Why impact investing makes sense and why we’re seeing more of it
Gandhi is famously quoted as saying, “be the change you want to see in the world,” but in today’s venture world, the motto is quickly becoming “fund the change you want to see in the world.” As we slip closer and closer to a climate catastrophe, more money is going to climate tech companies that are working diligently to correct our wrongs by making the planet healthier. In 2021 there were over 600 investments in climate tech, topping out at over $40 billion. Almost a third of the deals were in Q4, and the pace isn’t slowing down. In this quarter’s Tech for Good, we’ll dive into notable investments in ‘cool’ (get it?) companies from some leading investors in this space.
Acre Venture Partners focuses on funding fundamental change in food and agriculture to help address systemic issues in human and environmental health.
Ascribe Ithaca, NY, USA // Grant Round // $4M Total Funding // Est. 2017 Ascribe develops natural crop protection through small molecules that are an alternative to live microbes and toxic chemicals.
Loam Bio Orange, NSW, AUS // Series A // $37M Total Funding // Est. 2019 Loam Bio creates symbiotic micro-organisms that can inoculate crops against disease and provide carbon sequestration and more agricultural output.
Mori Boston, MA, USA // Series B // $82M Total Funding // Est. 2016 Mori uses natural silk to create a biodegradable, edible protective layer for produce and meats to cut down on plastic packaging and food waste.
Moss.earth Sao Paulo, BRA // Series A // $13.5M Total Funding // Est. 2020 Moss.earth provides a personal and corporate carbon offset program backed by the blockchain and also sells NFTs of small forest areas of the Amazon.
Source.ag Amsterdam, NL // Seed // $10M Total Funding // Est. 2020 Source.ag creates AI-powered greenhouses to help growers reduce pollution and increase crop yield.
Blue Bear Capital focuses on the energy, infrastructure, and climate companies that merge the gap between high-tech and energy.
EnMass Energy Durham, NC, USA // Seed // $2M Total Funding // Est. 2015 EnMass Energy is transforming the supply chain associated with the waste-to-energy market bringing visibility to feedstock logistics.
Everactive Santa Clara, CA, USA // Series C // $114M Total Funding // Est. 2012 Everactive (formerly known as PsiKick) has created battery-less IoT sensors for steam trap and machine health monitoring.
FreeWire Technologies San Leandro, CA, USA // Series C // $105M Total Funding // Est. 2014 FreeWire Technologies provides smart battery systems to the industrial industry that typically relies heavily on diesel generators.
Shoreline Stavanger, NO // Series A // $4M Total Funding // Est. 2014 Shoreline delivers analytic and simulation software to the hydro and solar power plant industry, helping improve the efficiency of renewable energy plants.
Urbint New York, NY, USA // Series C // $109M Total Funding // Est. 2015 Urbint uses AI and IoT to predict risks in critical infrastructure up to a week in advance for utilities, oil and gas, and telecom providers. Energy Impact Partners is also an investor.
Closed Loop Partners seeks to fund the circular economy through investments in plastics and packaging, fashion, food and agriculture, and technology.
AMP Robotics Broomfield, CO, USA // Series B // $74.5M Total Funding // Est. 2015 AMP Robotics uses computer vision to smart-sort single-stream recyclables with higher accuracy and speed than humans. Congruent is also an investor.
ERI Fresno, CA, USA // Private Equity // Undisclosed Funding // Est. 2002 ERI de-manufactures recycles, and re-manufactures every type of electronic device, including company end-user devices across every zip code in the United States, helping reduce e-waste and cut company procurement costs.
Rebound Technologies Commerce City, CO, USA // Series A // $17.5M Total Funding // Est. 2012 Rebound Technologies has transformed the industrial cold storage industry through Freeze Point Suppression, increasing efficiency and reducing food waste.
rPlanet Earth Los Angeles, CA, USA // Debt Financing // $8.5M Total Funding // Est. 2018 rPlanet Earth is a vertically integrated PET reclaimer that sorts, flakes, and molds rPET into new, innovative, food-grade packaging products.
Temperpack Richmond, VA, USA // Venture Round // $208.8M Total Funding // Est. 2015 TemperPack is revolutionizing insulation packaging by creating a curbside recyclable plant and fiber-based packaging product that performs as well as Styrofoam.
Congruent Ventures helps transform how we move, create, eat, and live through technology investments.
Alloy Enterprises Somerville, MA, USA // Grant Round // $6.3M Total Funding // Est.2020 Alloy Enterprises works in the aluminum additive manufacturing sphere creating high-performance parts at a fraction of the costs, reducing energy requirements and no adhesives.
Blueprint Power New York, NY, USA // Seed // $4M Total Funding // Est. 2017 Blueprint Power helps commercial real estate owners sell their excess renewable energy to markets and consumers turning their buildings into profitable power plants.
Camus Energy San Fransisco, CA, USA // Series A // $19M Total Funding // Est.2019 Camus Energy, founded by ex-Googlers, helps orchestrate grid-connected assets to improve efficiency and visibility into the rapid changes in demand on the power grid system.
