🌎 2022 climate tech: a year in review #131

85 issues, 24,000 readers, and 900+ deals in 2022

What a year it’s been! In this week’s issue: stats, headlines and deals gone by; and a brief

📰 85 issues published

👋 24,000+ new subscribers

900+ climate tech deals

We spotlight three $100m+ mega deals to close out the year on a bang – a carbon capture and removal provider for $318m, a lithium-silicon battery developer for $214m, and $125m for energy data and community solar provision. We also recap fusion’s breakthrough moment, a bevy of more government funding for batteries and DAC, and California’s net-metering decision.

We’re grateful for your readership, and all your work in making climate tech go. We’ll be offline reinvesting in our brain equity for the rest of the year - we’ll be back with more climate positive goodness on January 9th. Till then, we’re wishing for fewer lumps of coal and wishing all y’all some happy holidays!

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A 2022 climate tech year in review

✍️ The $370B Inflation Reduction Act changed everything when it was signed into law as the most ambitious legislative action the US has ever taken on climate.

💣 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine broke a link in Europe’s natural gas supply chain - the worst humanitarian impacts which have yet to be felt this winter. Energy prices headed to record-breaking territory with countries racing to shore up their energy supplies.

🇺🇸🇨🇳 The US and China’s Climate War posturing transitioned tactics from diplomacy to industrial policy.

☔ Climate disasters stormed the summer, from Hurricane Ian, to record-breaking heat waves in Europe and China, and devastating floods in Pakistan.

🌐 The IPCC’s sixth assessment report read like ‘an atlas of human suffering’, and COP27 ended with little tangible progress.

🛢️ The decade of peak fossil has arrived according to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook.

📉  Public markets spiraled into bear territory. Public climate tech companies in EIP’s Index are down 53% from its 2021 peak and climate SPACs are similarly under-performing.

🌎 The SEC proposed a landmark rule mandating climate disclosure for public companies.  

⚡ California leads the charge to get over gas, requiring all new vehicles sold to be electric by 2035 and banning natural gas heaters by 2030.

🤝 The First Movers Coalition bolstered public-private partnerships in hard-to-abate industries, including aluminum, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel, and trucking

💨 Frontier launched a $925M advanced market commitment to accelerate the development of carbon removal technologies.

🎁 Patagonia pioneered a new form of climate philanthropy by transferring 2% of voting and 98% of non-voting stock toward causes to fight the climate crisis.

🔬 The UK launched the £800m UK Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) to model the US Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA).

💔 ESG faced a backlash, with asset managers like Blackrock and Vanguard criticized by both the left and right. Meanwhile, Tesla got booted from the S&P500 ESG Index, proving that ESG ain’t climate.

💸 It’s never been a better time to be a climate entrepreneur, with ~$37B in fresh investable climate-dedicated dry powder across 132 new climate funds.


Deals of the Week (12/12-12/18)

Venture Fundings

💨 Svante, a British Columbia-based carbon capture and removal provider, raised $318m in Series E funding from Chevron New Energies.

🔋 Group14 Technologies, a Woodinville, WA-based developer of lithium-silicon battery materials, raised $214m in Series C funding from Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Lightrock, Moore Strategic Ventures, Oman Investment Fund, and Molicel.

⚡ Arcadia, a Washington DC-based energy data platform and community solar provider, raised $125m in Growth funding from Green Investment Group, Keyframe Capital Partners, and Magnetar Capital.

🐄 NotCo, a Chile-based maker of plant-based milk and meat, raised $70m in Series D funding from Bezos Expeditions, Future Positive, Kaszek, L Catterton, Marcos Galperin, Princeville Capital, The Craftory, Tiger Global Management, Trousdale Ventures, and Union Square Hospitality.

☀️ Sun King, a Chicago, IL,-based solar pay as you go platform, raised $70m in Series D funding from LeapFrog Investments.

🍓 Winter Farm, a Canada-based vertical farming for strawberries, raised $46m in Series A funding from Capital Financière agricole, Desjardins Group, Farm Credit Canada, Government Of Quebec, Investissement Quebec, and La Financière agricole du Québec.

⚡ Econic, Netherlands-based sustainable heat and energy residential installer, raised $42m in Series A funding from Meewind, Rabo Investments, and Rinkelberg Capital.

🌱 Equinom, an Israel-based breeder of smart seeds, raised $35m in Series D funding from BayWare, Bunge Ventures, CPT Capital, Fortissimo Capital, Phoenix Insurance Company, Praesidium, and Synthesis Capital.

🔋 Element Energy, a Los Altos, CA-based provider of battery management systems, raised $28m in Series B funding from Cohort Ventures, Edison International, LG Technology Ventures, Prelude Ventures, and Radar Partners.

