Food Delivery Services: the Challenges of Getting Food to your Front Door


Chris Sworder
Direct to consumer (D2C) delivery models have disrupted consumer product industries from books and electronics to retail stores, web services and increasingly food. Online sales of food and beverage growing at 19% year-on-year, making it one of the top five fastest growing online sales sectors in the US. The market size equates to $17.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2021. Peapod and Ocado - online food delivery is older than Amazon There are examples of... Read More »

Optimization is now a Problem: Reflection 2 from Cleantech Forum Europe


Richard Youngman
The second takeaway I had from our recent 15th annual Cleantech Forum Europe in Stockholm concerned incumbency – but from a different angle than usual. Typically, we think about incumbency from the point of view of incumbent products, incumbent firms or incumbent technologies. Less do we think about an incumbent mentality. But it is the incumbent business mentality of optimization which is at the heart of this realization: we are geared up for optimization, and optimization in turn looks set to... Read More »

Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year 2019 awarded to Agtech company


Chris Sworder
Ÿnsect, a company that breeds insects for feed and non-food applications was awarded the Fundraising Achievement of the Year 2019 for Europe and Israel. Co-Founder, Alexis Angot, was at the recent Cleantech Forum Europe in Stockholm to collect the award following the impressive $125 million Series C the company announced in February, raised from investors including Astanor Ventures, Demeter, Quadia, Talis Capital, Idinvest Partners, Credit Agricole Brie Picardie, Caisse d'Epargne, Picardie Investissement, Finasucre, Compagnie du Bois Sauvage, Happiness Capital, VisVires... Read More »

There is No Them, We are All Them: Reflection 1 from Cleantech Forum Europe


Richard Youngman
One message struck home hard to me last week at our 15th annual Cleantech Forum Europe, back in Stockholm this year for the second time. It came to me in a number of forms across the event, but it was striking for how it kept reappearing, whether I was in a private, off-the-record discussion session with 20 investors, in plenary listening to the key findings of the Exponential Climate Action Roadmap or in topic-specific breakout sessions (for example, listening to... Read More »

Battery Management Systems Remain Crucial in the Energy Storage Revolution


Louis Brasington
A key element in the quest for improved performance of batteries is the battery management system (BMS). BMS is the software layer that is responsible for the balancing of cells, protecting batteries from damage and sub-optimal operation. These are applicable to fixed energy storage as well as Electric Vehicle (EV) markets. Growing in parallel with the battery market, the BMS market now sits at $3.2 billion, with a CAGR of 21%, driven largely by the increased volumes of EVs and... Read More »

Decarbonizing heat at Cleantech Forum Europe 2019– A sit down with Toon Bouten of tado°


Louis Brasington
At the recent Cleantech Forum Europe in Stockholm, we explored innovative solutions to tackle the heating challenge. We looked at alternative heat de-carbonization pathways, including the digitization of heating systems, the conversion of the gas grid to low-carbon hydrogen and emerging waste heat recovery solutions. One of the experts joining us on stage was Toon Bouten, CEO of tado°. The company has raised over $100 million in venture capital funding and remains one of the leaders in European smart products and services... Read More »

Battery Technology Innovation Beyond 2019 – What’s Next for Lithium-ion?


Louis Brasington
By the close of the next decade, lithium-ion battery factories around the world will have a combined production capacity equivalent to 22 Tesla Gigafactories. Despite a ten-fold drop in costs over the past decade, Lithium-ion battery costs are the biggest reason why electric vehicles (EVs) remain uneconomical compared to gas alternatives, with 30 to 50% of the cost of an electric car currently dedicated to the battery. This March, Volkswagen and battery maker Northvolt launched a consortium to promote EV... Read More »

Predicting Climate Change: Resilience, Risk and… Revenue?


Josh Gilbert
Extreme weather events have caused significant economic damage over the past 24 months, with total economic losses from natural disasters in 2017 reaching $337 billion (source: Swiss Re). Wildfires in California, drought in Australia and storms across the U.S. and Asia have devastated communities, infrastructure and assets which are ill-equipped to deal with a changing environment. [caption id="attachment_22713" align="aligncenter" width="650"] An elevation map of post-Katrina flooding. Source: Orbital Insight[/caption] In response to these challenges, innovative solutions are addressing climate-related weather... Read More »

Energy & Power Shifts from IoT Cloud to Edge Computing


Louis Brasington
Distributed energy resources can easily generate over one Terabyte (TB) of data a day, which is pushed back to a centralized cloud platform service to be processed, analyzed and ultimately acted upon. Assets are now generating more useful data than infrastructure can efficiently move. Furthermore, as more assets are connected, the cloud-platform framework is at risk of serious bandwidth problems (lets see what 5G delivers), as well as cyber security concerns. In edge computing, computation is performed on distributed device... Read More »

Are Indoor Agriculture and Vertical Farming Growing up?


Chris Sworder
Urban agriculture and vertical farming, are they viable? There are question marks on efficiency, availability of useful and reasonably priced real estate, and demand for the leafy greens and herbs that are most often the crop of choice. That said, there are several high-profile companies in the U.S. that have been around for several years, e.g. AeroFarms, Plenty, and Bowery, which have raised at total of  over $400M. Alongside these farm developers, we are seeing more indoor agriculture-specific technology (see iUNU’s... Read More »