ExxonMobil to produce lithium in Arkansas
Nextracker is the largest IPO of the year, shining a promising light on public market appetite for climate tech amid a broader market chill.
In (other) news, lots of demand forecasting to kick off the year with trending charts. Plas, Biden gives IRA a shoutout in the State of the Union, with a few mixed messages on oil, whose giants separately pulled back on their climate investments while raking in record fossil profits. In deals, $55m for a drone inspection platform with a new name, $50m for battery recycling, and $45m for a carbon credit marketplace. Oh, and we got featured in the NYT last week and forgot to mention it 🙈
…Our excuse? Excitement to welcome our new Executive Editor, Grace Donnelly, who’s joining us from Atlanta. She previously covered climate tech for Morning Brew, writing about energy storage, grid modernization, carbon removal, and more for nearly 500,000 Tech Brew readers.
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The biggest IPO of 2023 so far is a climate tech company.
Solar tracker and software provider Nextracker raised $638M—nearly 20% higher than the amount the company was targeting—in its IPO on Wednesday. Amid the broader market chill, Nextracker is the largest IPO since MobileEye in October 2022.
Solar trackers act as the conductor for solar panels, following the movement of the sun to boost energy output by 25%. With the IRA reinstating renewable tax credits for the next decade, solar installation is poised for growth despite permitting and supply chain delays over the last year.
How we got here: California-based Nextracker was founded in 2013 and acquired by Flex in 2015, when annual solar installations totaled ~50GW worldwide.
Fast forward to February 2022, with global solar installations poised to top 200GW for the first time, and Nextracker spun out of Flex in a $500M deal with TPG that valued the company at ~$3B.
Nextracker’s S-1 filing provided some new public data points on solar tracking company financials.
Nextracker maintained the largest share (~26-33%) of the global solar tracking market from 2015 through 2021, but there are plenty of competitors in the space including Array Technologies which went through its own $1B IPO in 2020. Other major solar tracking companies include PVHardware, Arctech Solar, and STI Norland as well as startups such as Sunfolding which uses compressed air to drive its tracking technology.
Our take: Sure, a 2023 IPO record set in February might not last long. But this exit underscores the rapid growth of solar and could indicate a sunnier outlook on public market interest in climate companies as the sector continues to mature.
It’s still early days for climate tech exits, but the success of Nextracker’s IPO—in a relatively frigid economic environment—is proof that a company can generate significant enterprise value with a hardtech climate tech solution.
⚡ Zeitview (prev. Dronebase), a Santa Monica, CA-based drone inspection platform for renewables assets, raised $55m in Series E funding from Energy Transition Ventures, Euclidean Capital, Hearst Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners.
🔋 Cirba Solutions, a Wixom, MI-based battery recycling company, raised $50m from Marubeni.
💨 Carbonplace, a London, UK-based carbon credit transaction network, raised $45m in Seed funding from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, BNP Paribas, CIBC, Itau Unibanco, National Australia Bank, NatWest Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UBS.
🔋 Ionblox, a Fremont, CA-based developer of silicon anode batteries for electric aviation, raised $32m in Series B funding from Lilium, Applied Ventures, Temasek Holdings, and Catalus Capital.
⚡ Aquahydrex, a Louisville, CO-based green hydrogen startup, raised $25m in Series B funding from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, AP Ventures, and True North Venture Partners.
🛵 Simple Energy, a Bengaluru, India-based smart electric scooter platform, raised $20m in Seed funding from Lambda Test, Purple Moon Ventures, Vasavi Green Tech, and angels.
🛵 Zypp Electric, a Gurugram, India-based last-mile delivery EV rental service, raised $20m in Series B funding from 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund, Gogoro, Goodyear Ventures, Grip, Indian Angel Network, Ivy Growth Associates, LetsVenture, Venture Catalysts, and WeFounder Circle.
🛵 Magenta Mobility, a Mumbai, India-based integrated EV solutions platform, raised $20m in Series B funding.
🏠 Therma, a San Francisco, CA-based cooling intelligence platform, raised $19m in Series A funding from Zero Infinity Partners, Deciens Capital, CityRock Venture Partners, Homecoming Capital, Ananta Capital, Kindergarten Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Govtech Fund.
🔋 Liminal, an Emeryville, CA-based battery manufacturing intelligence platform, raised $18m in Series A funding from ArcTern Ventures, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Good Growth Capital, Helios Climate Ventures, Impact Science Ventures, Northvolt, UTEC, and Volta Energy Technologies.
🧪 Mattiq, a Chicago, IL-based sustainable materials discovery and testing platform, raised $15m in Seed funding from Material Impact Fund.
