Carbon13 hits milestone of 30+ investments in early stage climatetech ventures

Another 12 innovative ClimateTech startups have been launched and invested in by the Carbon13 venture builder. This brings Carbon13’s total number of invested ventures to 32 in the last 12 months.

Each startup has received an investment of £120,000 plus in-kind support to fast-track their development into highly scalable Net Zero ventures.

It is the focus on decarbonisation and carbon capture which sets these ventures apart; each venture has the potential to reduce emissions by 10 million tonnes per annum – our threshold for investing. Furthermore, many of the startups are working on solutions that could even abate gigatonnes of CO2e when at scale.

Carbon13 supports both software-based climatetech ventures, and science-based or hardtech ventures. In this batch of 12 ventures the science-based solutions include textile waste, green chemicals manufacturing, precision fermentation, and biochemistry.

The software-based ventures leverage solutions such as digital twins, generative design, climate risk analysis, and artificial intelligence; operating in growth sectors such as climate finance, the built environment, hydropower and agrovoltaics. 

The Carbon13 SEIS Fund III is supported by notable investors including ex-Dragon Nick Jenkins, Aron Gelbard (founder, Bloom and Wild), Graham Hobson (founder, Photobox), and Doug Scott (founder, Redbrain).

Carbon13’s founder and CEO Dr Chris Coleridge comments:

Delighted to welcome another 12 ventures to the Carbon13 stable. Each team has worked incredibly hard to refine their venture and hit the proof points needed for our investment. We invest after working very closely with these teams for over three months, giving us unparalleled insight into how well these teams work together, their resilience in the face of startup challenges, and their commitment to building truly breakthrough ventures.

This cohort was also the first cohort that we required to do a “carbon” pitch as well as a business pitch. They presented to us solely on their venture’s potential for CO2e emissions reduction. This process ensures that robust thinking on carbon is baked into the ventures’ DNA and sets Carbon13 apart from other more generic accelerators who can’t tap into the same carbon expertise and toolkits that we can. Consequently, we’re already seeing strong interest from the ClimateTech investor community and beyond for this cohort's Showcase Days in December of this year.

Why Carbon13 is different: Carbon Intelligence for founders and investors

Carbon13 is the only venture builder hyper-focused on generating ventures with the explicit goal of reducing CO2e emissions by millions of tonnes.

For founders 

Our programme doesn’t just support founders on the commercial strategy of their venture, helping them to understand product/market fit, refine their story for investors, establish traction etc, but on the carbon strategy too.  

Founders work intensively on understanding their venture’s biggest opportunity for reducing CO2e, by leveraging Carbon13’s support which includes our Carbon Toolkit, carbon experts in residence and a wider network of peer support.

No other programme supports early-stage founders in this way. 

For investors 

This is a serious advantage for our startups, and to our investors. At VC level, the current investor landscape is struggling to confidently assess a startup’s true carbon potential, due to a lag in sustainability expertise accumulating in the sector. 

Through our focus on carbon, our ventures can provide robust thinking on carbon in their story to investors. Consequently, the Carbon13 ecosystem benefits from strong investor relationships with several dozen investor partners across the UK, EU and US, several of whom have co-invested in our startups including Zero Carbon Capital, Climate.VC, Founders Factory’s Gforce, Insurtech Gateway and others. These close relationships to later stage investors are ensuring Carbon13 ventures have a strong route to investment and scale. 

Carbon13 in numbers

– £3.5 million investment across 32 ventures 

– 50% of our 32 invested ventures have already raised further funding 

– 18 of the 32 ventures have female cofounders 

– 50% of the ventures are software-, 50% science- or hardware-focused 

A look at the Cohort 3 ventures 

17Cicada

17Cicada is enabling the switch to petroleum-free plastics. By using bacteria to manufacture raw materials for polymers, they eliminate the economic and societal bond between plastic and crude oil. Their first-of-its-kind technology produces furan di-carboxylic acid, FDCA, inside bacterial cells. FDCA is a drop-in replacement for terephthalic acid, TA, which comes from crude oil and is used to manufacture the mainstay plastic PET. By switching TA with FDCA, one produces PEF, which produces 60% less GHG emissions than PET. 17Cicada’s process for manufacturing FDCA, due to be patented imminently, will therefore address a huge chunk of the PET emissions which are forecast to reach 1.34 Gt CO2e by 2030.

Circular11

Circular11 turns low-grade plastic waste into building materials and home products that are stronger, more durable, and vastly more sustainable than traditional materials. Circular11 then creates an end-market for the contaminated and film-based plastics that make up between 50 and 80% of global packaging waste. This enables developers to achieve their legislated targets for fully traceable recycling services and plastic credits – and gives families around the world the opportunity to build durable, safe and sustainable homes.  

Elaniti

At Elaniti, we will improve crop health and yield by measuring the soil microbiome – through an in situ device utilising physics, microbiology, biochemistry, and machine learning. We will enable a viable transition to regenerative agriculture through a holistic approach, supplementing Nature’s capabilities with surgically precise applications of chemical inputs. Our data will help companies measure their true impact on soil biodiversity, reduce destructive practices, increase nutritional density in their products, and enable a sustainable transition to regenerative agriculture. 

Mortar IO

Mortar IO is on a mission to supercharge and de-risk retrofits in buildings. Mortar IO’s breakthrough technology helps organizations understand how to achieve net zero for entire portfolios in minutes, rather than months. Buildings are responsible for 40% of emissions globally, yet 80% of the buildings that will be still standing in 2050 have already built, which means that decarbonising existing buildings is the true problem to solve. Catalysing retrofits will unlock an accelerated path to net zero for every building, helping us to secure the health and happiness of our planet. 

Nium

Nium uses nanotechnology to decarbonise chemistry. They’re starting with the #1 industrial chemical polluter: Ammonia. As the cornerstone of the fertiliser and fuel transition, a 3x increase in global ammonia demand is projected by 2050. Nium’s proprietary nanotechnology will help the industry save money, emissions and effort with low cost, low energy, low carbon decentralised ammonia generators. With two patents secured, strategic options in onshore wind/solar and farming and a planned devolved network of ammonia reactors.  

Open Hydro

Open Hydro is the much-needed automated solution to ramp up private capital flows to hydropower development. Concerns about hydropower’s emissions and exposure to climate risks lead to it only receiving 2% of climate-aligned renewable energy investment. Open Hydro’s platform builds on sector-specific knowledge and standardised reporting by the industry to assess carbon emissions and climate change impacts and plan actions to exploit the project’s opportunities to reduce emissions and improve the project’s resilience, resolving investors’ concerns.

PreOptima

Preoptima is the world’s first AI platform for real-time carbon planning for buildings and cities. The embodied carbon of new buildings required to support population increase will use a staggering 80% of the global carbon budget left to meet the Paris Agreement. But existing decision tools mean decisions are made too late, and as a result, carbon reductions of only 3-5% are typically achieved. Using AI and their proprietary, unique data sets, PreOptima enables high-accuracy carbon calculations to be made right from the very early conceptual stage of the ideation process, prior to any design decisions being locked in, and thus, we drive carbon reduction of hundreds of megatons at global scale.

ReScope

ReScope’s mission is to disrupt the climate intelligence space. They support investors’ strategic management and provide them with the necessary evidence to shift from brown to green investments. As climate change impacts accelerate, investors increasingly need to know their climate risk exposure, not least because all major jurisdictions are mandating climate risk disclosure. ReScope aggregates the latest climate data, methodologies and tools into an interactive platform for consultants and asset managers to build their own climate risk analysis. 

Sun Bear Bioworks

Sun Bear Bioworks is on a mission to reimagine farming with precision fermentation to produce healthier and sustainable everyday ingredients for the food, cosmetics, medical and fuel industries. They will commence with a palm oil alternative, retaining all the benefits of palm oil minus the sustainability issues and a healthier chemical profile. Sun Bear will use agricultural waste as feedstock rather than sugar, dramatically increasing their ability to farm oils, proteins and fuels more sustainably.

Sunjul

Sunjul’s mission is to increase food, water and energy security for the planet. Sunjul is the first impartial decision-making platform designed specifically for agrivoltaics, incorporating geospatial data on crop yield, water use, soil erosion and solar energy generation over the 30-year life of any project. This SaaS platform will simplify data, shrink planning and development times and de-risk projects by providing clear measurements for the project life. It saves time and money, increases food security and enables the transition to renewable energy. 

The Battery Recycling Company

The Battery Recycling Company is a deeptech startup, aiming to build the world’s first carbon-negative closed-loop battery recycling system by end 2023 – enabling the re-use of over 95% of materials currently used in EV Lithium-ion batteries. Their proprietary technologies ensure quality supply for future battery demand, reduced costs of battery production and turn battery production into a net-zero industry, helping companies and the world to surpass their climate targets. They’re fixing tomorrow’s problems, today.

ZoriTex

ZoriTex’s mission is to eliminate textile waste to landfill and incineration. Textile and clothing production is highly resource intensive, accounting for 5-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet 85% of clothing fibers end up in landfill or incineration and less than 1% of textiles is recycled into new textile products. Their solution sorts textile waste using digital technology to assess the fibre composition (as 40% of labelling can be incorrect). Then they create a marketplace for the sorted textile waste feedstocks for higher value recycling solution, unlocking the value of circular textiles and enabling the new textile-to-textile recycling market to rapidly scale. 

Want to know more about Carbon13’s work?

If you’re a talented scientist, developer, commercial and other active or would-be climate tech entrepreneur, explore the Venture Builder click here.
If you’re an investor, please reach out to Min Dhillon on [email protected]
Media enquiries, contact Sara Jones, [email protected]
Other enquiries, contact [email protected]