Headquarter: Chemical Industry Park, Economic Development Zone,  JiNan City,  ShanDong Province, China.

Phone +86-152 8958 7728

Angela@BlueSkytcca.com

The Most Promising Climate Tech Startups of 2023, According to … – Business Insider

Jump to
Climate tech, which encompasses everything from sustainable materials and financing for farmers to e-bikes and carbon accounting software, has not been immune to the tech slow down. 
The category raised $35.5 billion in venture capital so far this year, per PitchBook, showing a steady decline from last year’s annual total of $58.5 billion and 2021’s record $63.5 billion. 2021 is widely considered an outlier. 
But as society increasingly realizes it must race to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, climate tech continues to spark interest from VCs. After all, half of the reductions needed to hit climate goals are “going to come from technologies that we don’t yet have,” US climate envoy John Kerry said in 2021.
Energy has emerged as a major category in 2023. There have been a slew of large funding rounds in the space, including $2.1 billion in equity and debt and a $1.2 billion convertible note for battery makers Verkor and Northvolt, respectively; $1 billion for battery recycling company Redwood Materials; and $880 million for energy infrastructure developer and investor Generate. 
A range of smaller plays are also catching the eyes of investors, including circularity in food waste, new funding mechanisms for nature restoration, and space tech that can be used to verify carbon credit projects or predict wildfire risk. 
Insider asked top VCs which climate tech startups were hot this year. Each investor was asked to name two companies, one from their firm’s portfolio, meaning they are investors in the company; and one outside of their portfolios, meaning neither they nor their firms have an ownership stake. Some VCs named several startups. All valuations were supplied or confirmed by the companies unless otherwise noted.
Check out the 53 startups below, in alphabetical order.
Recommended by: Marc Sabas, Ship2B Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain 
Total raised: 35 million euros ($36.8 million)
What it does: 011h uses timber, sustainable design techniques, and software to build affordable and environmentally-friendly homes quickly. 
Why it’s poised to take off: The built environment accounts for 39% of annual carbon emissions, from the energy a building takes to operate to the emissions generated when producing the building materials. As a result, sustainable housing often comes at a higher price and this hinders scalability, Sabas said. It also makes the sector particularly hard to decarbonize.
“011h tackles the problem holistically by bringing together suppliers, builders, planners and developers in a single platform that integrates all components in building, reduces project management time and has the ability to measure end-to-end the embodied carbon in a new building,” the investor said. 
The company also has seasoned founders in Lucas Carné and Jose Manuel Villanueva, the previous cofounders of Privalia, a flash sales company they exited and one of Spain’s early success stories.
Recommended by: Nick de la Forge, Planet A
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2015
Headquarters: Riga, Latvia 
Total raised: $37 million
What it does: Aerones has developed robots that clean, inspect, and repair wind turbines.
Why it’s poised to take off: The startup’s tech has a range of applications, from internal inspections to repairs and painting in harsh weather conditions. It also uses AI to power a predictive maintenance service, de la Forge noted.
However, the real lure for the investor is its potential to reduce downtime, improve the profitability of the wind power industry and extend the lifespan of infrastructure.
Recommended by: Sophie Bakalar, Collaborative Fund and Swati Mylavarapu, Incite 
Relationship to VC: Not a portfolio company for either investor
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Kirkland, Washington, US
Total raised: $7 million
What it does: Aigen has developed a robotic fleet for agriculture. Its weeding robots use AI and are powered by solar and wind. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Herbicide-resistant weeds are an acute and growing pain point for farmers, who also face pressure to reduce overall pesticide use,” Bakalar said. 
Bakalar is impressed with Aigen’s versatile design, which can be applied to a variety of farms she said, and that it’s tech is powered by renewable energy. 
Mylavarapu also likes the startup’s tech as well its potential. The investor noted that upcoming agriculture legislation in the US focuses on bringing rural communities into the green innovation wave. “This is a team and company to watch,” she said.
Recommended by: Zoe Chambers, Frontline Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Dundee, Scotland 
Total raised: £5.5 million ($6.7 million)
What it does: Agricarbon audits the amount of carbon stored in soils to increase confidence in soil carbon sequestration. The aim is to unlock finance for farmers switching to regenerative agriculture. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Soil has huge potential to sequester atmospheric CO2 and increased soil health can bring a bevy of other benefits such as crop resilience, flood resilience and biodiversity gains, Chambers said.
The investor is drawn in by the vision of Annie Leeson, Agricarbon’s cofounder and CEO, which aims to unlock “the huge opportunity” for agricultural CO2 removal by establishing the first trusted soil carbon quantification and certification service.
