Recent Deals – 24 January

Meat without meat, cloud-based autonomous machines, biotechnology and photosynthesis-enhanced trees – get the full scoop on the latest cleantech deals worth watching here.

Agriculture & Food

No meat factory (2019), the most straightforward name possible – a factory without meat! The company offers plant-based meat alternatives at gourmet standards, with everything from whole cuts and processed products to ready meals for the retail and foodservice sectors. With participation from one of its early investors, Emil Capital Partners (ECP), the company has raised $42 million in a recent Series B round led by Tengelmann Growth Partners. No Meat Factory plans to use the funds to expand its manufacturing capacity to support a global market, expand its manufacturing capacity in North America and support its research and development organization focused on commercializing fresh innovations in the alternative protein sector.

Energy & Power

Enpal (2017) facilitate accessibility in the renewable energy sector by designing and manufacturing solar panels paired with affordable and personalized installation services. The company recently secured $230 million in Series D funding led by TPG Rise Climate, backed by HV Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund, Princeville Capital, Westly Group and Activate Capital. This round, with both new and existing investors, came just weeks after the company closed a $916 million (€855 million) refinancing. This funding will enable Enpal to build on its momentum of installing a current sum of 2,000 new solar systems across Germany every month, pursue the creation of new products and further support plans to venture into new markets. The fight against climate change, colored by a deeper fight against our habits as a species, will require a level of convenience and accessibility to get everyone on board. Enpal aims to make the transition to solar energy as personal and accessible as possible, with the goal of eventually “putting solar panels on every roof, a battery in every home and an electric vehicle with a charger in front of every door” (Mario Kohle, CEO and founder of Enpal).

Materials and chemicals

Summit Nanotech (2018) optimize lithium supply chain challenges through direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, designed to meet the world’s changing energy storage needs. As the mobility revolution continues and the demand for electric vehicles requiring lithium batteries continues to outpace the lithium supply chain, the necessity of an economical and environmentally protective solution for lithium extraction is critical. Summit Nanotech developed a technology that extracts lithium from brine that is faster than traditional methods, requires lower temperatures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimizes the use of fresh water. The company has received $50 million in a Series A round led by Evok Innovations and Business Development Bank of Canada’s Climate Tech Fund, backed by Xora Innovation, NGP Capital, Helios Climate Ventures, Grantham Foundation, Capricorn Investment Group and Volta Energy Technologies. Following its successful pilot project, these funds will be used to advance Summit Nanotech to the next stage of commercialization by scaling up its Canadian manufacturing capabilities and expanding its global resource base.

Resources and environment

Living carbon (2019) are working to restore ecosystems by developing genetically enhanced plants for CO2 capture and storage. The trees produced accumulate up to 53% more biomass than control seedlings, which in turn increases the CO2 sequestration rate. In addition, the biotechnology company has included an accumulation function in the roots to accelerate metal absorption. Living Carbon recently raised $21 million in a Series A funding round led by Temasek, with participation from Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures and Felicis Ventures. This round of funding will support plans to accelerate the deployment of photosynthesis-enhanced trees, build a team and scale up the company’s work with other bioengineered climate solutions. On a mission to rebalance the planet’s carbon cycle by lending it a helping hand, aka the joys of advanced biotechnology, Living Carbon is on track to deliver up to 5 million seedlings across the US by 2023/2024. Furthermore, companies can purchase the seedlings to reduce their carbon footprint as Living Carbon offers quantification and monitoring services.

Transport & Logistics

Oxbotica (2014) is a company that leverages artificial intelligence to build a modular software platform that enables any industry to adopt autonomous operations. Staying within the theme of accessibility, Oxbotica offers a universal, fully modular software with low computing power requirements, integrated with cloud management services and equipped with device drivers, mapping, obstacle detection, perception and prediction through laser and radar sensors. The company has raised $140 million in a Series C round from Aioi Nissay Dowa, Eneos Innovation Partners, BP Ventures, BGF, Halma, Hostplus, Kiko Ventures, Ocado, Tencent, Venture Science and ZF Friedrichshafen. The funds will enable Oxbotica to further deploy operating systems across a wide range of industrial and commercial industries, including the agricultural, energy, transport and aviation sectors. The overall goal is to support the growing revolution in mobility by scaling its flexibility-focused technology and offering the ability for all vehicles of all sizes, within any location, to operate autonomously without compromising safety or sustainability .

Enabling technologies

MacroFab (2016) have developed a cloud-enabled platform which automates the manufacturing process of electronics. The company aims to remove the barriers to entry associated with electronic manufacturing by offering an easy-to-use platform to support manufacturing from the prototype stage to high-scale production. As electronics manufacturing has grown in North America over the past few years, with more companies moving production overseas, Macrofab has doubled its workforce capacity, with shipments up 275% year-over-year. The company recently raised $42 million in a Growth Equity round led by Foundry with participation from existing investors Edison Partners and ATX Venture Partners, along with BMW i Ventures. This round of funding brings its total to $82 million, allowing MacroFab to continue expanding its business reach and operations beyond its current network of 100+ factories across North America.

William

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