🦬 ClimateHack Vol 98: BCC (Bison as Carbon Capture)

PLUS: California's Ohalo out of stealth with $100M for its ‘boosted breeding’ technology.

Hi There,

One of the hurdles we often hear to getting started in climate tech is knowing what big audacious idea to work on, and wether its venture-backable.

To answer exactly that, we asked the investors directly. Here’s the 50 solutions that funds like Planet A, Blackwood Ventures, Collaborative Fund and more are looking to invest into.

And for anyone considering starting their own company, the tweet at the bottom of today’s email is essential reading first.

In Today’s Edition;

🥔 California-based Ohalo came out of stealth armed with $100 million in funding for its ‘boosted breeding’ technology.
👕 Swedish textile recycling company Syre raised $100 million as it aims to tackle emissions from the fashion industry.
🇬🇧 UK’s ETF Partners closed its fourth fund with €285 million to support software-centric climate tech companies in Europe.

Digest x Climate

Image Credits: Daniel Mirlea/WWF Romania

Wednesday was the International Day for Biological Diversity (don’t worry, we almost forgot too). To highlight the occasion, we’re dedicating this weeks digest to spotlight some of our top news picks in biodiversity :

🦬 Cool: Research has found that a herd of 170 bison reintroduced to Romania’s Țarcu mountains could help to store 54,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, the equivalent of 43,000 cars.

🐈‍⬛ Watch out: DNA from a 'Panthera genus' big cat has been identified on a swab taken from a dead sheep in the Lake District, UK, following analysis by the University of Warwick.

🌳 Wow: This viral tweet from Diego Saez Gil, Founder & CEO Pachama shows how important the Amazon rainforest is in achieving planetary balance.

👀 Useful: Here’s a list of 20 investors who are actively investing in nature based solutions across biodiversity, regeneration, conservation and adaptation to climate change.

🦓 Last call: Are you working on a nature tech solution? Apply here to be one of the 10 selected solutions to pitch live at the HackSummit to leading VCs, CVCs and Angels active in this space.

AgriFood x Climate

Image Credits: Simple Planet

🧬 California-based Ohalo came out of stealth armed with $100 million in funding for its ‘boosted breeding’ technology, which ensures the progeny of two plants will receive their parents’ entire genome, a potential game changer in the crop breeding world.

🔬 Finnish startup Enifer raised €24 million to build a commercial-scale facility for its versatile Pekilo mycoprotein, which it expects to commercialise in 2026 following EU novel food approval.

🧫 France’s Vital Meat has filed for regulatory approval for its cultivated chicken in England and Scotland, and awaits the result of a process that should take 18-24 months.

🥔 PoLoPo, based in Israel, has filed for USDA approval of its molecular farming platform, which genetically engineers potatoes to produce egg proteins suitable for meat alternatives, desserts and snacks.

🇪🇺 Estonia is to hold its first-ever public novel food tasting thanks to the country’s governmental innovation lab, Accelerate Estonia, in collaboration with local startups ÄIO and Gelatex

🍻 Diageo is spending over €100 million to decarbonise its historic St. James’ Gate production site in Dublin, where Guinness has been brewed for 264 years.

Carbon x Climate

Image Credits: The Rock Flour Company

🪨 The Rock Flour Company secured an undisclosed investment from Look Up Ventures for its natural, non-toxic plant nutrient solution that increases crop yields by as much as 30% and sequesters 250 kg of CO₂ for every ton used.

💰 Microsoft Corp has agreed to purchase 1.6 million carbon removal credits from a 10,000 hectare project in Panama, which the developers say is one of the “largest fully financed nature-based removals projects in Central America”.

Cosmetics x Climate

Image Credits: Cellugy

🧴 Cellugy, based in Denmark, raised €4.9 million to replace petrochemicals in personal care products with its dry cellulose ingredient, produced via its fermentation platform.

HackSummit : What VC’s Are Looking For

💡 Term sheets ready: These 50 solutions are what VCs will be looking to invest in at the HackSummit in June. From leveraging AI to sustainably power compute to climate adaptation for extreme weather.

👀 Who’s attending: Here’s a list of the 800+ Startups, Funds, Corporates and Limited Partners already confirmed attending the HackSummit in June. Use code COUNTDOWN20 to grab one the <130 remaining tickets here.

Energy x Climate

Image Credits: Reactive Technologies

⚡️ Reactive Technologies, based in Finland and the UK, raised £25 million for its Grid-Sonar™ technology, which is a patented, first-of-its-kind tool for accurately measuring grid inertia and system strength.

📈 Verse secured $20.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Google Ventures. Its AI-powered platform is designed to optimise and reduce the cost of clean power procurement.

🌡 US-based XGS Energy raised $20 million Series A funding for its unique heat harvesting technology, which uses a specialised mud that fills the cracks around a well with heat-conducting minerals, designed to make geothermal energy scalable.

💨 Bill Gates-backed AirLoom Energy quietly raised $12.7 million for its novel approach to wind power. Rather than operating like a typical turbine, it uses wind power to propel “wings” along a lightweight track. Its system can be built at one-tenth of the cost of conventional turbines.