Recommended by: Louis Fearn, InMotion 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2015
Headquarters: Devens, Massachusetts, US
Total raised: $1.5 billion
What it does: Ascend Elements creates sustainable battery materials from spent lithium-ion batteries, reducing the need to mining new materials.
Why it’s poised to take off: “A successful clean-energy transition hinges on our ability to recycle and extract value from spent cells in an economical and environmentally viable manner,” Fearn said. 
Ascend Elements is on track to become the leading domestic supplier of raw battery materials in the US, he said. That’s thanks to its closed-loop recycling process, which is “redefining” the lithium-ion battery industry by delivering active cathode materials to manufacturers in a way that drives down costs and carbon emissions, the investor added. 
Recommended by: Alex Roetter, Moxxie VC 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Alameda, California, US
Total raised: $51 million 
What it does: Andes Bio is using microorganisms to enhance a plant’s ability to capture and store carbon dioxide in soil as it grows. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Roetter is drawn in by Andes Bio’s multi-pronged approach. The microbial carbon removal process “plugs in nicely” to existing agriculture processes, which is the company’s target market, making it scalable.
Plants use Co2 to grow and healthy soil also needs Co2, so the approach has co-benefits such as increased crop yields and biodiversity, he sad. 
“Carbon dioxide removal is having a moment and needs to scale to the 5 to 10 gigaton per year level over the next 27 years. To do this, we are going to need rapid growth from a lot of different companies and technologies, and Andes is well positioned to be one of them,” Roetter said.
Recommended by: Till Stenzel, SET Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium 
Total raised: N/A
What it does: Bnewable develops, funds, builds, and operates local solar systems for commercial and industrial companies who want to access renewable energy.  It also offers storage installations, EV charge points, and an energy optimization platform. 
Why it’s poised to take off: While Bnewable’s full-service offering removes the complexities of accessing renewables and storage systems for the end user, Stenzel is also impressed by the team behind it. 
“The company is led by an ambitious team of industry insiders that founded and led large cleantech and energy businesses,” he said.
Recommended by: Sophie Bakalar, Collaborative Fund 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: Oakland, California, US
Total raised: $60 million
What it does: Brimstone is decarbonizing cement — without changing the product or price, the company claims. It uses carbon-free calcium silicate rock instead of limestone in producing ordinary Portland cement (OPC).
Why it’s poised to take off: Brimstone achieved a third party certification indicating that it meets ASTM C150 requirements, a global materials standards in construction, Bakalar said. 
Brimstone’s ability to hit the milestone ahead of others puts it in good stead for accelerating the future of net-zero construction, she added. 
Recommended by: Terese Hougaard, Atomico 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: San Francisco, US
Total raised: Undisclosed 
What it does: Byterat has developed an advanced data analytics platform for battery engineers. With a better understanding of a battery’s potential performance, the end goal is to help manufactures bring next-generation batteries to market. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Given that batteries are a key part of the energy transition, Hougaard tipped Byterat as one of 2023’s hottest climate tech startups. 
It uses AI and cloud technology to unlock electro-chemical data for real-time battery performance forecasting, Hougaard said. 
 
Recommended by: Douglas Hansen-Luke, Future Planet Capital 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Pasadena, California, US
Total raised: $12 million
What it does: Captura is an ocean-based carbon removal company. It uses renewable electricity and seawater in an electrodialysis process to extract carbon dioxide for storage or utilization. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Captura has fast become one of the most promising carbon removal companies in the market by leveraging the world’s greatest natural carbon sink, the ocean,” Hansen-Luke said. 
The sell for him is that Capture provides “a viable path” to gigaton-scale carbon removal that is needed to curb the worst impacts of climate change, and at a competitive price point below $100 per ton. 
“They are one of the most compelling companies in our portfolio and we are thrilled to be among their first and largest investors,” he added.
Recommended by: Paul Murphy, Lightspeed Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany 
Total raised: 14 million euros ($14.7 million)
What it does: Carbon One is developing a system to produce green methanol en masse so it can be used as an alternative fuel in shipping. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Alternative fuels are an attractive bet thanks to a high gross margin licensing potential, protectable IP, and the ability to tackle large sectors, Murphy said.
Green methanol, which is made from low-carbon sources, will play a “crucial role” in slashing fossil fuel use in chemicals and shipping. It can be used with existing fuel distribution systems, leading to a rapidly growing market supported by a changing regulatory environment, Murphy said.
Carbon One’s process operates at lower temperatures, which lowers investment and operating costs, as the production facility can be located almost anywhere, the investor added.