Fox Robotics Austin, TX, USA // Seed // $13.2M Total Funding // Est. 2018 Fox Robotics has developed fully autonomous electric industrial vehicles, starting with forklifts, to improve warehouse energy usage and increase automation.
Hippo Harvest Half Moon Bay, CA, USA // Seed // $2M Total Funding // Est.2019 Hippo Harvest is bringing greenhouse into the 21st century through robotics, sensors, and state-of-the-art hydroponics backed by powerful ML to bring efficiency to greenhouse growers. Energy Impact Partners is also an investor.
Carbon America Arvada, CO, USA // Series A // $39.5M Total Funding // Est. 2019 Carbon America is a vertically integrated carbon capture and sequestration solution that solves for capture, transport, and storage of CO2.
Grover Berlin, DE // Debt Financing // $2B Total Funding // Est. 2015 Grover provides technology rentals for everything from VR headsets and gaming consoles to corporate laptops to reduce e-waste and help consumers’ budgets.
Nitricity Stanford, CA, USA // Seed // $6.1M Total Funding // Est. 2018 Nitricity is developing carbon-free fertilizer using only air, water, and renewable energy, ensuring what’s best for the field, not what’s best for factories.
Project Canary Denver, CO, USA // Series B // $121M Total Funding // Est. 2019 Project Canary helps companies preserve the bottom line while collecting, managing, operationalizing, and learning from real-time, independent environmental data and helps oil and gas companies achieve various environmental certifications.
Sublime Systems Somerville, MA, USA // Seed // Unknown Funding // Est. 2020 Sublime Systems is decarbonizing cement-making and is currently in stealth mode.
Pale Blue Dot is a seed-stage firm that invests in climate startups seeking to reduce and reverse the climate crisis.
BettaF!sh Berlin, DE // Unknown Round // Unknown Funding // Est. 2020 BettaF!sh is creating alternative seafood from seaweed and is currently selling its tuna alternative at Aldi’s across Europe.
cirplus Hamburg, DE // Seed // $3.7M Total Funding // Est. 2018 cirplus has created a marketplace for plastic recyclables and plastic waste feedstock, helping close the loop on circular plastic by helping find, negotiate, contract, and ship plastic waste.
Overstory Amsterdam, NL // Seed // $9.8M Total Funding // Est. 2018 Overstory uses AI and satellite imagery to create a real-time analytics platform to monitor the earth’s natural resources, which helps prevent deforestation, wildfires, and power outages.
Patch Technologies San Francisco, CA, USA // Series A // $26.5M Total Funding // Est. 2020 Patch Technologies supplies an API that helps put carbon removal on autopilot by automatically collecting emission data and allowing companies to purchase anywhere from a gram to a giga-tonne of carbon removal from trusted sources.
VEAT Stockholm, SE // Pre-Seed // $590K Total Funding // Est. 2020 VEAT cooks and prepares healthy, plant-based food options and distributes them to vending machines so customers can make environmentally friendly, fast choices at mealtime.
Norrsken VC focuses on seed and Series A funding for companies combining impact and profit to help solve the world’s biggest challenges.
ClimateView Stockholm, SE // Series A // $14.1M Total Funding // Est. 2018 ClimateView helps cities and countries plan, simulate, and fund their climate transition turning dreams into collaborative realities.
Nortical Gothenburg, SE // Unknown Round // $1.4M Total Funding // Est. 2019 Nortical helps customers recycle, reuse, and repurpose batteries to fuel the circular economy of batteries and decrease battery waste.
Submer Barcelona, ES // Venture Round // $51M Total Funding // Est. 2015 Submer has created an immersion cooling technology for data centers that saves 50% of electricity and uses only 85% of the standard real estate needed for traditional data centers.
Vultus AB Lund, SE // Seed // $2M Total Funding // Est. 2016 Vultus uses satellite imagery and advanced analytics to help reduce fertilizer waste and allow farmers to increase yield while only ordering the fertilizer they need.
Worldfavor Stockholm, SE // Seed // $4.6M Total Funding // Est. 2010 Worldfavor drives transparency in sustainability by creating a platform to share company sustainability data which illuminates the supply chain and vendor analysis while helping companies track and meet their goals.
There are myriad options for keeping the planet healthy that are gaining steam thanks to investors keeping our best interests at heart.
Our recent CXO Report found that ESG is top of mind for corporate executives going into 2022, and these investments validate those priorities. For those looking to start making an impact quickly, we highly recommend investing in environmental tracking software such as Patch Technologies and Project Canary to get a quick jump on quantifying current environmental impacts, which can lead to the effective planning of remediation. After teams have a handle on where they need to improve most, carbon offset programs like Moss.earth can be a significant next step to making a change with a low capital expense. For those with heavy investments in end-user devices, companies like ERI and Grover can help you obtain and decommission devices while staying environmentally friendly.
Looking to tackle your corporate environmental impact? I encourage you to look at these solutions, dive deeper into the investments of these impact investors, and contact Vation Ventures to find custom-built research solutions specific to your needs.