🪨 ClimateHack Vol. 48: Magic Rock Dust
PLUS: Climate newsletter CTVC raise $1.75M for deeper insights.
This week I had the chance to catch up with Jim Mann, Founder and CEO of UNDO - the UK-based carbon removal startup working on permanent industrial-scale carbon removal via enhanced rock weathering.
The tldr is they take pieces of basalt rock from quarries > grind this up into a fine dust > provide these to farmers as free fertiliser > this dust then reacts with dilute acid (basically rain + CO₂), > this reaction captures the CO₂ and is washed into rivers/seas where carbon is stored.
Jim spoke at our summit the other week and just recently announced their $12M raise to scale their carbon removal technology. Before founding UNDO, Jim co-founded The Future Forest Company, which to date, has planted 482,255+ trees.
Jim is a great example of a mission driven entrepreneur that doesn’t wait around for permission. He’s been building businesses since 2003 and from what it sounds like, is only just getting started.
We need more Jim’s in the world.
In today's edition:
🔎 CTVC raise $1.75M pre-seed for climate data and insights.
⛴ zero44 secured €2.5M to help decarbonise the maritime industry.
💰 JPMorgan commits to spend $200M on carbon removal technologies.
Digest x Climate
📈 What’s up? Data from the International Energy Agency highlights that global investment in solar energy is set to overtake oil production, and the industry will attract over $1 billion a day in 2023.
🌡 A new study by University College London shows that rising temperatures caused by climate change are likely influencing human migration patterns.
📉 What’s down? And that’s not all - rising temperatures may also make sleep difficult as air quality changes, according to the Surrey Sleep Centre.
📊 Good Read: Planet A Ventures published a simple founder’s guide to TEAs (that’s techno-economic assessment for the rest of us).
🔮 If you missed the HackSummit and wondering what happened, here’s our top highlights and key trends from the two day event. Or check out this review from Green Queen that spotlights some of the ways that we pushed for a zero waste event in this years edition.
Carbon x Climate
🪨 UNDO, based in London, raised $12 million in a round led by Lowercarbon Capital and AENU, plus an additional £800,000 from carbon removal purchaser Stripe. It plans to use the funding to scale up carbon removal through enhanced rock weathering; it spreads volcanic rock across agricultural land to store CO2 from rainwater as solid carbon in the soil.
📊 Australia’s FLINTPro raised $9 million Series A funding to accelerate the US expansion of its software system which measures and manages carbon and natural capital across all land uses, to help finance, government, and business leaders to model and understand the opportunities and impacts of land management decisions.
⛴ Berlin-based zero44 secured €2.5 million in a funding round led by Atlantic Labs. Its tech is designed to help companies in the maritime industry to formulate and implement their CO2 emissions reduction strategy, and supports participation in EU emissions trading.
🔎 Sunhat, based in Germany, secured €2 million seed funding to optimise processes for ESG and sustainability ratings and certification for large companies in the supply chain industry.
💰 JPMorgan Chase is set to spend $200 million on a combination of carbon removal technologies, which will remove and store the equivalent of 800,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. (FYI: this is a big deal).
💡 Good Read: AgFunder News’ Louisa Burwood-Taylor moderated a panel on carbon offsetting and other carbon-related initiatives at the HackSummit. In this article, she shares the good, the bad and the ugly, and what the future might hold for this industry.
Food x Climate
🐖 Dutch cultivated meat startup Meatable says it has achieved a world-first breakthrough in its mission to produce cultivated meat at scale: it claims to be able to produce its cultivated pork in just eight days, when previously the process took three weeks.
🌾 Oatly is launching a global regenerative agriculture movement, F.A.R.M., that will work with farmers to restore carbon, improve biodiversity, and support farm viability.
🐄 French dairy giant Bel Group is rolling out a methane-reducing feed across its dairy producers in Slovakia, which supply around 70 million litres of milk each year to make Babybel cheese, with the aim of reducing methane emissions by 25%.
🤝 Amcor, Delterra, Mars and P&G are launching a strategic partnership to scale upstream and downstream solutions for a circular plastics economy, jointly committing $6 million over the next five years to “stem the tide of plastic pollution in the Global South”.
🐟 Wicked Kitchen is expanding its portfolio with the strategic acquisition of plant-based seafood startupCurrent Foods, which makes sushi-grade vegan salmon and tuna.
Energy x Climate
🛰 London-based Satellite Vu secured £12.7 million in a Series A extension round led by Molten Ventures. Its tech is designed to provide energy monitoring services for equipment, buildings and water via satellites, and it is aiming to launch the first satellite in a constellation of eight in June onboard a SpaceX rocket.
🏭 NEOM Green Hydrogen Company announced it has achieved financial close on the world’s largest green hydrogen production facility at a total investment value of USD 8.4 billion. It is currently being built in Saudi Arabia and will produce up to 600 tonnes per day of carbon-free hydrogen by the end of 2026.
🔋 Australian startup Endua raised AU$11.8 million for its modular hydrogen generation and storage technology, which can drive power loads of up to 100 kW each to help fix renewable energy’s intermittency issue.
🚗 Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed an innovative technology that is able to synthesise multicarbon liquid drop-in fuels for cars using just CO2, water, and photosynthesis, which also avoids production of byproducts like syngas.
🔥 Ardagh Glass Packaging has begun construction on a large-scale hybrid electric furnace to enable a switch to renewable electricity at its glass production facility in Obernkirchen, Germany, which will lead to a cut in emissions of “as much as 60%”.
Materials x Climate
🥤 Bulgarian startup Cupffee has created an edible coffee cup, made from oat bran, wheat flour, and water, which can withstand temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius and remains crisp for up to 40 minutes after being filled, to help reduce single-use coffee cup waste.
💼 Biomaterials company Desserto unveiled Desserto Agave, a limited-edition leather alternative made from agave fibers, a waste product of Mexico’s tequila industry.
📣 Google has launched a call to food companies with sustainable packaging to submit their products to the Google Single-Use Plastics Challenge for the opportunity to pitch their products to Google and “leading global food operators” to scale them across Google’s US offices, in a bid to put an end to single-use plastics.
👞 Sustainable materials brand von Holzhausen debuted Replant Leather, a premium leather alternative made from repurposed agricultural fibres, which is carbon-negative, contains zero petrochemicals, and is made from traceable sources.
Funds x Climate
🔎 CTVC, one of the leading sources of news and insights for climate innovation announced a $1.75M raise to launch their climate intelligence platform - with deep data and insights on the world of climate tech.
💰 TDK Ventures launched a $150 million fund, EX1, to support early-stage energy and climate tech startups in the US and Europe.
🌍 Early-stage VC E3 Capital and investment bank Lion’s Head Global Partners announced the first close of their E3 Low Carbon Economy Fund for Africa at $48.1 million. It will provide initial and follow-on funding to climate-focused startups in Africa, such as those working in solar and EV.
Memes x Climate
Que every emerging climate funding now adding this to their deck. Credit: Edward van der Hout.
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