Recommended by: Max Bray, K Fund 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Madrid, Spain
Total raised: 1 million euros (around $1 million)
What it does: Clevergy is an energy management platform that enables end-users to control and optimize their energy consumption. For example, it can be set up so that electric vehicles only charge at night when energy is cheaper because there is less demand. Clevergy sells to utility companies, which provide it to their customers to use. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Smart meters, solar panels, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and at-home batteries are on the rise, Bray said, and “Clevergy is perfectly placed to capitalise on this.”
The investor sees it as a win-win for utilities and customers; the former have increasingly pinched margins and growing customer churn, which is pushing them into novel tools for customer savings and engagement, he said. 
Recommended by: Zoe Chambers, Frontline Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: £1.5 million ($1.8 million)
What it does: Climate Aligned is developing a generative AI-driven data platform to collect and analyse sustainability and ESG data. It hopes to help investors avoid greenwashing by making the climate credentials of companies, countries, and their bonds and loans transparent.
Why it’s poised to take off: Chambers was drawn to Climate Aligned’s “compelling” cofounders; seasoned climate, finance, and biotech engineer and founder Aleksi Tukiainen heads up the company as CEO and Krista Tukiainen, the former market intelligence head at the Climate Bonds Initiative, is chief operating officer. 
Chambers said the pair are “redefining how investors interact with and access decision-useful data on climate” through their use of machine learning technology. 
Recommended by: Douglas Hansen-Luke, Future Planet Capital 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2017
Headquarters: San Leandro, California, US
Total raised: $15.7 million, per PitchBook
What it does: Coreshell Technologies develops a coating for lithium-ion batteries to help prevent specific kinds of degradation. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “To tackle climate change and reduce our carbon footprint, we need to accelerate the scalability of electric vehicles. Coreshell helps us to meet that challenge,” Hansen-Luke said.
The startup’s coating also enables better vehicle charging, unlocks higher-capacity and lower-cost batteries without wholesale manufacturing changes, the investor added. 
As a result, Coreshell Technologies’ product will play a critical role in the energy transition, Hansen-Luke said.
Recommended by: Christopher Wan, Bessemer 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: New Haven, Connecticut, US 
Total raised: N/A 
What it does: Crew Carbon removes carbon dioxide from wastewater in treatment facilities by using rocks that naturally absorb CO2 and act as a store. 
The process significantly speeds up the natural process of weathering, which otherwise takes millions of years, and stores carbon for thousands of years.
Why it’s poised to take off: “Crew is the only company that is doing enhanced rock weathering in closed, engineered systems,” Wan told Insider. Other companies are using the process in open systems such as agriculture or the ocean.
“The fact that Crew does enhanced rock weathering in closed systems makes the measurement, reporting, and verification of carbon sequestration far more feasible, cheap, and accurate,” he added. 

Recommended by: Daria Saharova, World Fund
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2012
Headquarters: Itzehoe, Germany 
Total raised: $62 million, per PitchBook
What it does: Customcells makes battery components and systems for a range of environments including satellites, unmanned underwater vehicles, and cars. 
Why it’s poised to take off: The electrification of vehicles is one of the biggest decarbonisation drivers – especially in hard-to-electrify use cases, such as aviation and maritime, Saharova said.
“Customcells’ technology enables the electrification of these sectors, making a low-carbon transport sector possible,” she added. The startup has have solved the two key challenges in electrification – significant range and power issues – which has led to winning big clients like Porsche and Lilium.
Recommended by: Arne Morteani, Kiko Ventures, and Daria Saharova, World Fund 
Relationship to VC: Not a portfolio company for either investor
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany 
Total raised: $41.6 million, per PitchBook
What it does: Ecoworks is a sustainable housing startup focused on developing net zero homes, including retrofitting. 
Why it’s poised to take off: By using software with prefabrication, meaning some elements of the building are constructed in a factory rather than on-site, Ecoworks can turn renovation backlogs into attractive and sustainable living spaces in just a few weeks, Morteani said. 
“It solves the most crucial problems of the construction industry, saving up to 80% of labor costs and bringing on-site work to automated factories. Ecoworks addresses one of the most pressing climate challenges and will help accelerate the decarbonization of buildings across Europe,” he said.
In all, Ecoworks has developed a scalable solution capable of “drastically” reducing emissions, World Fund’s Saharova added. 
Recommended by: Matt Penneycard, Ada Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Edinburgh, UK
Total raised: £1.7 million ($2 million)
What it does: Ember is an electric bus company offering an end-to-end service from charging infrastructure and vehicles to passenger experience. 
Why it’s poised to take off:  “Ember, an electric bus network company that puts the passenger first, is an intriguing proposition,” Penneycard said. Its full-stack approach to managing everything needed to run an electric bus network “is really exciting” as it leads to “a far better customer experience,” he added. 