✈️ Synhelion, a Switzerland-based solar fuel producer, raised $24m in Series C funding from AMAG Group, Cemex Ventures, Eni, SMS Group, and Swiss International Airlines.

🧪 Basecamp Research, a London, UK-based developer of protein products for biodiversity, raised $20m in Series A funding from Blue Horizon Corporation, Hummingbird Ventures, Systemiq capital, True Ventures, and Valo Ventures.

☀️ 5B Australia, an Australia-based modular solar manufacturer, raised $17m in Series B funding from BP Ventures.

🔋 Ampcera, a Milpitas, CA-based developer of solid-state electrolyte materials, raised $15m in Series A funding from Hanwha Solutions.

⚡ Tepeo, a UK-based low carbon boiler company, raised $13m in Series A funding from BGF Ventures, Bonheur ASA, Clean Growth Fund, and Renewable Environmental Investments.

💨 Eion Carbon, a NJ-based enhanced rock weathering carbon removal company, raised $12m in Series A funding from AgFunder, Carbon Removal Partners, Mercator Partners, Orion Corporation, Overture VC, Ridgeline Partners, Sibelco, SLVC, and Trailhead Capital.

🐄 Arkea Bio, a Reno, NV-based maker of cow vaccines for enteric emissions, raised $12m in Seed funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

🛵 Cargoroo, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of electric cargo bikes, raised $11m in Seed funding from Fairtree Elevant Ventures, PDENH, and The Sharing Group.

⚡ EnviroSpark, a Georgia, United States-based EV charging installation and services platform, raised $10m in Series A funding from Ultra Capital.

🏭 Guidewheel, a San Francisco, CA-based industrial IoT efficiency SaaS platform , raised $9m in Series A funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

🌱 Grow Indigo, an India-based JV between Indigo Ag and Mahyco Grow developing biological fertilizers and pest management, raised $8m in Seed funding.

☀️ Luminescent, an Israel-based company developing a heat engine for waste heat upcycling, raised $7m in Seed funding from Extantia Capital and Grove Ventures.

🌳 Kodama Systems, a Boston, MA-based drone forest restoration platform, raised $7m in Seed funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Congruent Ventures, MCJ Collective, Shorewind Capital, Alumni Ventures, Climate Capital, and Tahoe Fund.

⚒️ Copperstone Technologies, a Canada-based robotics platform for mine site inspection, raised $6m in Seed funding from Alberta Jobs & Growth Fund, Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator, and WindSail Capital Group.

💨 Pathzero, an Australia-based carbon management platform, raised $6m in Series A funding from Antler, Carthona Capital, and Clyde Bank Holdings.

☀️ SmartHelio, a Switzerland-based PV inspection analytics platform, raised $5m in Seed funding from ACE & Company, Collab Fund, Gaingels, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Serpentine Ventures, Soma Capital, and Y Combinator.

🌎 The Upright Project, a Finland-based impact measurement platform, raised $5m in Seed funding from First Fellow Partners and Planet A Ventures.

☀️ Insolight, a Switzerland-based agrivoltaic installer, raised $5m in Series B funding from Demeter, Energie360°, Verve Ventures, and Zürcher Kantonal Bank.

💨 Up2You, a Italy-based emissions management platform, raised $4m in Seed funding from Azimut Holding, CDP Venture Capital, and Tecno.

🌱 Mad Capital, a Boulder, CO-based financing platform for regenerative ag, raised $4m in Seed funding from Bonaventure Capital, Homecoming Capital, ImpactAssets, Lacebark Investments, One Small Planet, Pelican Ag, and Trailhead Capital.

💧 Oxyle, a Switzerland-based wastewater treatment solution, raised $3m in Pre-Seed funding from another.vc, SOSV, Wingman Ventures, and Better Ventures.

🚢 Daphne Technology, a Switzerland-based emissions control system for marine vessels, raised $3m in Series B funding from J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives.

💨 Everimpact, a France-based carbon tracking platform for cities, ships, ports, and industrial sites, raised $2m in Seed funding from ADB Ventures, Blue Star Group, Climate-KIC, EIT Urban Mobility, IMC Ventures, Motion Ventures, Transport Capital, and Wilhelmsen Marine Fuels.

🌬️ Kitekraft, a Germany-based producer of flying wind turbines, raised $2m in Seed funding from Schweizer Kapital Global Impact Fund AG.

☂️ Repath, a Germany-based climate risk platform, raised $1m in Pre-Seed funding from Better Ventures.

Other Fundings

⚡ PowerFlex Systems, provider of C&I solar, storage, and EV charging solutions, raised $100m from Manulife Investment Management.

