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Some Good News from Climate Tech 🌞

Some Good News from Climate Tech 🌞
August 23, 2021

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. Today we’re talking about Climate Tech, but I promise to make this discussion light, and possibly, hopeful. Let’s go!

Recent news has driven the point home more than ever: that climate change is already creating potentially disastrous consequences for our planet. We also know that it’s on us to demand action from our decision-makers rather than leave it up to corporations to police themselves and that we must remain skeptical of those leaders who have conflicting interests (ahem–Exxon-11). There are signs, however, that business and revolutionary change can come together and not just to greenwash the old solutions. Today, let’s look at some of the hopeful signs coming from the booming industry of climate tech.

First, a definition. What is Climate Tech?

According to cleanventures.com, climate tech “deals specifically with addressing climate change and thus, is defined as any new business model and technology that mitigates the impacts and drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. climate change).”

 

Good Hires Go for ClimateTech

Speaking of Exxon, the oil industry is losing out on top talent picks as more millennials and Gen Z'ers choose to bring their talents to Cleantech positions. According to a BP spokesperson, young recruits cite that they prefer working toward energy transition in renewables over well-paying jobs at fossil fuel companies. According to a 2019 study, three-quarters of millennials would accept a 10% pay cut to work for a company that is environmentally responsible. Climate Tech VC, a newsletter for climate-related investments and topics, recently launched a job board that posts open roles at climate tech companies as part of its 15K+ investor & operator network. It was flooded with applicants at the launch earlier this month.

 

Big Funds 

Since the start of 2021, Climate Tech VC has counted 31 funds raising $10BN in new, dedicated climate tech venture capital. General Atlantic completed a $2BN fundraise in July to back clean energy projects, primarily in infrastructure-as-a-service, and is currently raising $4B for their BeyondNetZero fund chaired by a former (and reformed) BP CEO, John Browne. Lewis & Clark Agrifood is a venture extension of the firm devoted to scale late-stage businesses like Tortuga AgTech, the San-Luis Obispo company which uses robotics and AI to improve farming outcomes. 

 

Stunning Science

For every podcast you’ve heard or article you’ve read about dying biodiversity in soil, pesticides in our water supplies, and microplastics in our oceans, there is most likely a startup seeking to change that paradigm (thank goodness for entrepreneurs). Here are a few private companies using what we know to meet the growing climate crisis.


🥒 Food Waste

Apeel Sciences just raised a whopping $250MM Round E from Temasek Holdings & A16Z, among others, for its plant-derived solution to double the lifespan of fruits and vegetables without refrigeration. The Santa Barbara-based company is on a mission to reduce food waste, which causes an estimated 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions–greater than the airline industry. Shelf Engine & Spoiler alert grocers & food labels to reduce waste from over-ordering and offloading unsold goods, a process that ends up wasting 40% of all food produced in the U.S.

 

🔬 Better Biology

We’ve all heard of taking probiotics for our gut microbiome, but what about the microbiome of soil? Ginkgo Bioworks is a pioneer in synthetic biology, the ability to create things by programming the DNA code of living cells. The company recently raised $750MM via a PIPE deal and plans to go public at a nearly $17BN valuation via a SPAC merger with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. Circ is developing a biological process to return clothing to its former life, as reusable fabrics and other materials, reducing the waste and strain on resources caused by the fashion industry.

♻️ Recycling

While the reduction of virgin plastics is crucial, so too is removing plastics and cardboard from our landfills (and oceans). AMP Robotics is using AI to detect and process recycling using machine learning. The company raised a $50MM Round B in early 2021. Temperpack is a company that will then take that recycled material and turn it into temperature-controlled packaging. Farm to People grocery delivery comes in something similar each week. Bye-bye styrofoam.

 

More advances are coming every day. We hope this newsletter was a welcome burst of positivity and a chance to celebrate great minds doing good things. Got a ClimateTech company you’d like us to cover? Hit the feedback button up top.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
561 Companies | 113 Funding Activities | 59 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:
 

 

Databricks in talks to raise $1.5BN at a 38BN valuation

Cloud Enterprise Management • Equity • San Francisco, CA
 

DriveWealth raises $450MM from Accel & Insight Partners

Brokerage • Round D • Chatam, NJ
 

Ample raises $160MM from Moore Strategic Ventures

EV Batteries • Round C • San Francisco, CA
 

Nacelle raises $50MM from Tiger Global Management

E-Commerce • Round B • Santa Monica, CA
 

Osaro raises $30MM from Octave Ventures

Robotics • Round C • San Francisco, CA
 

Immunitas Therapeutics raises $58MM from Agent Capital 

Biotechnology • Round B • Waltham, MA
 

Eaze Technologies raises $75MM from Douglas Hannah

Cannabis Delivery • Round E • San Francisco, CA
 

One Finance raises $40MM from Obvious Ventures

Fintech • Round B • Sacramento, CA
 

Blumira raises $10.3MM from Mercury Fund 

Cyber Security Round A • Ann Arbor, MI


Nordic Capital & Insight Partners acquire Inovalon for $6.4BN

Health Care Analytics • Acquisition • Bowie, MD
 

H.I.G. Capital acquires Pegasus Home Fashions 

Textiles • Acquisition • Elizabethport, NJ
 

Generate Capital provides $240MM in growth capital to Nexamp

Industrial Services • Growth Capital • Boston, MA

 

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