🚗 Turno, a Bengaluru, India-based commercial EV distribution and financing platform, raised $14m in Series A funding from Alteria Capital, Avaana Capital, B Capital Group, InnoVen Capital, Quona Capital, and Stellaris Venture Partners.
🔋 Stratus, a Pittsburgh, PA-based developer of lithium-ion cathode active materials, raised $12m in Series A funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and DNS Capital.
🌬️ Modvion, a Göteborg, Sweden-based producer of wooden wind turbines, raised $12m in Series A funding from Vestas Ventures, EIC Fund, Almi Invest GreenTech, Course Corrected VC, and Symbia VC.
🔋 VFlow Tech, a Singapore-based developer of modular vanadium redox flow batteries, raised $10m in Series A funding from Inci, Pappas Capital, Real Tech Holdings, Seeds Capital, Sing Fuels, Wavemaker Partners, and Zero Carbon Capital.
🥩 Rebellyous Foods, a Seattle, WA-based alternative protein manufacturing platform, raised $10m in Series B funding from Clear Current Capital, Fifty Years, Liquid 2 Ventures, CPT Capital, Agronomics, and KBW Ventures.
🍎 The Ugly Company, a Farmersville, CA-based startup upcycling ugly fruit into snacks, raised $9m in Series A funding from Sun Valley Packing, Valley Ag Capital Holding, Value Creation Strategies, and Justin Timberlake.
🥩 Fable Food, a Sydney, Australia-based producer of mushroom based meat, raised $9m in Series A funding from K3 Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, AgFunder, and Aera VC.
🚗 Motor, an Arlington, VA-based consumer EV subscription service, raised $7m in Series A funding from AES and Mitsubishi Corporation.
🏗️ Infrakit, an Espoo, Finland-based construction data software platform, raised $6m from Finnish Climate Fund.
♻️ MagREEsource, a Grenoble, France-based recycling rare-earth magnets, raised $5m in Seed funding from Finindus, Tangent Line, EIT RawMaterials, Ciech Ventures, SATT Linksium, and Grenoble Angels.
☀️ BoxPower, a Grass Valley, CA-based developer of rural solar microgrid projects, raised $5m in Series A funding from Aligned Climate Capital.
🏠 ZeroPoint Technologies, a Göteborg, Sweden-based startup developing energy efficient servers, raised $3m in Seed funding from Chalmers Ventures AB, Climentum Capital, and Industrifonden.
🌱 Minviro, a London, UK-based LCA assessment SaaS platform, raised $3m in Seed funding.
🌱 natcap, a London, UK-based nature intelligence platform, raised $3m in Seed funding from Oxford Science Enterprises and Schroders.
🏠 Ampotech, a Singapore-based developer of building energy IoT devices, raised $1m in Seed funding from Earth Venture Capital, KSL Maritime Ventures, Silicon Solution Ventures, and Seeds Capital.
⚒️ Olokun Minerals, a Los Angeles, CA-based brine mineral mining company, raised $1m in Pre-Seed funding.
🌳 Sand to Green, a Paris, France-based developer of agroforestry plantations in arid climates, raised $1m in Seed funding from Norwegian Katapult and Catalyst Fund.
⚡ NovoHydrogen, a Centennial, CO-based provider of renewable C&I hydrogen solutions, raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding.
🌱 Carbon Free Energy Cloud, a San Francisco, CA-based Scope 2 emissions measurement and mitigation platform, raised an undisclosed amount in Seed funding from Accurant International.
⚒️ Global Sea Mineral Resources, a Zwijndrecht, Belgium-based deep sea mineral exploration company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Transocean.
Planet A Ventures raised $170M for a European, science-backed climate venture fund,.
LanzaTech Global begins trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange as LNZA.
In his State of the Union, Biden celebrated passage of the IRA and called out the “existential threat” of climate change, pointing out measures to boost EV and clean energy adoption while condemning fossil fuel companies’ record profits last year—despite a few mixed messages on oil.
O&G giants are pulling back climate investments as they rack up on oil profits. BP is now aiming for a 20-30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, backing off their earlier goal of 35-40%, while Exxon is giving up making biofuel from algae. But there could be legal challenges ahead for the industry: Shell’s board of directors is being personally sued over their failure to properly manage climate crisis risks and the Supreme Court will review a case later this year that could move stalled lawsuits against O&G companies for worsening climate change out of limbo.
PG&E and Sunrun are partnering to enlist up to 7,500 home solar and battery systems to create a virtual power plant and strengthen California’s grid when demand spikes during hot weather. Energy supplies can run short during the summer, and their system could provide enough electricity to power 22,000 homes in upcoming years.
