15 successes from within our funds in 2023

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We had a big realization… we don’t talk enough about all the exciting developments happening at the companies our investors help fund! By the end of 2023, our community of investors had contributed funding to 99 climate tech companies. In this edition, we will share some of the most exciting highlights of 2023.

Note: These are just 15 success stories — there have been plenty more in 2023. We plan to spotlight those companies as this year goes on!

Do you want me to share more of this kind of news? Please let me know below!

Commercial traction

Five examples of big commercial milestones in 2023 (such as strong revenue growth, major offtake agreements or initiating large-scale factory construction) from companies in our funds:

  1. Home decarbonization platform 1KOMMA5° showed strong commercial growth
    It more than doubled its revenue to €460 million in 2023 (compared to €206 million in 2022). To date, 1KOMMA5° has installed more than 170,000 solar systems, heat pumps, home batteries and charging stations for customers.
  2. Rondo Energy announced a major expansion of its battery manufacturing facility
    The facility, which Rondo is building together with Siam Cement Group, will produce 90 GWh worth of Rondo Heat Batteries per year, more than any existing battery manufacturing facility worldwide. The factory will produce enough batteries to save 12 million tons of CO2 annually, powering decarbonization in the world’s most energy and emissions-intensive industries.
  3. Twelve started building its first commercial-scale Sustainable Aviation Fuel (e-SAF) plant
    The plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Twelve’s revolutionary technology uses only renewable energy and water to transform CO2 into chemicals, materials and fuels. Its power-to-liquid SAF has 90% lower GHG emissions than aviation fuels made from oil.*
  4. CycleØ launched Spain’s first biomethane plant to include ammonia stripping, and plans to build 19 more this year
    These facilities will produce 240 GWh of biomethane annually. Next to producing biomethane, these plants also has an ammonia stripping technology, enabling the production of fertilizer from the biomass waste byproduct - displacing fossil fuel-based fertilizers.
  5. KoBold Metals discovered the largest Zambian copper deposits in 100 years
    Last month, the company announced plans to fast-track the development of this copper mine to meet the increasing demand for critical metals. You can watch an interview with its founder and CEO where he explained how KoBold made finding the copper deposit possible here.

Funding rounds

Five examples of notable funding rounds (in terms of the total capital raised, strategic investors or round size relative to stage) from companies within our funds:

  1. Aeroseal raised $67 million to scale their deployment of insulation tech
    Aeroseal insulates air duct systems, which are responsible for 50% of energy loss in buildings. The company has already sealed over 260,000 homes and thousands of commercial buildings across 30 countries, reducing half a million tons of CO2 emissions in the process (aka 1% of NL’s GHG emissions). The funding will allow Aeroseal to expand its offering globally and develop its next-generation envelope-sealing system.
  2. CarbonCure announced a $80 million funding round to support growth plans
    CarbonCure recycles CO2 into concrete, permanently sequestering the CO2 while reducing the total GHG-intensive cement required. Already operating in 30 countries, this funding will support CarbonCure in achieving its growth plans and accelerating its product roadmap, which includes solutions to further reduce cement’s carbon footprint.
  3. Electric Hydrogen announced an oversubscribed $380 million Series C funding
    Electric Hydrogen is on a mission to produce the lowest cost green hydrogen in the USA. The company is currently finalizing its 1.2 gigawatts (GW) factory, which will begin production in 2024. It has a further 5 GW of electrolysis systems reserved by customers. With this funding round, Electric Hydrogen’s valuation surpassed one billion, making it a climate tech unicorn.*
  4. Umiami bagged a €32.5 million financing round to support a US market entry
    Umiami specializes in the production of plant-based meat alternatives. Its latest funding brings the total amount secured to €100 million over three years. The funding will be used for three strategic objectives: build a larger factory, accelerate commercialization in Europe and support its expansion strategy in the US.
  5. Blue Frontier raised $16.9 million from a strategic investor
    Blue Frontier transforms how we cool our buildings while vastly reducing energy use. This capital injection comes from a large corporation, however the exact details are still under wraps for now. The funding follows a $20 million Series A in 2022, led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures and 2150.

Government grants

2023 was the year the IRA kicked in and Europe stepped up its game. Here are five examples of companies within our funds that have received strong financial support from governments, signaling the importance of their technology and further propelling their growth.