Exits & New Funds:

Climate Asset Management backed by HSBC and Pollination, raised $650m across 2 natural capital funds to invest in agriculture, forestry and environmental assets, and carbon credits.

Jetstream, raised a $10m fund to invest in pre-seed climate tech software startups.


In the News

192 laser beams later, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a nuclear fusion breakthrough, producing a net energy gain (Q>1) for the first time. But don’t expect this to solve the fusion silver bullet any time soon.

The Biden administration committed funding for ∼12 mineral projects overseas to shore up US battery mineral supply concerns with allies including Australia, Canada, and France. Down the battery value chain, the DOE finalized a $2.5B loan to General Motors and LG Energy Solution to finance battery cell factories in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan. For the end-of-life, Redwood Materials will direct $3.5B to develop a 600-acre battery recycling facility in South Carolina, equal to manufacturing battery components for 1M+ EVs a year.

Meanwhile, the DOE committed to invest $3.7B to scale CDR technologies stateside via the Infrastructure Law.

California’s controversial net-metering decision will slash payment to households for surplus solar electricity generation by 75%. State utilities cite the need to support grid reliability and deliver lowest-cost energy for lower-income customers.

Two new pieces of EU regulation should protect European industries from unfair competition with producers under less comprehensive climate regulations. First, the world-first carbon border tariff will impact a range of imported products under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including steel, cement, and fertilizers. Second, a new EU deal disallows imports that are linked to the destruction of forests, meaning that imported bio-products must be certified as free of deforestation and forest degradation to enter European markets.

ESG could be in trouble with new regulatory proposals from Europe’s markets watchdog, ESMA, that would require asset managers to redesign the way they quantify the ESG fund class. Currently <20% of ESG assets meet the proposed threshold for sustainable investments. This change could have severe ramifications globally as 81% of Article 8 assets were located in Europe in 2021.

Vietnam announced a $15.5B energy transition deal from "Just Energy Transition Partnership," the third JETP to be unveiled after South Africa and Indonesia. Vietnam expects 47% of its electricity to be from renewables by 2030, but the investment required to meet this goal may be higher than what has been committed by GFANZ members and private banks.


Pop-up

The original carbon removal technology: whale poop.

Frontier announces $11m of its second round of carbon removal purchases from some welcome new CDR names - Arbor, Captura, Carbin Minerals, Carbon To Stone, Cella, CREW and Inplanet.

Bridgewater finds that just 20-25% of public company emissions are covered by reduction targets, and that most public net zero commitments are from easy to abate sectors.

What’s your founder archetype?

Big whoops from an Equitrans Midstream Corp well that released >1 billion cubic feet of natural gas over 13 days. That’s equivalent to the “emissions saved” by half of the 656,000 EVs sold in the US last year.

Get to know the people behind the carbon: Travertine, Charm Industrial, Mission Zero.

VCs look into a crystal ball: “There will be a carbon credits scandal in 2023.”

Climate misinformation runs $3.4 billion deep across 10 years of industry trade group spending to influence climate policies via advertising and PR.

The billionaires guiding climate policy.

Planning a trip across the pond? The world’s first “net zero” transatlantic flight, from Virgin Atlantic, is set to fly from London to NYC in 2023.

An Alaskan native community must relocate to avoid hazardous permafrost melt. The $160m move marks one of the first US communities to collectively elect to relocate, due to climate change.

Uncle Sam wants YOU to take advantage of the IRA.


Opportunities & Events:

💡 The Nucleate Venture Fellows program: Apply to the Nucleate Venture Fellows Program, a 12-week fellowship for highly motivated trainees in the life sciences culminating in the selection of the 2023 Pillar Venture Prize winners, by Jan 13.

💡 Energy Tech University Prize: Register a student team by Jan 26 to enroll in this collegiate competition with $370,000 in prize funding that challenges students to develop and present a business plan using National Laboratory-developed, university, or other high-potential energy technologies.

🗓️ ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit: Join energy industry experts, thought leaders, and decision makers in Washington, D.C. for three days of exciting programming, networking opportunities, and a technology showcase with 300+ exhibitors from March 22-24 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.


Jobs

Ocean Fund Venture VP @S2G Ventures

Lead Electrical Engineer @Renewell Energy

Growth Equity Associate @Drawdown Fund

Executive Assistant @Congruent Ventures

Co-Founder, Carbon Capture & Sequestration @Deep Science Ventures

Analyst @Zero Infinity Partners

Summer Associate @Piva


Feel free to 📩 send us new ideas, recent fundings, events & opportunities, or general curiosities. Have a great week ahead!

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