesco is using AI to cut its energy costs by 10% and save over 385 tonnes of CO2e across its refrigerated distribution network.

🌊 Scientists at the University of Nottingham have found a way to transform swarf, a byproduct of the metal machining industry, into a highly efficient catalyst to make hydrogen from water.

Meet these 30 leading VCs at the HackSummit

What do the Partners of World Fund, Khosla Ventures, FoodLabs, Planet A Ventures and Blume Equity all have in common?

They are among the 30 Selected VCs which will have their partners taking to the stage at the HackSummit this June. With fresh funds raised, this is the one event that fundraising founders won’t want to miss.

⌛️ Ending Sunday at Midnight: Save 20% with code CAPITALSTACK on your HackSummit pass.

Fintech x Climate

Image Credits: Unwritten

🔎 London-based Unwritten raised $3.5 million seed funding to use big data techniques to help inform investors on how climate change may impact companies in their portfolios.

Materials x Climate

Image Credits: Magnus Metal

⛏ Magnus Metal, based in Israel, raised $74 million Series B funding to develop a new "Digital Casting" process for the manufacturing of large metal parts, which it claims is as fast and energy efficient as 3D printing at a cost that can compete with sand casting.

🧥 Japan’s Spiber Materials secured $65 million to accelerate mass production of its climate-friendly, fermentation-derived Brewed Protein materials for use in the fashion, automotive and personal care industries.

🚗 Swiss startup Bcomp raised €37.6 million Series C funding to scale production capacity for its lightweight, high-performance, natural fibre composites for the mobility-, recreational-, and mass transportation sectors. 

📦 US-based CleanFiber raised $28 million in a Series B funding round led by Spring Lane Capital. It will use the funds to support a nationwide expansion of its cardboard-based cellulose building insulation.

🧴 Belgium-based AmphiStar secured €6 million to produce microbial biosurfactants from locally sourced waste from the agri-food industry and supermarket food waste, for use in everyday products such as shampoo, toothpastes, cosmetics, food and feed and even construction materials.

🦠 Researchers at Imperial College London have developed the first “self-dyeing” plastic-free vegan leather using bacteria. The genetically engineered bacterium Komagataeibacter rhaeticus can simultaneously produce microbial cellulose and the dark pigment eumelanin, helping to avoid harmful black dyes.

🥝 KiwiFibre, based in New Zealand, creates natural fibre composite materials from ‍Harakeke, a natively grown New Zealand plant, which it says are a sustainable replacement for carbon fibre.

Transport x Climate

Image Credits: Verne

🛢 US startup Verne closed its latest funding round, bringing its total raised to date to $15.5 million. It will use the funds to accelerate production of its cheaper, lighter tanks and hydrogen fueling system.

🛰 Paris-based HyLight raised €3.7 million from VCs and business angels to accelerate the deployment of its hydrogen-powered aerial data drones at an industrial scale.

🏍 Indian startup Exponent Energy launched a three-wheeler passenger vehicle which charges from 0 to 100% in just 15 minutes, in partnership with auto manufacturer Omega Seiki Mobility.

🚗 Tesla has been turned down for funding by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but is still pushing forward with a plan to build an electric big rig charging corridor stretching from Texas to California.

⛴ Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have partnered on a $20 million initiative to reduce emissions in the maritime sector.

Water x Climate

Image Credits: NPHarvest

💧 Finnish startup NPHarvest raised €2.2 million, in a funding round led by Nordic Foodtech VC, for its treatment equipment that separates and collects nutrients from concentrated wastewater, which can then be recycled and made into fertilisers.

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: SOSV

🇺🇸 SOSV closed its latest fund with $306 million, which is one of the largest pools of early-stage deep tech venture capital to be raised in recent years. It will continue the firm’s focus on human and planetary health, supporting companies working across sectors such as robotics, minerals, biomaterials to biomanufacturing.

🇨🇭 Lakestar closed its Lakestar Early IV and Lakestar Growth II funds with a total of around $600 million to strengthen Europe’s innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on sectors such as AI, digitalisation, deep tech, healthcare, and fintech.

🇺🇸 Toyota Ventures closed a total of $300 million across its Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund II and Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II, which will support startups at the cutting edge of deep technology in areas like AI, robotics, mobility, cloud, and quantum computing and startups developing smart, scalable solutions that combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability, respectively.

🇬🇧 London-based Magnesium Capital LLP secured €135 million for its oversubscribed first fund, exceeding its €100 million target. It will use the funds to support startups working within energy transition, including energy production, grid resilience, and resource efficiency.

🌎 The Bezos Earth Fund announced an AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge, in which up to $100 million in grants will be awarded to companies using AI to address climate change and nature loss.

🇩🇪 Rosberg Ventures, the VC fund founded by F1 World Champion and sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg, launched a new Fund of Funds exceeding €70 million to help boost global startup innovation.

👜 The What; Synthetic biology or ‘synbio’ is the design and engineering of biological systems to create and improve processes and products - an alternative way of producing existing materials or even creating new ones.

And it could help us solve a lot of big problems. With the evolution of tools and technologies available and corresponding reduction in cost, synbio has become a platform to provide sustainable alternatives - even when it comes to our materials.

The Why; Much of our materials production processes today contribute to resource depletion, waste, and the acceleration of climate change. There is now an increased awareness from consumers which is forcing companies to move to sustainable alternatives.

📊 The Stats; McKinsey says synbio in the production of materials, chemicals, and energy could amount to $200–$300B in global market growth. On average, bio-based products emit 45% less GHG emissions than the fossil materials they replace, according to one study.

👀 The Who; There are 20+ companies globally working on synbio materials, including:
- US-based Kintra Fibers who raised $8M to date to develop polyester alternatives which reduces carbon emissions by 95% compared to traditional polyester.
- Canadian MycoFutures who are creating a new material for the fashion industry, and beyond, with mycelium, the root system of fungi.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of SynBio for New Materials and the 20+ companies working in this space, along with expert insights from Arda Biomaterials and MycoFutures in our latest climate deep dive.

Community x Climate

🇳🇱 Here’s the 6 key takeaways from the Climate Hack Amsterdam earlier this week which covered “Carbon Dioxide Removal 101” with speakers from Carbon Rating, Skytree, SeaO₂.

Upcoming Free ClimateHacks Meetups in:

🇺🇸 San Francisco: 22nd April - “Dancing with Elephants - how startups and corporates can build impactful partnerships”. Register Here. [FULL]

🇨🇭 Zürich: 23rd April - Closing the Loop: Innovating for a Circular Tomorrow with Impact Hub, Ponera Group, reCircle, Treeless Pack. Register Here.

🇿🇦 Cape Town: 30th April - Join this 5k run / 3k walk, packed with climate insights, drinks, and networking. Register Here.

🇮🇱 Tel Aviv: May 8th - Exploring opportunities for climate solutions in the insurance industry. Register Here.

Bears x Memes

🍯 When a bears keeps stealing your honey, put them to work

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Bonus Meme: What is Deep Tech? Florian Schabus’ reply to climate venture studio Marble’s linkedin post made us chuckle: