Proof of Eth’s climate stakes #117

The Merge will eliminate a Finland-sized crypto emitter

Happy Monday! In this week’s issue we fall down the web3 rabbit hole to investigate just how deep Eth’s carbon reduction potential could be from the pending Merge from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Answer first: likely eliminating a Finland-sized emitter from the crypto ecosystem.

In fundings, early stage climate cos rake in as much cash as ever with 20+ fundraises including $191m for steel from green hydrogen, $48m for uber high resolution satellites, and $5m for a distributed energy data platform.

In the news, California avoids widespread blackouts with a mass group text, Australia passes its first major climate legislation, and Science publishes a terrifying study of climate tipping points. In opportunities, we highlight 10 events as we gear up for Climate Week in NYC.

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Decentralization to decarbonization

The Ethereum merge will slash energy usage and emissions by 99% (Source: Digiconomist)

Over the next ~3 days, the web3 world is counting down the clock until “The Merge” when Ethereum’s major software upgrade will shift from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Depending on who you ask, The Merge is either a revolution or just more crypto hype. But for the climate, this PoW to PoS shift represents a colossal 99%+ slash to the energy and emissions footprint of the second-largest blockchain (behind Bitcoin).

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How this works: Nearly all crypto electricity usage is driven by consensus mechanisms used to mine and verify crypto-assets. The two dominant mechanisms are Proof of Work (PoW), which is currently used by Bitcoin, and Proof of Stake (PoS). With the PoW to PoS move, miners no longer have to use energy-intensive computers to solve complex math puzzles that validate the blockchain to earn new crypto tokens. Instead, Ether owners lock up set amounts of their coins to check new records on the blockchain, earning new coins on top of their “staked” crypto.

30-40% crypto emissions eraser. The pending switch is timely, with The White House last week releasing a report scrutinizing crypto mining, which produces between 110-170Mt of CO2e globally. Ethereum alone is responsible for 46MT of CO2e, equivalent to the emissions footprint of Finland. The Merge will essentially erase 30-40% of the crypto ecosystem’s emissions footprint.

dApps stands for decarbonized. Whereas Bitcoin acts as digital gold, Ethereum operates as a programmable network enabling the deployment of smart contracts and decentralized apps (dApps) to be built on top of it. This means all the 3,000+ Ethereum-based dApps now also reap the benefits of a low-carbon blockchain.

Mine(d) the stranded assets. While the climate benefits of the Merge are nothing to scoff at, it is likely to create a new stranded asset: mining rigs. E-waste could be the next environmental conundrum for crypto. For now, let’s celebrate the removal of a Finland-sized emitter from the crypto ecosystem.


Deals of the Week (9/5-9/11)

🏭 H2 Green Steel, a Sweden-based company developing steel from green hydrogen, raised $191m in Series B funding from Schaeffler Group, GIC, AMF, Altor, Vargas Holding, Swedbank Robur, Marcegaglia, Kingspan, IMAS Foundation, and FAM AB.

🚚 Battle Motors, a New Philadelphia, OH-based company manufacturing vocational electric fleet trucks, raised $150m in Series B funding from an undisclosed institutional investor.

☀️ Lightyear, a Netherlands-based developer of long-range solar-powered cars, raised $82.3m in funding from Invest-NL, SHV Holdings, and Dela.

Tesseract, a UK-based energy company supplying renewable, commission-free energy, raised $79.9m in funding from Lakestar, Balderton Capital, Ribbit Capital, Lowercarbon Capital, Creandum, BoxGroup, Balderton Capital, and Accel.

💨 Bridger Photonics, a Bozeman, MT-based company developing methane detection technology, raised $55m in funding from Beaverhead Partners, Madison Valley Partners, Carica Sustainable Investments, and Next Frontier Capital.

🛰️ Albedo, an Austin, TX-based high-resolution satellite developer, raised $48m in Series A funding from Shield Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Republic Capital, Initialized Capital, Giant Steps Capital, and C16 Ventures.

🌾 Taranis, a Westfield, IN-based crop intelligence startup, raised $40m in Series D funding from Inven Capital, Seraphim Space Investment Trust, Farglory Group, Viola Ventures, Vertex Ventures Israel, UMC Capital, OurCrowd, Micron Ventures, La Maison Partners, and K3 Ventures, iAngles Ventures, Finistere Ventures, and Hitachi Ventures.

🥫 Motatos, a Denmark-based online grocery store selling life-long, surplus goods raised $38.6m in Series D funding from SEB Private Equity, Northzone, Norrsken VC, LeadX Capital Partners, Gullspand Re:food, EXOR N.V, Edastra Venture Capital, and Blume Equity.

🌿 Bond Pet Foods, a Boulder, CO-based company utilizing biotechnology to develop plant-based pet treats, raised $17.5m in Series A funding from from Genoa Ventures, ADM Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, Lever VC, Thia Ventures, iSelect Fund, Stage 1 Fund, Lifely VC and Satori Capital.

🚚 Circuit, a UK-based electric shuttle service, raised $11m in Series A funding from Tribeca Venture Partners, Citi Impact Fund, Impact Engine, Groundswell Ventures, Gaingels, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) Impact Fund and Forefront Venture Partners.

♻️ ChainCraft, a Netherlands-based company developing biochemicals from organic waste, raised $11.1m in Series C funding from Convent Capital, SHIFT Invest, PDENH, and Horizon 3.

🏭 Alcemy, a Germany-based developer of software for sustainable cement and concrete production, raised $10m in Series A funding from Galvanize Climate Solutions, AENU, BitStone Capital, MOMENI Ventures, E.R. Capital Holding, Tobias Nendel, Flixbus founders, EF, La Famiglia, Firstminute Capital, and LocalGlobe.

🥩 BioBetter, an Israel-based cultivated meat startup utilizing tobacco plants, raised $10m in Series A funding from JVP, Milk and Honey Investments, and the Israeli Innovation Authority.

🚗 Trojan Energy, a UK-based EV charging company, raised $9.1m from the Scottish National Investment Bank.

💨 Flair, a San Francisco, CA-based smart vent developer, raised $7.6m in Series A funding from Active Impact Investments, Lowercarbon Capital, SOSV, Skyview, Resilience Capital Partners, Shell Ventures, Susquehanna Foundation, 3M Ventures.

🌿 Klim, a Germany-based platform facilitating farmers’ transition to regenerative agriculture, raised $6.6m in Seed funding from Green Generation Fund, Wi Ventures, Ponderosa Ventures, FoodLabs, Edaphon, Ananda Impact Ventures, and AgFunder.

⚡ Odyssey Energy Solutions, a Boulder, CO-based distributed energy data platform, raised $5.3m from Equal Ventures led, Twelve Below, Abstract Ventures, Founder Collective and MCJ Collective.

💨 Ceezer, a Germany-based carbon credits marketplace, raised $4.3m from Carbon Removal Partners, Norrsken VC, and Picus Capital.

🔋 Tozero, a Germany-based battery recycling startup, raised $3.5m in Pre-seed funding from Atlantic Labs, Verve Ventures and Possible Ventures.

🚗 EnviroSpark, an Atlanta, GA-based EV charging company, raised Series A funding from Ultra Capital.

🔋 Natron Energy, a Santa Clara, CA-based energy storage company manufacturing sodium-ion battery solutions, raised funding from Liberty Energy Inc.

🚗 Harbinger, a Los Angeles, CA-based startup specializing in electric medium-duty trucks, raised Seed funding from Tiger Global Management.

Exits & New Funds:

Misfits Market, a Pennsauken, NJ-based organic produce subscription box service, is acquiring Imperfect Foods, a San Francisco, CA-based online grocery delivery service specializing in supplying ‘ugly’ food, in an all-stock deal.

Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, launched the Harvard Grid, a startup incubation program to promote entrepreneurship and the development of tough tech. The undisclosed commitment will support the accelerator program’s first five years.


In the News

California's worst September heat wave tests grid despite an all-time record-high power demand. In an unprecedented text message to 27m Californians, the State implored businesses and households to cut power—and paid some of them— successfully avoiding widespread rolling blackouts.

Amid the surge in power and gas prices, European officials are scrambling to expand aid to energy companies and consumers: Germany announced a $65b aid package, the UK froze energy bills at £2,500/ household, and Brussels is working on a €200/Mwh price limit non-gas electricity. Meanwhile, Russia says it will not resume Nord Stream natural gas flows to Europe until the “collective West” lifts sanctions against the country

Australia passed its first major climate legislation in more than a decade to reduce emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030.

The DOE released the Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, a comprehensive report identifying four key pathways to reduce industrial emissions in American manufacturing: carbon capture, industrial electrification, energy efficiency, and low carbon fuels - including a $104m funding opportunity. And don’t forget our Founder’s Guide to the DOE.

The DOE also announced the fourth Energy Earthshot, to make enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) a widespread renewable energy option in the US by cutting costs 90% to $45/ Mwh by 2035.

Scientists warn that exceeding 1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points including collapse of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, die-off of low-latitude coral reefs, and widespread abrupt permafrost thaw.

CarbonCapture, a Los Angeles-based direct air capture (DAC) company, kicked off Project Bison to capture and store 5m tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030 - aptly keeping with the animal-themed DAC naming schema.


Pop-up

The new #V2V - vehicle to vasectomy?

It’s Last Week Tonight, again. Now, Sylvera chimes in on the John Oliver thread, saying offset buyers have a responsibility to buy legitimate offsets.

Everyone’s favorite in-tree-vert! Scientists are studying the one and only tree for 150 miles in New Zealand to understand the capacity of carbon sinks.

A new tool lets communities click and see their risk level for extreme weather events.

Tire manufacturer Bridgestone is investing in renewable tires from a domestic plant shrub called guayule. We’re calling dibs on the trademark: Shrubber.

When in doubt, spin it out… if you’re a conglomerate with a clean energy division.

EV OEM manufacturers who went public via SPAC are desperate for funding and burning cash. Expect half of them to crash and burn in the next year. We hate to say it, but we told you so.

RIP the $0.99 pizza slice. The summer drought is taking a hefty toll on American crops.

India is sporting some hot-wheels. Electric Rickshaws are popping up all over the country, as a clean and affordable alternative, that also helps the smog problem.

Check out The Future List, for climate companies you’d want to work for.


Opportunities & Events:

📜 CDR & Hardtech during NY Climate Week: Helpful list of CDR gatherings and events during Climate Week.

🗓️ For ClimateTech Summit: Join SecondMuse and NextCorps for three days (Sept 13-15) of virtual themed panels, sessions, and fireside chats from industry leaders in climate tech.

🗓️ Climate Disclosure & Net-Zero Ambition: Register for Green Project and Unqork’s panel event on Sept 19 for a conversation on how financial institutions and enterprises can build comprehensive, efficient, and compliant sustainability disclosure and change management practices.

🗓️ CCUS Initiative: Join The Global CCS Institute and the Clean Energy Ministerial CCUS Initiative’s event on Sept 20 for a discussion of the opportunities for collaboration between government, industry, and finance sectors to accelerate the deployment of CCS technology to reduce emissions.

🗓️ The Health + Wealth of Our Planet: Join Sophie and Kim at City Winery on Sept 20 for this event in the midst of UN Week and Climate Week in New York. The event will be joined by leaders from businesses in a wide range of industries, the nonprofit sector, investing and government. CTVC community members can use this link to register for $100 off tickets.

🗓️ Unlocking Carbon Removal & VCM Entrepreneurs: Join a panel event on Sept 20 focused on the findings from a new voluntary carbon markets policy paper published by the Carbon Business Council and co-authored by leadership at Nori, Project Vesta, and others.

🗓️ Nature X Carbon: Join this mixer on Sept 20 to meet and converse with others interested in or working at the intersection of nature and climate including carbon markets, nature based offsets, ecological restoration, corporate sustainability, water, wildlife preservation and more.

🗓️ Queers in Climate: Register for this casual meetup in NYC on Sept 20 for LGBTQ+ folks working in climate.

🗓️  Climate Tech Cocktails: RSVP to attend Climate Tech Cocktail’s party on Sept 21 and celebrate the launch of Climate Tech Circle.

🗓️ HolonIQ’s Global Impact Summit: Join Sophie and Kim on Sept 22 for HolonIQ’s climate track featuring CTVC favorites like Carbon Direct, Aether Diamonds, BlocPower, among many more. CTVC readers can use the promo code “CTVCVIP” for complimentary tickets - but hurry, free tickets are reserved for the first 100 registrants!


Jobs

Chief Engineer - Electromechanical Stack Engineer @Ohmium Int

GM/VP Mineral Processing @Impossible Mining

Vice President @Aligned Climate Capital

Investment Associate @Breakthrough Energy

MD - US Venture Sustainability Accelerator @gener8tor

Content Specialist @OnePointFive

Business Operations Lead @Salt

Entrepreneur in Residence: Equity & Access @Elemental

Sr. Director, Business Development @Aspiration

Head of Climate Policy @Perennial


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

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