With many of the UK’s startups calling London or the South East home, the investor noted that his firm loves to see innovation from elsewhere in the country. 
Recommended by: Till Stenzel, SET Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: Munich, Germany 
Total raised: 12.3 million euros (around $13 million)
What it does: E-mobilio is a one-stop-shop to help drivers switch to electric vehicles, from car selection to public charging.
Why it’s poised to take off: “We believe EV adoption is entering a new stage, transitioning from early adopters to mass market. This is radically reshaping the dynamics of EV sales and consumer engagement in the process,” Stenzel said. 
E-mobilio has had success in the “conservative German car market,” he said. This will be a good jumping-off point for international growth. It currently works with more than 350 car dealer groups in Germany and Austria, the investor added, including Toyota and insurance company HUK-Coburg.
Recommended by: Laurie Menoud, At One Ventures
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: Petaluma, California, US
Total raised: $18 million 
What it does: Fyto as an agriculture tech startup growing aquatic plants, such as kelp and algae, to use as animal feed and fertilizer in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of the food system.
Why it’s poised to take off: Fyto has developed an automated system – which the company said uses robotics – to cultivate and harvest nutrient-rich aquatic plants for animal feed, biofertilizers, and plant-based proteins. It could play a “critical” role in reducing emissions from agriculture, specifically methane, Menoud said. 
“With an edge in unit economics, Fyto offers a competitive alternative to traditional feeds like soybean, utilizing fewer resources in terms of land and water,” the investor added.
Recommended by: Charles Seely, Hoxton Ventures
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Paris, France 
Total raised: 5 million euros ($5.2 million)
What it does: Ecosystem Restoration Standard has created a digital system to certify and monitor nature-based projects, like reforestation, that generate carbon credits. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “There is a massive imbalance of supply and demand for carbon credits, which means the world needs to create and certify carbon credits as rapidly and accurately as possible,” Seely said. 
As well as certification bottlenecks, carbon credit projects have also been plagued with quality issues as many have been found to not represent the carbon removal stated. This has led to a boom in monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon credit projects.
Ecosystem Restoration Standard’s proprietary technology, which certifies and monitors projects on an ongoing basis, is a draw for Seely. “Beyond traditional third-party audits by independent experts, they use next-gen digital MRV —from satellite imagery to radar, to time-stamped, geo-located ground data— to make sure projects stay on track,” he said. 
Seely also noted that the team includes PhDs, data scientists, and data engineers.
Recommended by: Marc Sabas, Ship2B Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2022 as a spin-out of research institute ICIQ
Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
Total raised: 7.6 million euros ($8 million)
What it does: Jolt has developed a catalytic coating for electrodes used in hydrogen produced via electrolysis t0 improve efficiency and extend electrode lifespan. 
Why it’s poised to take off: The current production cost of green hydrogen, which is hydrogen produced with water and renewable energy, is too expensive. It needs to drop by at least 50% for it to become economically viable at mass scale, according to Sabas. 
By making the electrodes last longer and perform better with its coating, Jolt can help lower the cost over the hydrogen production and facilitate mass adoption, the investor said. 
Recommended by: Jeremy Brown, Anthemis 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark 
Total raised: 75 million euros 
What it does: Agreena has built a platform to help farmers access financing – be it through carbon credits or green bonds – for regenerative agriculture. It does this through monitoring and verification of regenerative agriculture’s environmental benefits, such soil carbon storage.
Why it’s poised to take off:  “When we look at the role that agriculture will play in fighting the climate crisis, it’s substantial. Soils are a massive carbon sink, second only to the ocean in their carbon absorption power,” Brown said. 
Agreena has developed a platform that incentivizes farmers to increase the carbon potential in their land. “At scale, this will have a massive impact on taking carbon out of the atmosphere,” he said.
Recommended by: Heidi Lindvall, Pale Blue Dot 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Paris, France
Total raised: 5 million euros (around $5.3 million)
What it does: While some mainstream banks use the public’s savings to invest in fossil fuels, Green Got is a neobank that invests in climate projects such as rainforest preservation, solar panels, and marine clean-ups. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Our banks today operate as black boxes where we don’t have any knowledge and control of how our money is being used,” Lindvall said.
This increased awareness has led to demand from customers for more control over their money, she added. “Green Got is successfully gaining their trust accelerating its services beyond France.” 
Recommended by: Laura McGinnis, Balderton Capital 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2023
Headquarters: Paris, France 
Total raised: Undisclosed 
What it does: Guided Energy has developed a platform for electric fleet management. It uses machine learning to optimize charging and job allocations for its customers, which include rideshare and logistics companies, according to its website. 