🔋 Ore Energy, based in the Netherlands, emerged from stealth with €10 million in seed funding to build long-life utility-scale batteries, which release energy by rusting iron and store it by reversing that corrosion.

📊 Belgian startup Companion energy secured €2.1 million for its platform, based on machine learning, that allows industrial companies to control their own energy demand in real-time.

💨 Researchers at the University of Bristol have received a grant of £375,000 to study Airborne Wind Energy Systems, using tethered drones to capture wind energy at high altitudes. 

Fintech x Climate

Image Credits: Getty Images

💰 US-based Enduring Planet closed $4.1 million for its Fund II, with which it will provide working capital loans to climate tech startups that work with government agencies like the DOE, California Energy Commission, NYSERDA, and others.

Materials x Climate

Image Credits: Syre

👕 Swedish textile recycling company Syre secured $100 million Series A funding to support a blueprint plant in the US and two new textile-textile recycling plants in Vietnam and Iberia, as it aims for 3% of the global market of polyester.

🚌 CIRCTEC, based in the UK, raised €150 million to build Europe’s largest end-of-life tyre pyrolysis recycling facility in the Netherlands, which will process approximately 5% of the 3.6 million tons of end-of-life tyres generated in Europe every year.

♻️ Sydney-based RecycleSmart secured $1.15 million via a crowdfunding campaign to accelerate its national expansion plans. Its recycling service collects around 100 challenging recyclable materials that can't be placed in yellow council bins, including batteries, clothes, soft plastics, e-waste, and polystyrene, and recycles or repurposes them.

📹 Finnish startup Binit Technologies has developed an AI-powered plug-and-play camera vision device with machine learning capabilities to identify, classify and quantify individual waste items, helping to encourage recycling.

Mobility x Climate

Image Credits: ULEMCo

⛽️ British startup ULEMCo raised over £5 million for its ‘dual fuel solution’, which enables heavy duty vehicles to run off hydrogen while continuing to use diesel where necessary.

❄️ South 8 Technologies secured investment from Porsche Ventures to make cold-weather EV charging and performance more reliable by filling batteries with a pressurised, liquified gas electrolyte, with the added bonus of slashing the cost of lithium-ion batteries by 30%. 

🤝 Redwood Materials is partnering with Ultium Cells to recycle cathode, anode and cell scrap for batteries going into General Motors electric vehicles. 

Funds x Climate

Image Credits: Zero Carbon Capital

🇬🇧 Zero Carbon Capital secured £20 million to invest in early-stage startups developing groundbreaking scientific solutions for deep decarbonisation, including the likes of NetZeroNitrogen and RepAir.

🇬🇧 ETF Partners closed its fourth fund with €285 million to support software-centric climate tech companies that will be effective quickly, across five verticals: energy, transportation, connectivity, consumer and food and agriculture.

🇬🇧 The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council launched a £4.6 million fund to accelerate sustainable aquaculture projects, including using AI-powered imaging to address the health and welfare of plankton and deploying novel culturing strategies to grow seaweed.

🔌 The What; The popularity of EVs means that car ownership may expand faster than the enabling infrastructure, which itself needs to adapt to new vehicle technologies. There are all kinds of innovations required for “back-end” systems to keep pace with healthy “front-end” demand for vehicles.

Though companies like Tesla are leading infrastructural innovation, dozens of startups are rising to the challenge and feeding into complex supply chains.

📊 The Stats; 
- US electric vehicle sales were up 50% in 2023, including 1.1 million purely electric cars.
- There are now about 140,000 charging stations in the US. But they’re concentrated in a few states like California. S&P says the network will need to grow 8x by 2030 if current EV demand continues.
- There are around 530,000 charging stations in the EU at the end of 2022, but that needs to rise 13x to 6.8M by 2030 according to ACEA.

👀 The Who; There are 20+ companies globally working on EV Infrastructure, including:
- Germany's Enapi who recently raised €2.5M and are building an integrated API that helps different hardware and software systems in the EV-verse communicate, for the benefit of consumers.
- US-based Chargerzilla who have built an AI powered SaaS platform that enables EV owners to book an EV charging session at any of the private charging stations.

💡 Learn more; Deep dive into the world of EV Infrastructure and the 20+ companies working in this space, with expert insights from Sajith Kumar at Chargerzilla and Shivam Rajput of ElectraWireless in our latest climate deep dive.

Community x Climate

Join the upcoming ClimateHacks Meetups happening in :

🇺🇸 New York: May 28th - Breaking news in the built environment. Register here.

🇬🇧 London - 4th June, Carbon capture, utilisation and the balance of engineered circularity. Register here.

🇮🇱 Tel Aviv - 6th June, Exploring Opportunities for Climate Solutions in the Insurance Industry. Register here.

One Random Tweet

🎢 So you want to start your own company? This is the one and only rule you have to live by.

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Editorial by Arman, Curation by Nicola