Recent Deals – 8 August 2023

Nuclear fusion systems; more decarbonization technology for steel and cement industries; smart charging and asset monitoring solutions – Recent deals worth looking at:

Agriculture & Food

Konscious Foods (2021) is designing plant-based seafood including products such as sushi rolls, poke bowls, and stuffed rice snacks. Its products are now available across Canada and the U.S., including all Whole Foods Market locations. The company expects to grow its reach to 4,500 stores nationwide by the end of 2023.

Konscious Foods secured $26M in seed funding from Protein Industries Canada, Zynik Capital, and Walter Group, among other undisclosed investors.

The funding will support the company as it continues to grow its retail and food services, as well as a portion invested into scaling up its operations at its Vancouver production facility and propelling its marketing initiatives for a retail launch across North America.

Energy & Power

Blue Light Laser Fusion (2022) offers nuclear fusion systems using laser driver inertial confinement methods with the potential to use proton-boron 11 fuels. The company is currently in the early stages, with plans to complete its first prototype by 2025, and launch a commercial-ready fusion reactor by 2030. Its technology works to accelerate the global transition towards a carbon-free world by developing its laser fusion technology around the proprietary HB11 fuel.

The company has raised $25M in early-stage seed funding from JAFCO Group and Sparx Group through its Mirai Creation Fund III.

The capital will be poured into continued research and development for its prototype commercial reactor.

Materials & Chemicals

Compact Membrane Systems (CMS) (1993) has been working on decarbonization solutions for hard-to-abate sectors for 30 years, through its fluoropolymer membranes and thin film technology. It has game-changing products under its belt, including the Optiperm Olefins solution which offers commercially demonstrated membranes for polyolefin polymerization reactors. It also has its Optiperm Carbon solution which provides a low cost and low energy-consuming, solvent-free, fully electrified, and modular point source carbon capture solution for steel, cement, and materials industries.

CMS has announced a recent $16.5M Series A round led by Pangaea Ventures, GC Ventures, Solvay Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, and Technip Energies.

This round will accelerate the development and commercialization of CMS’s olefins and carbon capture solutions, with the overarching aim to deliver a low-cost and fully electrified solution by 2026.

Resources & Environment

Carbon Upcylcing (2014) has developed a pressurized milling process which sequesters CO2 into reactive feeds including crushed glass, fly ash, and steel slag. The technology can be licensed or plants may be co-owned with partners. Its proprietary solution infuses carbon into a grinding process for industrial residues, to produce a more reactive supplementary cementitious material. These materials can then be used to replace clinker in cement production. The blended cement and concretes resulting from this process can achieve CO2 reductions of up to 30%.

Carbon Upcyling has secured $26M from its Series A round, co-led by Climate Investment and BDC Capital with participation from Clean Energy Ventures, Amplify Capital, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, CRH Ventures, and CEMEX Ventures. The funds will support the company in deploying multiple commercial projects.

Transportation & Logistics (2018) looks at B2C and B2B2C EV driver-focused smart charging that allows drivers to charge at a time of low energy cost and high renewables generation. Its AI-powered software platform works to optimise EV charging. The overarching goal is to develop a relationship and trust between EV drivers and utilities to eventually build out more programs and turn EVs into flexible load. The key to achieve this is to encourage customers to participate and facilitate the ease of engagement. recently secured $33M in funding for its Series B round, led by National Grid Partners (NGP) with support from Aviva Ventures, WEX Venture Capital, and InMotion Ventures, alongside participation from existing investors including Energy Impact Partners, Future Energy Ventures, and ArcTern Ventures.

The fresh capital will back its expansion plans across North America and Europe. The aim is to leverage its investors’ energy retail, vehicle, fleet, and insurance networks, to provide an additional 400 million customers a pathway to connect drivers and vehicles to chargers. This includes scaling access to its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and enables Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) services.

Enabling Technologies

Tractian (2019) has developed an intelligent platform to monitor and control assets in real-time. Its services include analyzing the vibration and temperature of machines, identifying imbalances and harmful friction, and detecting misalignments and potential faults for equipment. The monitoring of machine health supports industrial operations across a broad range of verticals including automotive industries, commodity manufacturing, energy operations, food and beverage, and others.

Tractian has secured $45M in funding from its recent Series B round led by General Catalyst with participation from Ron Gill, next47, Monashees, Jim Baum, and Brian Requarth.