Recent Deals – 24 January

Meat without meat, cloud-based autonomous machines, biotechnology and photosynthesis enhanced trees – get the full insight on latest cleantech deals worth looking at here.

Agriculture & Food

No Meat Factory (2019), has the most straightforward name possible – a factory with no meat! The company offers plant-based meat alternatives at gourmet standards, with everything from whole cuts and processed products to ready-to-cook meals for retail and foodservice sectors. With participation from one of its early stage investors, Emil Capital Partners (ECP), the company has raised $42 million in a recent Series B round led by Tengelmann Growth Partners. No Meat Factory plans to use the funds to expand its manufacturing capabilities to support a global market, grow its production capabilities in North America, and support its research and development organisation which focuses on commercialising fresh innovations within the alternative protein sector.

Energy & Power

Enpal (2017), facilitates accessibility within the renewable energy sector by designing and manufacturing solar panels paired with affordable and personalised installation services. The company recently secured $230 million in funding in a Series D round led by TPG Rise Climate, supported by HV Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund, Princeville Capital, Westly Group, and Activate Capital. This round, with both new and existing investors, came a few weeks after the company closed a refinancing of $916 million (€855 million). This funding will allow Enpal to build on its momentum of installing a current sum of 2,000 new solar systems across Germany every month, pursue the creation of new products, and further, to support plans to venture out into new markets. The battle against climate change, coloured by a deeper battle against our habits as a species, will demand a level of convenience and accessibility to get everyone onboard. Enpal aims to make the transition to solar energy as personal and accessible as possible, aiming to eventually “put solar panels on every roof, a battery into every home and an electric vehicle with a charger in front of every door” (Mario Kohle, CEO and Founder of Enpal).

Materials & Chemicals

Summit Nanotech (2018), optimizes lithium supply chain challenges through direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, designed to meet the world’s evolving energy storage needs. As the mobility revolution wages on and the demand for electric vehicles requiring lithium batteries continues to outpace the lithium supply chain, the necessity for an economical and environmentally protective solution for lithium extraction is critical. Summit Nanotech developed a technology that extracts lithium from brine which is faster than traditional methods, requires lower temperatures to mitigate GHG emissions, and minimizes the use of freshwater. The company has received $50 million in a Series A round led by Evok Innovations and Business Development Bank of Canada’s Climate Tech Fund, supported by Xora Innovation, NGP Capital, Helios Climate Ventures, Grantham Foundation, Capricorn Investment Group, and Volta Energy Technologies. Following its successful pilot, these funds will be used to advance Summit Nanotech to the subsequent stage of commercialization by scaling up its Canadian manufacturing capabilities and expanding its global resource-base.

Resources & Environment

Living Carbon (2019), is working to restore ecosystems by developing genetically enhanced plants for CO2 capture and storage. The trees produced accumulate up to 53% more biomass than control seedlings which in turn, increases CO2 capture rates. Further, the biotechnology company has included an accumulation feature in the roots to accelerate metal absorption. Living Carbon recently raised $21 million in a Series A funding round led by Temasek, with participation from Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, and Felicis Ventures. This financing round will support plans to accelerate the deployment of photosynthesis-enhanced trees, build up a team, and scale-up the company’s work on other bio-engineered climate solutions. On the mission to restore balance to the planet’s carbon cycle by lending it a helping hand, otherwise known as the joys of advanced biotechnology, Living Carbon is on track to supply up to 5 million seedlings across the United States in 2023/2024. Further, companies can purchase the seedlings to reduce their carbon footprint as Living Carbon offers quantification and monitoring services.

Transportation & Logistics

Oxbotica (2014),  is a company leveraging artificial intelligence to build a modular software platform enabling any industry to adopt autonomous operations. Keeping within the theme of accessibility, Oxbotica offers a universal, fully modular software with low compute power necessities, integrated with cloud management services, and kitted-out with device drivers, mapping, obstacle detection, perception and prediction capabilities through laser and radar sensors. The company has raised $140 million in a Series C round from Aioi Nissay Dowa, Eneos Innovation Partners, BP Ventures, BGF, Halma, Hostplus, Kiko Ventures, Ocado, Tencent, Venture Science, and ZF Friedrichshafen. The funds will enable Oxbotica to further deploy operating systems across a broad range of industrial and commercial industries, including agriculture, energy, transportation, and aviation sectors. The overarching aim is to support the growing revolution in mobility by scaling its flexibility-focused technology and offering the ability for all vehicles of all sizes, within any location to operate autonomously without compromising on safety or sustainability.

Enabling Technologies

MacroFab (2016),  has developed a cloud-enabled platform which automates the manufacturing process of electronics. The company aims to remove the barriers of entry associated with electronic manufacturing by offering an easy-to-use platform to support manufacturing from the prototype stage to high scale production. As the production of electronics has grown in North America over the last few years, with more companies moving production overseas, Macrofab has doubled its workforce capacity, with shipments up by 275% year-over-year. The company recently raised $42 million in a Growth Equity round led by Foundry with participation from existing investors Edison Partners and ATX Venture Partners, joined by BMW i Ventures. This round of financing brings its total to $82 million, allowing MacroFab to continue to expand its business reach and operations beyond the current network of 100+ factories across North America.

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