Climate Tech is Becoming Hot

Everyday, we are waking up to more news that shows us that investing in Climate Tech is on its way to become mainstream.

Last year in June, Amazon announced its dedicated investment program to Climate Tech with an initial $2 billion in funding that will focus on transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, the circular economy, and food and agriculture.

At the beginning of this year, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures (USV) wrote that “climate will be to this decade what cloud was to the last one”. He announced that USV has raised a climate fund to back startups that fights with climate crisis.

Again, at the beginning of this year, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the clean-tech venture capital fund led by Bill Gates, raised $1 billion to invest in startups that will help the world achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Another big news event was when Chris Sacca announced his return to startup investing with his fund,Lowercase Capital, to heal the planet four years after his retirement announcement.

It is not happening just in the tech hubs. Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. launched his early stage and late stage funds to invest in startups that will restore the environment.

Numbers are also backing the news. According to Pitchbook, VC investment in climate technologies hit a record high of $16.4B in 2020.

According to PWC’s State of Climate Tech Report; “the number of countries, cities, businesses and investors that have committed to transition to net zero emissions before 2050 is creating a snowball-effect demand signal for net zero breakthroughs. This is just one of several trends which are driving increased investments and heightened investor interest in climate tech.”

Some numbers from PWC’s State of Climate Tech Report

According to the report, there is growing corporate demand: “Close to 300 major global companies (and rising weekly) have made net zero before 2050 pledges, since the push for this target began in mid 2019.”

One of the companies aiming to contribute to the efforts of healing our planet is Stripe. Stripe has been investing in climate tech startups and also becoming their first customer. Stripe showcased their recent portfolio startups a couple of weeks ago at Stripe Climate Demo Day 2021. Here are the climate tech startups that Stripe highlighted:

Seachange leverages the power and scale of the world’s oceans to remove carbon. Their experimental electrochemical process sequesters CO₂ in seawater as carbonates, an inert material comparable to seashells, thereby enabling energy-efficient and permanent CO₂ removal.

Running Tide removes carbon by growing kelp in the open ocean. After maximum growth, the free-floating lines of kelp sink to the deep ocean where the embodied carbon is stored for the long term.

Over geological timescales, CO₂ chemically binds to minerals and permanently turns to stone. Heirloom is building a direct air capture solution that enhances this process to absorb CO₂ from the ambient air in days rather than years, and then extracts the CO₂ to be stored permanently underground.

Mission Zero electrochemically removes CO₂ from the air and concentrates it for a variety of sequestration pathways. Their experimental room-temperature process can be powered with clean electricity and has the potential to achieve low costs and high volumes using modular, off-the-shelf equipment.

CarbonBuilt’s process readily converts dilute CO₂ into calcium carbonate, creating a “no compromise” low-carbon alternative to traditional concrete. CarbonBuilt’s technology platform can serve as a critical component of future carbon removal systems using direct air capture.

Future Forest is conducting a field trial to accelerate mineral weathering by crushing basalt rocks into dust, spreading them onto the forest floor, and then measuring CO₂ uptake, with the thought that the basalt would increase the CO₂ uptake. This first-of-a-kind trial will help assess the potential for scale as well as the potential ecosystem impacts associated with enhanced weathering.

At Maxitech, sustainability is one of our focus areas. Startups that work on sustainability and climate change, feel free to reach out and say Hello to us! We are looking forward to hearing from you!