Recent Deals – 2 March 2020

Your overview of the recent cleantech deals and investment decisions that are shaping the market. 

Agriculture & Food

Semios, a developer of a proprietary system comprised of in-crop wireless networks with remote sensors that provide real-time pest monitoring and variable rate biological pest control, raised $75 million in a Series B round from Morningside Group. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate research, development, partnerships or acquisitions to use in-field data. Morningside Group is a family office backed by the Chan family of Hong Kong. Semios is in the same competitive landscape as Provivi, a Santa Monica-based provider of innovative biocatalysis and fermentation technology to produce pheromones for use as bio-pesticides, which recently raised $85 million from Pontifax AgTech, Tybourne Capital Management, Kairos Ventures, Spruce Capital Partners, Lanx Capital, and BASF Venture Capital. A further player in this space is Vestaron, a 2020 Global Cleantech 100 company which is the subject of an upcoming profile on cleantech.com.

Energy & Power

Highview Power, a UK-based developer of large-scale, long duration Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) systems for utility and distributed power systems, raised strategic capital from Sumitomo Heavy Industries. The global industrial conglomerate invested $46 million in Highview, becoming the largest minority shareholder in the company. The money will support Highview’s quest to commercialize large-scale energy storage plants, a crucial component for a power system with large amounts of renewable generation. For more on long duration storage solutions, see our latest insights on the topic.

Materials & Chemicals

Inpria, a developer of technology for thin-film materials deposition with applications in multiple manufacturing industries, raised $31 million in a growth equity round from JSR Corporation, SK Hynix, TSMC Partners, Air Liquide Investissements d’Avenir et de Démonstration (ALIAD), Applied Ventures, Intel Capital and Samsung Ventures. The investor base now includes all semiconductor manufacturers worldwide that are currently adopting EUV patterning.

Resources & Environment

Molekule, a developer of connected air purification devices, raised $58 million in a growth equity round from RPS Ventures, Founders Circle, Foundry Group, Crosslink Capital, Uncork Capital, TransLink Capital and Inventec Appliances Corporation. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate channel growth, focus on technology innovation, and continue to prioritize product expansion.

Transportation & Logistics

Pony ai, a developer of AI-based autonomous driving technology, raised a $462 million Series B round from Toyota, IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital. The company is now valued at $3 billion, post-money. Toyota is looking to integrate Pony.ai’s technology into its Lexus RX cars, which saw 2.9% sales growth in 2019, and announced that the two companies will launch a pilot program to test self-driving cars on public roads in two Chinese cities, Beijing and Shanghai. This is an extension of an existing partnership between Toyota and Pony.ai and expands Toyota’s move into the mobility services market.

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