  1. Sunfire received €169 million from the EU’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI)
    The grant will help Sunfire scale up its electrolyzers which are used to make green hydrogen. Sunfire is the only German producer of large-scale electrolyzers to have received funding from the IPCEI.
  2. Reverion received €3 million from the German Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovations (SPRIND)
    The grant was part of the SPRIND “Long-Duration Energy Storage” Challenge. This is in addition to the funding it started receiving from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program in February.* Watch this video to learn more about Reverion.
  3. Standing Ovation secured €3 million from the French government
    Standing Ovation, a French biotech company, secured funding from the French government and Bpifrance for its CASPEX project, aiming to scale the production of precision fermentation-derived caseins that will be used to make animal-free dairy products.
  4. Form Energy received three grants in 2023
    In January, Form Energy received a $70 million grant from the US Department of Energy for two demonstration-scale long duration energy storage systems.* In August, New York State awarded them a $12 million grant to deploy a 10-megawatt iron-air battery system.* In December, it received a $30M grant from the California Energy Commission to deploy a multi-day energy storage project.*
  5. Carbon America is awarded $32.6 million from the US Department of Energy
    The grant will accelerate the development of a large-scale, commercial carbon storage project in Colorado that can securely store 50 or more million metric tons of carbon dioxide deep underground.

Expert recognition

While we continually see companies within our fund showing up on climate tech company “lists”, here are two top climate tech compilations that stood out.

It’s honestly my favorite part of the job to learn about these companies and track their progress over time. With this newsletter, I aim to share this excitement with you. Do you want to hear about more of these company milestones?

💡 Carbon Equity updates

Jacqueline, our Co-Founder and CEO, will give a keynote presentation at the Leaders in Finance’s Future of Wealth Event 2024 on March 7. You can register for the event here.

I was interviewed by Elfin, the financial platform for women in the Netherlands and Belgium, discussing how to make an effective impact with your money. You can read the interview (in Dutch) here.

We will speak at Phenix Capital’s Impact Summit Europe on March 26. You can register for the event here.

We are excited to announce our membership with Invest Europe, Europe’s esteemed private equity community. We will host a “State of Climate Tech” dinner before their Investor's Forum, on March 19 in Geneva for like-minded GPs and LPs. Please contact Rikkert, our Head of Professional Sales, if you’d like to join.

If you missed it, we hosted a webinar to discuss the outlook of climate tech in 2024 with two climate investing experts and an economist to drive the macroeconomic discussion. You can watch the session here.

We're seeking a Copywriter EN/NL and Compliance Analyst to join our team. You can find the vacancies here — please feel free to share them with your network!

🚀 News from within our funds

Transmutex is developing a nuclear reactor that will use nuclear waste and thorium, not enriched uranium, as a feedstock, helping solve nuclear waste issues while extracting additional energy. We joined its $23m Series A funding round through At One Ventures.

AiDash uses AI and satellites to spot wildfires, weather risks on power lines and report on biodiversity. We joined its $50m funding round through Lightrock.

Paratus provides insurance policies to protect producers and consumers of renewable power and transition fuels from energy price risks. We joined its growth funding round through Ara Partners.

Ara Partners has been named the Impact Firm of the Year in the Climate and Nature category by New Private Markets, an intelligence platform for private markets.

You can explore more companies within our funds here.

Interesting reads

My annual presentation on the state of decarbonization

Nat Bullard published his epic slide deck (200 slides this time) with the most interesting data he’s found on the transition to net zero. He covers all sectors and most technologies, including their progress, cost developments, material needs, and much more. I particularly loved the slides on how markets respond to changing government policies (slides 29 and 70-72).

What would it take to scale critical climate technologies?

McKinsey summarizes what it will take to scale the 12 most critical climate technologies, which together can abate 90% of GHG emissions. Of these, 10% are fully competitive, 45% are scaling, 40% are technologically mature but need to commercialize, and 5% still need to scale out of the lab. Fortunately, climate technologies are reaching maturity faster than in the past and are consistently outpacing forecasts.*

EU reaches deal on world’s first carbon removal certification scheme

The EU took a major step to become the first to regulate carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits. The draft framework outlines key criteria for CDR projects and specific methodologies to be developed for different CDR pathways like direct air capture (DAC) and bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The framework is expected to enter into force later this year.

How much waste do solar panels and wind turbines produce?

We should not build a future with renewable energy without a plan for what to do with the materials at their end of life. However, even in the worst case, moving away from coal power to renewables would significantly reduce the amount of waste generated. Looking at the waste generated per unit of electricity production, coal produces over 50x and 550x more waste than solar PV and wind, respectively. Not to mention that the toxicity of the coal ash waste is also way worse for human health, for example, due to air pollution.

Is It time to change how we talk about 1.5C?

The agreement to limit warming to 1.5C was established during the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, the truth is that the planet is now already 1.2C warmer compared to the pre-industrial era and we could surpass 1.5C within a decade. Does that mean we should talk differently about the target we set for ourselves? Does having a target motivate us, and now that we are close to passing it, does it demotivate us?