This year, Honda plans to begin production of the hydrogen fuel cell systems it developed with GM for use in its own fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as well as potentially for construction machinery and stationary power stations. Meanwhile, BMW’s CEO envisions hydrogen-powered vehicles as an option for ~30% of the automaker’s customers in the future as the heavy trucking industry builds out fueling station infrastructure.
US battery storage deployments are expected to double during 2023, according to the EIA. As demand grows, lawmakers are urging the Biden Administration to invest in more non-lithium energy storage technologies, which the DOE Loan Programs Office expects to reach an inflection point of 1GWh-worth of orders this year. For now, Redwood Materials just got a $2B conditional loan from the DOE to manufacture EV batteries.
Speaking of EVs, Officials are broadening the cap for EV purchase tax credits. SUVs worth $80,000 or less are eligible for up to $7,500 in credits, while the limit for cars is $55,000. Vehicles now qualifying for the higher cap include the Cadillac Lyriq, Ford's Mach-E, and Tesla's Model Y.
Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest producer of wind turbines, developed a chemical solution that breaks down blades’ durable epoxy resin so wind turbines can be recycled and kept out of landfills.
Carbon removal milestone: For the first time in history, Heirloom and CarbonCure took CO2 out of the atmosphere using DAC and stored it permanently in concrete.
Low-emissions sources are set to cover almost all growth in global electricity demand in the next three years, according to the IEA’s 2023 Electricity Market Report.
Hey, Ma! We’re in The New York Times as part of an excellent piece on climate tech being “one of the few bright spots” in the economy.
The neverending hardware vs software debate is live, and wrong.
NYT is open for your climate questions.
Canary Media’s multi-part series on the home of the future.
Wealthy white America invests in climate resilience projects. Meanwhile, high-risk neighbors flee disaster-prone areas as climate migrants.
Virtual Power Plants, explained.
So you want to work in climate, India edition.
China will account for 33% (!) of global power use in 2025, up from 25% in 2015, per the IEA’s latest outlook.
Will 2023 be the year when we finally stop conflating carbon removal and carbon capture?
Space-based solar power enters the chat with a new test from Caltech to attempt to harness unfiltered sunlight.
The promise of IRA has already spurred impact with companies announcing more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US since becoming law.
One person’s ability to make a climate impact is greater than ever, according to a Princeton University analysis estimating that about 30% of emissions reductions from the IRA will come from consumer choices enabled by new federal incentives.
There’s plenty of materials to go around to power the world with renewable energy, a new study shows, but how ethically those materials are extracted is up to us.
🗓️ Climate Tech Action Network: Join 1.5C, CTAN’s sustainable batteries panel event on Feb 15th to hear from various startups and partake in networking.
💡Climate Vine: Apply to Climate Vine’s virtual 150-person cohort for an annual membership with weekly meetings in curated small groups, socials, and off-the-record conversations with climate leaders. The first cohort's theme is focused on unlocking the full potential of recent US and international government bills. Join a Q&A on Feb 14 and apply before Feb 24.
🗓️ CERAweek: Register before Feb 22nd for early bird tickets to CERAWeek, a conference from Mar 6 - 10th on issues critical to the energy future. Features discussions from thousands of thought leaders, policymakers, and company executives.
🗓️ Overture Insights: Register for Overture Insights conversation with Ben Rhodes, Former Deputy National Security Advisor to President OBama on Feb 27th.
💡 Blueprint: Apply by Mar 17th to Blueprint, a 5 week program to help various teams develop the commercial opportunities for their innovative technologies. The program will explore how to scale their technology, understand markets, identify funding opportunities, and develop a compelling story.
💡 Hack Summit: Apply by Mar 20th to take place in a pitch competition on May 11-12th to be named a top early-stage Food and Climate startup and receive funding.
🗓️ Techonomy Climate conference: Join on March 28th at the Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View for this one-day, in-person gathering of climate experts, industry giants, entrepreneurs, investors, and government officials. Register now for a $100 CTVC discount including access to all programming, breakfast, lunch, and closing reception.
🗓️ Energy Tech Summit. Join the summit focused on forging new decarbonization pathways in SAFs, decarbonized cement, batteries, carbon MRV, and many other topics in Warsaw, Poland Apr 26-27.
Chief of Staff @thredUP
Engagement Manager @Banyan Infrastructure
Business Development/Account Manager @Banyan Infrastructure
Senior Analyst @Voyager Ventures
Summer Associate 2023 @Voyager Ventures
MBA Associate Intern @Energize Ventures
Associate, New Venture Creation in Climate @Deep Science Ventures
Feel free to 📩 send us new ideas, recent fundings, events & opportunities, or general curiosities. Have a great week ahead!