Carbon13 invests £1millon in Net Zero ventures to reduce emissions

Carbon13 invests £1million across startups generated by its Venture Builder, each with the potential to reduce CO2e emissions by 10 million tonnes per annum.
Eight innovative carbon emissions-mitigating startups have been launched by Carbon13’s venture builder for the climate emergency and have received an investment of £103,000 plus in-kind support to fast track their development into highly scalable Net Zero ventures.

Each of the ventures has the potential to reduce emissions by 10 million tonnes or more per annum, across sectors including agriculture, food waste, energy storage, materials, and renewable energy. Each venture aims at an even larger target for “total avoidable carbon” — the 10 million tonne figure is our threshold for investing—a substantial enough aim that the ventures are potential “carbon unicorns”.

The Carbon13 SEIS Fund 1 is supported by notable investors including ex-Dragon Nick Jenkins, Peter Cowley, Graham Hobson and Martin Frost.
Carbon13’s overall mission is to use entrepreneurship to reduce emissions by at least 400m tonnes per annum. And, it was founded with a belief that diversity in entrepreneurial founders is an important part of bringing the “think different” mindsets and perspectives to the fore which can achieve the kinds of breakthroughs required by the Net Zero challenge. It is notable therefore that five of the ventures are led by female CEOs and four have minority ethnic leaders (including three CEOs.)

Why Carbon13 is different

Carbon13 is the only venture builder hyper-focused on generating ventures with the explicit goal of reducing emissions by millions of tonnes. Our eight-month programme is “talent-first”, meaning we focus first on the founders’ potential, not the ideas’.
Carbon13’s founder and CEO Dr Chris Coleridge said: “the entrepreneurial process, which involves launching thousands of “small ships” to bring the innovations customers need to achieve Net Zero to market, is based on the idea that everything that a customer needs will eventually be built—the right question is “who will build it?” That’s why we put a strong emphasis on putting together great teams, who then go on to build innovations, founded in technical and commercial terms on sound first principles.” At Carbon13, we select high-potential, impact-driven individuals through a competitive application process. We build a cohort of 60-70 unique founders, a mix of scientists, developers, entrepreneurs and innovators while keeping an eye out for unusual backgrounds where people can fall into our wildcard category.

Our talent-first and mission-focused approach means that our cohort is significantly more experienced than comparable programmes; on average our founders have over 14 years’ experience. 

Carbon13’s ecosystem

Carbon13 grew out of the Cambridge ecosystem of academia, entrepreneurship and innovation. This has allowed us to build a Net Zero ecosystem of our own, including partnerships with corporate innovators such as Arm, DLA Piper and bp ventures, as well as over 100 domain experts and relevant investors like the Clean Growth Fund, Potential Climate Ventures, Octopus Ventures and Zero Carbon Capital to support the startups on their journey.

At the end of November, thventures will be showcased in a series of events in Cambridge and London, aiming to raise seed investment to take them to the next level.  

A look at the Carbon13 ventures 

Agreed

Agreed’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of regenerative farming practices to reduce global carbon emissions and improve the profitability of the farms themselves. Their platform will leverage technologies such as digital twin technology, satellite imagery and relevant data sources to become the data and decision-making hub for the rapidly expanding regenerative agriculture supply chain within the $10 trillion agriculture industry. 

Windfinity

Windfinity aims to become a world leader in wind energy by acquiring legacy (20-year-old) wind turbines and then operating and maintaining them for another 10+ years. These legacy wind turbines are sunk costs both in terms of carbon and money, and therefore generate some of the cleanest and cheapest energy available. 

Infyos

Infyos are building a future where every electric vehicle battery is sustainable. Using expertise in building supply chains and supply chain technology for large organisations around the world, Infyos will help car makers, battery manufacturers and mining companies map and measure the social and environmental impact of their supply chain. Then they will identify high impact hotspots and enable action on the ground to help customers improve their impact. 

Offgrid.Finance

Offgrid.Finance solves the problem of limited, slow and expensive access to finance for SMEs in emerging markets by providing quick and easy loans for investments into clean and efficient technology. SMEs have a critical part to play in the global energy transition and by working with Offgrid.Finance, they will convert renewable energy into sustainable commercial growth, and eliminate millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Tierra

Tierra is developing an all-purpose, gluten free and highly nutritious flour with potential for a carbon negative footprint due to its agroforestry provenance. Longer term the company is exploring alternative proteins and different target applications. By capturing carbon, regenerating land and restoring biodiversity, they will supply manufacturers, retailers and consumers with high quality, innovative, carbon-negative products that deliver tangible benefits to the planet and people. Tierra is already working with local communities across the Maya Rainforest in Guatemala, enabling them to adopt regenerative agriculture processes and grow a selection of highly nutritious indigenous plants for global markets. 

xtonnes

xtonnes is the next generation carbon management platform empowering enterprises of any size to reduce emissions and start their journey to Net Zero. Using minimal data combined with state-of-the-art data science, businesses can begin to take control of their emissions in minutes, effortlessly remain up to date with changes to reporting standards, discover ways to reduce their footprints and achieve science-based targets.  

PuriFire Labs

PuriFire Labs is a circular waste technologies company. Their vision is to “Wage a War on Waste” and process 100 million tonnes of waste per year by 2030 using breakthrough technologies. Their technology provides game changing innovation to convert plastic and other municipal waste into biofuels and animal feeds under high temperatures and pressure. The technology will revolutionise the 2 billion tonne waste industry globally while tapping into the $150 billion aquafeed market and $1 trillion renewables market simultaneously.

Materials Nexus

Materials Nexus is building a new operating model to accelerate scientific discoveries in the fields of materials science. They have already used this framework to find new surface materials which inactivate SARS-CoV-2 more rapidly than alternatives. Their initial focus is on the coatings/paints sector which is worth $150bn/year and are working towards rapidly developing new low friction coatings for ships to combat climate change.