Why it’s poised to take off: McGinnis is impressed by the startup’s “top-tier team” and software that goes beyond fleet monitoring – it provides recommendations for optimal charging, job assignments, and can regulate charger power output, she said. 
“Our confidence is further bolstered by our strong belief in the market potential. As fleets transition to electric and electrification surges, sectors like car rentals, delivery services, and ridesharing platforms stand to benefit immensely,” McGinnis said.
Recommended by: Pablo Pedrejon, Seaya 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2017
Headquarters: Paris, France
Total raised: N/A
What it does: Hello Watt has developed a consumer energy management system. It tracks energy use, provides users with a detailed analysis, and recommends ways to reduce energy bills. It also allows users to compare utility providers, insulate their home, and install solar. 
Why it’s poised to take off: While there are a host of energy management products on the market right now, Pedrejon noted Hello Watt’s ability to help customers go green with its insulation and renewables services, as well as its focus on real-time data.
Recommended by: Charles Seely, Hoxton Ventures
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Cambridge, UK
Total raised: £6 million ($7.3 million)
What it does: Hide is a biotech company making an alternative to leather.
Why it’s poised to take off: Seely dubbed Hide, which uses protein chemistry and engineering, as “transformational.”  
“Its materials provide a viable alternative to leather with comparable performance,” he said. “We have seen many competitors come and go, but Hide is an emerging leader because it is able to meet both the aesthetics and quality performance needs of the world’s largest and most exclusive brands, and because of its ability to supply materials at a very large scale.”
Recommended by: Max Bray, K Fund 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Madrid, Spain
Total raised: 4 million euros (around $4.2 million)
What it does: IF Returns is a returns management platform for ecommerce. It encourages exchanges and new sales by reducing out-of-stock items and damage through its sustainable logistics operation. 
Why it’s poised to take off:  “Bringing an environment-first approach to the monster challenge that is online returns, co-founders Marcello and Galo have carved out a niche serving all shapes and sizes of fashion and e-commerce players in Southern Europe,” Bray said. 
Instead of collecting items, it has a network of 200,000 drop-off points in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. This, together with electric delivery vehicles and sustainable packaging “sets them up brilliantly to grow across Europe in the years to come,” he added.
Recommended by: Mona Alsubaei, Transition Global
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, US
Total raised: $6.3 million
What it does: Lithos Carbon is an enhanced rock weathering company. It spreads crushed nutrient-rich volcanic rock, often a byproduct of the mining industry, on cropland. The rock draws down atmospheric carbon and stores it, accelerating a natural carbon removal and sequestration process.
Why it’s poised to take off: Agriculture is both contributing to the climate crisis and being negatively impacted by it, Alsubaei said. Lithos Carbon’s enhanced rock weathering also increases crop yields, improves soil health, and enhances crop resilience to pests and droughts, the investor said. 
Alsubaei noted that the startup has spread over 50,000 tons of rock dust in North America. It has also collected more than 6,000 soil cores, which are being used to validate accurate carbon removal in new regions, the company told Insider. 
Recommended by: Tess Hatch, Bessemer 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Sydney, Austrailia, and Denver, Colorado, US
Total raised: $22 million
What it does: Lumachain’s has developed an AI platform to bring supply chain transparency for beef and chicken, from ranch to restaurants. The company claims this improves food safety, employee safety, and oversight of the protein industry’s carbon footprint.
Why it’s poised to take off: “Lumachain is revolutionizing one of the oldest industries in the world, one that hasn’t been touched by software,” Hatch said. 
The technology helps the food supply chain industry to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and grow revenues and margins, the investor added. 
Hatch noted that the company is working with large meat processing companies, including JBS and Tyson.
Recommended by: Matt Penneycard, Ada Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $4 million 
What it does: Materials Nexus has built a platform that uses AI to make the discovery and development of sustainable materials more efficient. 
Why it’s poised to take off: The energy transition and race to net zero is top of mind for many but still relies on Earth’s resources, such as precious metals and rare elements. That’s what Materials Nexus uses AI to find replacements for, Penneycard said. 
“The company is going to build labs to find and create the materials themselves; their technical team is incredibly accomplished,” the investor said.
“Founder Jonathan Bean’s vision is genuinely ground-breaking – and it’s exactly the kind of breakthrough idea that gets us excited at Ada Ventures. It could change the world for the better.”
