Recent Deals – 22 August 2023

Binding proteins for antimicrobial resistance; subterranean lithium extraction; and carbon footprint management – Recent deals worth looking at:


Agriculture & Food

Bactolife (2017) has designed binding proteins to fortify gut microbes by neutralizing the effects of the harmful microbes without destroying the beneficial ones. Its proprietary Binding Proteins™ technology works to reduce various digestive illnesses and promote antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals by targeting toxins from gastrointestinal pathogens that trigger infections.

The bio-industrial startup has secured $32M in a Series A funding round led by ATHOS, with participation from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Novo Holdings.

As Bactolife continues to develop its most mature projects, this round of funding will support its commercial launch plans, fortify its technology platform, and scale up the development and market introduction of its Binding Proteins™.


Energy & Power

Rondo Energy (2020) matches affordability with zero-carbon industrial heat through its battery technology that stores wind and solar power to support industrial decarbonisation. The idea is to eliminate emissions without soaring energy costs. In 2023, Rondo Energy announced the start of commercial operation of a 2MWh Rondo Heat Battery (RHB) at Calgren’s facility in Pixley, California; the facility reached temperatures of 1,000°C.

Rondo Energy has further pulled $60M in fresh funding from Rio Tinto, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Aramco Ventures, SABIC, SCG, Titan Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust, and John Doerr. Further, the company has welcomed Rio Tinto, Aramco Ventures, SABIC, SCG, TITAN, and SEEIT as new members of its Strategic Investor Advisory Board (SIAB).

The funding will go towards scaling up its international operations and developing storage projects across the globe.


Materials & Chemicals

Aether (2017) is a molecular assembler platform that can extract lithium from previously inaccessible reserves to develop advanced products across industries including automotive, healthcare, electronics, and others. The platform merges machine learning and robotic laboratories to become the first platform capable of searching sequence space to find novel biocatalysts.

It has secured a $49M Series A round led by Jay Zaveri at Natural Capital and Trevor Zimmerman at Unless.

Initially, Aether’s lithium extraction efforts will be directed towards the southern and central portions of the U.S. where there is sizable amount of subterranean lithium albeit in lower concentrations. The funding will go towards scaling its platform, expanding its teams of engineering, machine learning and hardware.


Resources & Environment

Persefoni (2020) has designed a smart, carbon footprint management platform for measuring, analysing, planning, forecasting, and reporting carbon footprints. It automates sustainability reporting and compliance with real-time and AI-driven reporting on carbon impacts. The platform works to connect companies, shareholders, and institutional investors under an umbrella with emission consciousness at the forefront.

Persefoni has raised $50M in a Series C funding round bringing its total amount raised to date to above $150M. The round was led by TPG Rise, with participation from Clearvision Ventures, Eneos Innovation Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners, Prelude Ventures, Parkway Ventures, Rice Investment Group, Bain & Company, EDF Group, and Alumni Ventures.

The funds will go towards doubling down on its existing AI developments and continuing to grow its platform.


Transportation & Logistics

Treehouse (2021) simplifies electrification through software-enabled installation-as-a-service for turnkey EV charging solutions. The platform provides installations for home EV charging with a pricing technology that allows buyers to receive instant quotes; this difference allows home charging installation costs integrated directly into vehicle loans. The company supports EV owners to maximize the incentives around rate plans by collecting every federal, state, and local incentive for home EV charging for comparative analysis.

Treehouse has raised $10M in Series A funding from Montage Ventures, Trucks Venture Capital, CarMax, Assurant, Acrew Capital, Gutter Capital, Detroit Venture Partners, Holman Growth Ventures, and Automative Ventures.

The funding will go towards expanding the installation-as-a-service offering across the U.S.


Enabling Technologies

Phasecraft (2018) has designed a quantum computing software to discover new catalysts. The company is a UCL and University of Bristol spinout with the mission of accelerating the practical application of quantum computing by taking a look at the imperfect quantum computers of today and redesigning quantum algorithms to fit them. The company works closely with quantum hardware companies such as Google, IBM, and Rigetti, along with academic and industry leaders to design algorithms that will move the space of quantum computing from experimental demonstrations to useful applications.

Phasecraft has raised $16M in Series A funding from Playground Global, AlbionVC, and Episode 1 Ventures, to continue developing its quantum algorithms.