Recent Deals – 15 November
Looking for the latest cleantech deals? From smart-lithium battery-powered scooters and copper extraction to farming platforms, find the recent deals worth looking at here.
Agriculture & Food
Agriconomie, developer of an online marketplace for agricultural supplies (fertilizers, spare parts, seeds, pesticides, etc.) promoting regenerative farming, has received $61 million (€60 million) in Series B funding from Treïs Group, Temasek, and Aliment Capital (formerly called Pontifax AgTech), and Eurazeo. This round marks the largest fundraising for an AgTech platform within Europe in 2022 and will support Agriconomie in pursuing its vision of becoming Europe’s agro-distribution and regenerative inputs market leader by expanding its presence beyond France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium, towards the rest of Europe. This financing round is timed alongside current geopolitical events causing soaring prices within the farming industry which, according to a survey by McKinsey & Company, has brought many farmers toward AgTech tools and platforms such as Agriconomie.
Materials & Chemicals
Solugen, a manufacturer of speciality bio-based chemicals designed to substitute petroleum-based products with plant-based alternatives using custom enzymes and renewable feedstock, has received $200 million in Series D funding from Kennivik, Lowercarbon Capital, Refactor Capital, Temasek Holdings, Baillie Gifford, and Fifty Years. Solugen aims to reimagine everyday chemistry by converting plant sugar (dextrose) into hydrogen peroxide using enzymatic technology to convert carbon into products like building materials and formaldehyde-free resins. Solugen’s vision is to provide products capable of supporting its overarching goal of removing 10 mil tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. This round of funding builds on a previous $300 million round which financed Solugen’s first Bioforge, allowing the company to use this new capital to begin working on Bioforge 2 through 5, both domestically within the United States and abroad.
Energy & Power
Infinitum Electric, developer of motor technology-producing IoT-enabled electric motors for waste reduction and efficiency maximisation, has secured $30 million in growth equity in a funding round from Riverstone Holdings Latin America, Caterpillar Venture Capital, Alliance Resource Partners, and Cottonwood Technology Fund. The finance will be directed towards deploying and expanding automation at its 65,000 square foot facility, to expedite its commercial and industrial motor production in response to rising demand for high-efficiency motors. Infinitum’s air-core, light-weight motor uses 10% less energy, 66% less copper and no iron compared to standard electric motors, setting the bar high for motors with reusable components and a smaller carbon footprint within their lifecycle.
Resources & Environment
AMP Robotics develops artificial intelligence (AI)-guided robotics for waste sorting, using AI and deep learning to transform the economics of recycling and support a circular economy. The high-speed robotics system filters between material colours, textures, size, shapes, patterns, etc., and identifies recyclable materials from mixed material streams by utilising an AI platform which continuously trains itself. The company has raised $91 million in a Series C funding round led by Congruent Ventures and Wellington Management with participation from Blue Earth Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), GV, Valor Equity Partners, Sequoia Capital, Range Ventures, XN, and Tao Capital Partners. The funds will support AMP’s plans of scaling up its business operations, including designs to support a fleet of 275 robots, while maintaining its international expansion projects born from the rising demand for robotics to retrofit existing recycling infrastructures.
Transportation & Logistics
Volocopter, developer of electric helicopters for urban aviation, has secured $182 million in a Series E funding round led by Neom and GLy Capital Management of Hong Kong. Neom and Volocopter formed a joint venture to create an eVTOL mobility system last year, a company integrating VoloCity air taxi and the VoloDrone within Neom’s connected mobility systems. This month’s funding combined with its $170 million round in March 2022 places its post-money valuation at $1.87 billion. As Volocopter is currently testing its two-seater VoloCity air taxi in line with the requirements set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), this round of capital will support its testing regime and its plans to scale-up its urban air mobility ecosystem. Volocopter has set its sights on certifying its aircraft by the end of 2023 in order to begin launching its revenue-generating rides in 2024.