Recommended by: Swati Mylavarapu, Incite 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: San Bruno, California, US
Total raised: $232 million, per PitchBook
What it does: Mill Industries has developed a smart trash can for food waste, which dries up leftovers or scraps and grinds them down. When the bin is full, the customers sends their waste to the company, which then turns it into chicken feed. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Mill is tackling an area where every individual can make an impact, which is important when climate change often feels like a dauntingly large challenge, Mylavarapu said. It is the latest venture of Matt Rogers, the cofounder smart thermostat company Nest, which was later sold to Google.
“This team’s magic is in their ability to build a complicated product and service, and make it look deceptively simple – and drive meaningful change in an everyday behavior,” Mylavarapu said.
By turning household food waste into chicken feed, “Mill is turning garbage into gold,” the investor added. “And that is revolutionary for our planet, for their business, and my portfolio.”
Recommended by: Max Bray, K Fund
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain
Total raised: $17 million
What it does: Mitiga Solutions has developed an AI-driven platform to predict the risk and potential damage of extreme weather events and hazards. The data is used to help protect people and assets, and make them more resilient. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Mapping climate risk is a problem that is only going to increase in the years to come, and we are firm believers in the value of software tools to help mitigate the effects,” Bray said.
“We’re big fans of both Mitiga’s development of proprietary data sets and algorithms on top of this, as well as an approach that focused on building a product tailored to specific verticals.”
Recommended by: Daria Saharova, World Fund
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2018
Headquarters: Munich, Germany 
Total raised: 17 million euros ($17.8 million)
What it does: OroraTech is a space-tech startup using small satellites and sensors to collect thermal imagery data and detect potential wildfire hotspots. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Wildfires threaten biodiversity, the natural world, and vital carbon stores like rainforests, but the climate crises stokes them.
There is “immense climate performance potential” in protecting rainforests, Saharova said.  “OroraTech’s solution is an intelligent solution to a problem worsening each year.”
Recommended by: Terese Hougaard, Atomico 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $8.3 million
What it does: Opna has built a financing platform to help businesses discover and invest in pre-vetted carbon removal projects, such as reforestation and biochar. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “While an increasing number of corporates have made 2025 net zero commitments, most are struggling to reach these,” Hougaard said. This is compounded by the fact some carbon credits that are bought by corporations to offset emissions may not represent the carbon savings they are supposed to.
Opna has developed its own method of vetting projects; the platform offers “trustworthy carbon projects,” Hougaard said. 
Recommended by: Alex Roetter, Moxxie VC 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2017
Headquarters: Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Total raised: $25 million 
What it does: Overstory uses machine learning on top of satellite imagery to help utilities optimize their vegetation management work, which reduces the risk of wildfires and outages while improving network reliability. 
Why it’s poised to take off:  “Climate change is here. We need to manage the risks today of massive wildfires and destruction to property and loss of life,” Roetter said.
Overstory helps to do just that. “Sadly, once in a century wildfires are now an annual occurrence. We need to throw everything we have at this problem, including tools like this,” he added. 
Recommended by: Daria Saharova, World Fund
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2023
Headquarters: Munich, Germany 
Total raised: 7.5 million euros ($18.4 million)
What it does: Proxima Fusion develops nuclear fusion power plants.
Why it’s poised to take off: A huge amount of emission reductions need to come from technologies yet to be developed, one of those technologies is nuclear fusion.
Nuclear reactors today use fission technology, where atoms are split to create energy. Two atoms have to be combined for fusion energy, which is the same process that fuels the sun. 
“We want fusion to succeed as it will provide abundant, fossil-fuel-free energy for future generations,” Saharova said. There are handful of nuclear companies working to crack it, but “Proxima’s technology is one of the most advanced in the market, the investor added. She also believes that they have the right team in place to succeed.
Recommended by: Tess Hatch, Bessemer 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Exeter, UK
Total raised: $1 million
What it does: Quanterra provides ecosystem monitoring for nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, such as forestry projects or regenerative agriculture. It monitors carbon sequestration as well as the flows of water and energy to understand overall ecosystem health and the effects of different land management.
Why it’s poised to take off: The startup uses eddy covariance towers produce ground-truth data on how gases move in an ecosystem, Hatch said. “This will be vital for the nature-based solution value chain, which currently lack data on how much carbon dioxide stays in soils,” she added.
Quanterra hardware and software package is a fraction of the cost of traditional eddy covariance towers, is more robust, and easy to maintain, the investor said. 
Data can be collected up to every 30 minutes. The startup is also looking at extending its system to methane, according to its website. 
