In the last quarter of 2021, climate action again took centre stage when the world met in October at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. The consensus was that climate action aiming at halving the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 to reach net-zero is arguably one of humankind’s greatest innovation challenges.
The urgency to take action to protect and save our planet means that globally countries and businesses need to work closely together to speed up the adoption of affordable cleantech. We are seeing our startup ecosystem responding with the proliferation of climate tech startups and funds being made more and more accessible for such startups.
Climate tech refers to technologies that are explicitly focused on reducing GHG emissions or addressing the impacts of global warming. Climate tech applications can be grouped into three broad sector-agnostic groups—those that: directly mitigate or remove emissions, help us to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and, enhance our understanding of the climate.
We compiled a list of 10 European climate tech startups taking up the challenge of climate action. These startups are addressing the key sectors of climate action such as mobility and transport, energy, food agriculture and land use, industry manufacturing, built environment and financial services.
Klima – With a vision to make powerful and measurable climate action available to everyone, Klima’s climate app allows users to go carbon neutral immediately and sustainably. The app calculates your carbon footprint, then, with the subscription fee, offsets emissions by supporting verified climate projects that remove or reduce the same emissions elsewhere. The app also gives tips on how to live climate healthy and make meaningful changes. Founded in 2019 and based out of Berlin, Klima received €5.1 million in a 2020 seed round from investors Christian Reber, Jens Begemann, Niklas Jansen, e.ventures, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and 468 Capital.
Volta Trucks – Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Volta Trucks is trying to revolutionize what is called “last-mile” logistics by electrifying and redesigning large cargo vehicles, known as Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in Europe, for middle- and last-mile delivery in urban centres. This way, collisions and carbon emissions caused by large delivery trucks are minimized. Founded in 2019, Volta Trucks raised €37 million in Series B funding last September 2021, to scale its operations, starting with a fleet of pilot vehicles in London and Paris. This last funding brings its total funding to €60 million.
Verkor – Verkor is a French start-up based in Grenoble that aims to fast-track production of low‑carbon batteries in France, serving the European market. Founded in 2020, it secured a landmark €100 million funding round last July 2021 – less than a year since launch. The funds will go towards the company’s expansion including the construction of the Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC) where the advanced battery cells and modules will be designed to support Europe’s net-zero goals.
Zolar – Zolar is a German solar power systems provider founded in 2016. Zolar helps its customer install solar power systems in their roofs – serving as a single resource for everything needed, from planning all the way to installation. Zolar aims to remove the barrier of the high up-front cost of installing solar power systems in the homes of individual consumers by offering consumers the option to rent a photovoltaic system for as little as €54/month. After 20 years, the consumer can then buy the system for a symbolic Euro and enjoy its benefits for another ten years. In November 2021, Zolar secured €20 million in funding via a special purpose vehicle with Berliner Volksbank, bringing its total funding to date at €59 million. Zolar earmarked the fresh funds for entry into other European markets.
Metrikus – Buildings are a major contributor to global CO2 emissions. Of the nearly 40% annual global CO2 emissions generated by buildings, about 28% are attributed to building operations and the rest is attributed to building materials and construction. Metrikus, a London-based start-up founded in 2019, is taking up the challenge of reducing the carbon footprint of building operations through its smart building platform. Metrikus’ software provides building owners and occupiers with a powerful platform that gives insight and analysis of how their buildings are being used. In November 2020, Metrikus secured €5.6 million funding with RentaMarkets.
Gourmey – This Paris-based start-up founded in 2019 calls itself a cultivated meat company, producing meat grown in laboratories from animal cells. Starting with a premium product – cultivated foie gras – and using a premium distribution strategy, Gourmey aims to sell its cultivated meat to chefs in high-end restaurants. Gourmey also aims to mass-produce chicken and duck cultivated meat products, reducing dependency on climate intensive products. In July 2021, Point Nine and Air Street Capital co-led Gourmey’s €8.8 million ($10 million) seed round.
Cervest – Cervest is an AI-powered climate intelligence platform enabling organizations to quantify climate risk across multiple decades and threats down to the asset level. Cervest gets its data through a combination of both public and private data sources, built through peer-reviewed research over years and uses machine learning and statistical science to produce an insight into climate risks to assets. Its first product, “EarthScan” will give enterprises and governments a view into how flooding, droughts and extreme temperatures can impact their assets. EarthScan’s view on flooding goes back 50 years and looks forward 80 years into the future. Founded in 2015 and based out of London, in May 2021, Cervest raised €27 million, earmarking the funds for its expansion throughout Europe and the US.
Calyxia – Calyxia is a French start-up based in Bonneuil-sur-Marne, Ile-de-France addressing microplastic pollution through its biodegradable microcapsules that aim to fundamentally change the way industries utilise microplastics. Calyxia is tackling an EU ban on all ‘intentionally added microplastics’ that will go into effect as of this year. Microplastics are found in controlled delivery products such as those active ingredients in crop protection and fragrances in detergents that eventually find their way into our water systems and are ingested by fish. In September 2021, Calyxia raised €15 million bringing its total funding to €23 million to date.
Refurbed – Refurbed is a European marketplace for refurbished electronics. Refurbed focuses on selling products that look new and at a lower price range than its competitors. It has over 130 refurbishers selling through its platform. Based in Vienna, Refurbed was founded in 2017 and in August 2021 got a €48 million funding boost. The move to a circular economy is one of the leading ways that we can reduce waste, particularly for electronic goods which are too often seen as disposable but leave a harmful waste product in our environment.
Carbon Equity – Founded in 2021 and based out of Amsterdam, Carbon Equity is a climate fintech startup that enables people to invest more easily in climate funds. Carbon Equity makes it possible to invest in small ticket sizes starting from €100k. They plan to reduce the ticket size further in the future. In August 2021, Carbon Equity raised €1.2 million in seed funding from Dutch VC 4Impact. Making it easier to invest in climate funds will help make more money available to continue innovation in climate tech.
By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!