Recommended by: Hussein Kanji, Partner, Hoxton Ventures
Relationship to VC: Portfolio
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Nottingham, UK
Total raised: $1 million 
What it does: Really Clever makes sustainable materials, for example leather alternatives, from bio-based ingredients and fungal waste, helping fashion companies curb their environmental footprint. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Kanji noted the versatility of Really Clever’s technology – it can use a range of biological-based source material to create “a multitude of different materials to replace animal and plastic derived products.” 
Recommended by: Pablo Pedrejon, Seaya 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $25 million
What it does: Some materials are not recycled when the cost of sorting them is more than the materials are worth, according to Recycleye. In efforts to tackle this, the startup uses AI and robotics to make recycling more efficient. By bringing down the cost of sorting materials, it hopes more will be recycled.
Why it’s poised to take off: Recycleye’s robots can pick up to 33,000 items per robot over a 10-hour shift, Pedrejon said. The investor touted it as “the most accurate and efficient AI robotic picking solution globally available today, offering a fast, cost-effective retrofit to existing recycling facilities.”
Its technology allows it to scale fast on existing infrastructure across Europe and the US, he added.  
Recommended by: Danielle Jing, Pear VC
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2016
Headquarters: New York
Total raised: Undisclosed 
What it does: RePurpose has created a software platform to help companies account for and reduce their plastic use. It helps its customers set targets, find alternative materials and comply with policy. 
Why it’s poised to take off: RePurpose has “built a thoughtful approach to tackling waste that makes them trusted partners,” Jing said.  “It’s truly amazing the impact they’ve made all over the world as well.”
It shows its value through its impact partner ecosystem, plastic credit protocols, flagship plastic-neutral certification, and foot-printing science and standards, Jing added. 
RePurpose has recovered 15 million kilograms of plastic waste from the environment and worked with 300 companies measure and reduce their plastic footprints, it told Insider.  
Recommended by: Hussein Kanji, Hoxton Ventures
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $5.5 million 
What it does: Safi has developed a B2B marketplace for trading recyclable materials, which digitized existing processes. It is powered by AI, which certifies of the material’s quality. 
Why it’s poised to take off: The recycling market is expected to boom in the next decade, Kanji said. Safi is primed to benefit from that scale – it removes friction, increases product and price transparency, and provides access to a wide international customer base, the investor said. 
Recommended by: Laurie Menoud, At One Ventures, and Louis Fearn, InMotion Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio for Menoud, and not a portfolio company for Fearn
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina, US
Total raised: $4.9 million
What it does: Simplifyber makes bio-based materials to replace polyester by injecting a specially-formulated cellulose liquid into a proprietary system of molds. It’s manufacturing system enables the production of sustainable soft goods at scale, without plastic.
Why it’s poised to take off: Menoud touted Simplifyber as revolutionary. 
“Simplifyber addresses two significant issues in the fashion industry: sustainability and cost. By eliminating waste and pollution while maintaining cost-effectiveness, Simplifyber positions itself as a future leader in eco-friendly clothing production with a real potential to displace polyester,” she said. 
The startup’s cost and sustainability credentials were also a pull for Fearn who said, “Simplifyber has the potential to become a mainstay in the world’s apparel, footwear, and automotive industries.” 
Recommended by: Michael Smith, Regeneration.vc
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Houston, Texas, US
Total raised: $640 million, according to PitchBook
What it does: Solugen is a biotechnology company that has developed sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Bioforge is a first-of-its-kind waste-to-green chemicals production process poised for rapid adoption to support a circular economy,” Smith said. 

The company’s alternative chemicals, which are made with enzymes, have a range of applications across agriculture, water treatment, concrete and cleaning.
Recommended by: Paul Murphy, Lightspeed Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $15.5 million
What it does: Supercritical has developed a carbon removal marketplace to help such projects get funded and to scale.
Why it’s poised to take off: Supercritical demystifies and brings trust to the voluntary carbon markets, where carbon credits are bought and sold by people and companies, by helping businesses purchase pre-vetted carbon removals, Murphy said. 
“Our view is every company will have a mix of decarbonisation efforts and carbon dioxide removal on their net zero journey,” the investor said. 
“The company’s dedication to continuous evaluation to find and fund new technology with the biggest potential underpin its mission,” he added. 
Cofounders Michelle You and Aaron Randall previously worked together at music startup Songkick, which You also cofounded. They have long been on Lightspeed’s radar, Murphy said, adding that Lightspeed believes their mission-driven approach to building the business will attract top talent and partners. 
 
Recommended by: Laura McGinnis, Balderton Capital 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: London, UK
Total raised: $97 million, per PitchBook 
What it does: Sylvera help businesses purchase high quality carbon credits, which represent emissions removal or reductions, by rating them. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Balderton Capital believes Sylvera is “transforming” the voluntary carbon market (VCM) via its carbon credit rating and analytics platform, McGinnis said. It was an early company to offer this service, which is still largely nascent. 
“In an era where the global VCM is beset by fragmentation, scarce data, and inconsistent verification processes that can result in fraud, Sylvera emerges as a reliable market leader empowering organizations to confidently amplify their climate efforts and target net zero,” she said.
Recommended by: Jeremy Brown, Anthemis 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Zug, Switzerland 
Total raised: $16 million 
What it does: Toucan is using crypto tokens to share carbon credit info on an open, blockchain-powered database, which it hopes will increase transparency and integrity in the voluntary carbon market.
Why it’s poised to take off: “The development and sustained growth of the voluntary carbon market will be critical to meet our ambitious carbon reduction goals. To ensure that it continues to grow at a rapid pace, infrastructure layers providing the technical rails to help scale the voluntary carbon market will be critical,” Brown said. 
Toucan is one such company developing infrastructure to add transparency, he said.
Recommended by: Michael Smith, Regeneration.vc
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: New York, US 
Total raised: $30 million 
What it does: Tulu provides rental kiosks full of appliances, tools, and e-scooters to building owners to promote sharing and a circular economy amongst residents. 
Why it’s poised to take off: “Already in 26 cities worldwide, Tulu is poised to transform our everyday interactions with the built environment while supporting building owners to meet climate targets,” Smith said. 
Tulu’s units are also modular and IoT-enabled, residents use an app to hire a product instantly or book it in advance.
Recommended by: Kristian Branaes, Transition Global
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2021
Headquarters: Paris, France 
Total raised: $30 million 
What it does: Upway refurbishes and resells small electric vehicles, starting with e-bikes. It ultimately wants to help decarbonise transportation by making e-bikes more affordable, and reduce waste by extending their lifetime.
Why it’s poised to take off: “The e-bike market is growing very fast, but high cost and a complex buying experience has held back mass-market adoption,” Branaes said. The investor sees Upway as a solution thanks to its discounted rates, warranties, and next-day delivery, which helps to position it as a market leader, he said. 
 
Recommended by: Nick de la Forge, Planet A
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2017
Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland 
Total raised: 5.5 million euro ($5.8 million)
What it does: Upright goes beyond ESG compliance to measure how a business, its products or services, capital invested, taxes paid, jobs, and resource use impacts the world. Its findings on some of the world’s biggest companies are available for free online.
Why it’s poised to take off: The fact that Upright has built an open-access platform showcasing its AI-driven impact data is a huge selling point for de la Forge. It challenges reporting or disclosures from companies themselves and democratizes impact data, he said. 
Recommended by: Christopher Wan, Bessemer 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, US
Total raised: $9 million
What it does: Windfall Bio produces methane-eating microbes that convert the potent gas into an organic fertilizer, which also boosts agriculture yield. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Wan is convinced by Windfall Bio’s double-pronged approach capturing methane and utilizing it. 
Methane is 28-times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period but remains in the atmosphere for a fraction of the time. Windfall Bio provides microbes and associated services to enable the capture of methane, including directly from the atmosphere. 
“Methane is an overlooked greenhouse gas that has far more harmful effects on the environment than CO2 does,” he added.
Recommended by: Heidi Lindvall, Pale Blue Dot 
Relationship to VC: Not in portfolio
Founded: 2020
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany 
Total raised: $13 million
What it does: Vaayu provides tools to help ecommerce businesses measure, track, and reduce their carbon footprint.
Why it’s poised to take off: Lindvall is impresses by Vaayu’s founding team, with former Zalando sustainability head Namrata Sandhu at the helm. 
She also likes its focus on the retail sector. “I love approaches that specialises on a sector to fully understand how to successfully decarbonise in the best way possible,” she said.
Recommended by: Arne Morteani, Kiko Ventures 
Relationship to VC: Portfolio 
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: Cologne, Germany 
Total raised: $12.5 million
What it does: Vytal Global has developed a reusable packaging system for cafes and restaurants where customers can order food then return the containers. It’s powered by an app that connects the packaging, customer and cafe or restaurant. 
Why it’s poised to take off: Circular economy is a key tactic to address climate change, Morteani said, in this case by replacing single-use packaging. Reusable packaging specifically is bolstered by a bevy of European policy discussions on the issue. In Germany and the Netherlands, reusable packaging must be offered to consumers.
Vytal says it has a 99% return rate with an average return time below five days. It also has a partnership with Germany’s largest food delivery service, Lieferando.
“With tailwinds in favour of reuse and strong network effects, Vytal is poised to become a very valuable company,” Morteani said. 
Read next

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*