HomeKnow-HowGoing Green: European GreenTech Overview | March 2023 | Powered by Net...

Going Green: European GreenTech Overview | March 2023 | Powered by Net Zero Insights

GreenTech is one of the biggest growth areas in the innovation and startup space, on a global level. It’s a market area that has the potential to shape and influence our future for the better, and investors and entrepreneurs are actively promoting development in this space. This report, powered by Net Zero Insights, aims to give an overview of everything that happened in GreenTech across Europe in the past month.

GreenTech refers ​​to the use of tech that has a positive environmental impact at its core. It refers to those companies that are founded for a wider purpose – it could be reducing carbon emissions, tackling pollution, minimizing waste, protecting the world’s ecosystems or anything that contributes to making life on Earth more sustainable and less harmful.

As we enter 2023, GreenTech is one of the hottest topics in the wider startup community. It’s a core priority for investors, governments and accelerators – giving innovators in this space, room to grow, support to scale and cash to make it all happen. So far this year, while other markets took valuation hits GreenTech seemed to maintain strong – continuing to grow despite the economic storm.

However, as we look back at March, it appears the VC slowdown has finally hit the GreenTech market. According to Net Zero, we’re now seeing a downward trend in funding since Q1 2022. In Q1 2023, about $11.3 billion has been raised across 516 deals – the lowest raised since Q3 2020. 

While funding levels are dropping, there are still reasons to be optimistic. GreenTech innovation is still evolving. Commitments are still being made to support the industry, and it remains a key growth sector for Europe.

Let’s take a deeper look

In March, we tracked that about €383 million was raised by European startups. The Electric Vehicle market as well as renewable energies take the top spot.

Startups that had a particularly interesting month include:

  • Gyeben-based Hygraph landed €27.7 million to develop technology to collect, manage, and report environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data.
  • Paris-based ZEWAY has secured €26 million to develop mobility solutions that help people transition to electric scooters for better transportation.
  • Berlin-based Enapter secured €25 million for its hydrogen generators with patented Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) technology and energy management software.
  • Helsinki-based Norsepower Oy secured €28 million to pioneer the generation of renewable wind energy.
  • Copenhagen-based Agreena secured €46 million to mint, verify and sell carbon credits generated by farmers.

Spotlight: Insights from Greenlyte Carbon Technologies

Founded in 2022, Greenlyte Carbon Technologies takes a circular approach to cut carbon emissions. It operates a low-energy direct air capture approach which captures carbon dioxide and creates hydrogen as a byproduct. Essentially, it produces green hydrocarbons from the air, which can be used to produce renewable hydrocarbons.

The startup, led by Florian Hildebrand (CEO), Dr. Niklas Friederichsen (CTO) and DAC researcher Dr. Peter Behr (CSO), is based on 15 years of research. Based in Essen, it recently secured $3.5 million to scale.

We chatted with Florian to learn more about the company and what’s in store for the future.

Can you tell us about Greenlyte?

Greenlytes wants to free the world from fossil fuels by fueling the circular carbon economy.

We believe that to fight climate change, we need to de-carbonize as much as we can, but for some sectors, this will be nearly impossible. These include the chemical industry where oil & gas are used as feedstock, energy storage capacities to drive the uptake of renewable energies (LNG is much better energy storage than hydrogen), and transportation (predominantly air and shipping). In the future, these industries need to be fueled by renewable hydrocarbons, which require both a renewable carbon source and green hydrogen. We have developed a breakthrough DAC technology that allows us to capture CO2 from the air at very low energy rates and simultaneously produce hydrogen.

What inspired you to launch the company?

The story behind the launch is manifold. I have been an entrepreneur since my time in school. After I sold the majority of my shares in my previous venture Qualifyze, I began looking for a new challenge and quickly got hooked by climate change. Having made a few investments in the space (including World Fund), I began scouting German Universities for people and climate-related technologies that could change the world. After countless meetings, I finally met Peter, the inventor of the technology.

Peter has spent his whole life working on atmospheric chemistry. He began his scientific career researching the Ozone hole 30 years ago. 15 years ago he then started his work on carbon capturing, where he won a research award in 2018. It was around this time that he started working on the new DAC approach that we are using now.

When Peter and I decided to start Greenlyte, we realized that we are lacking a 3rd person that could build the bridge between business and science. This is how Niklas then got involved. He has been an entrepreneur for over 10 years and developed a passion for climate tech a few years ago. In his previous role, he was the driving force behind many climate initiatives. I had known Niklas for many years and with his engineering background from Aachen and Berkely, he was the ideal addition for us. When we reached out, it took him no time to say yes.

GCT works in the emerging carbon capture space. What is the potential for carbon capture technology?

If we want to hit our climate goals and limit global warming, we need to do two things, (1) eliminate excess carbon from the atmosphere and (2) transition to carbon-neutral technologies. Carbon capture is unique in a way that it can do both. The captured carbon can either be sequestrated and stored for good (1) or used as renewable carbon feedstock in hard-to-decarbonize sectors (2).

There are many studies on the future carbon capture market. We believe that by 2050 the market is going to be around 10-20 gigatons CO2 per year which would value it around 1-2tn$ if CO2 prices do not change.

Scaling carbon capture will have an immediate impact as every ton of CO2 removed or not emitted from fossil fuels brings us closer to our 2050 climate goals. Without Carbon capture, achieving these goals will no longer be possible.

Even further, carbon capture is a necessary step toward achieving global equity. It’s widely known that climate change will hit those people the most that have least benefited from the oil, gas, and coal-propelled wealth.

Carbon capture is one answer out of many we need to give to turn this around.

How does GCT contribute to circularity?

GCT allows us to turn air and water into circular – carbon neutral – resources that can be used as green feedstock or energy storage. Depending on the use case, these would then be either carbon-negative (e.g. if used to produce durable polymers) or carbon-neutral (e.g. if used as e-kerosene for planes).

What trends do you see emerging in GreenTech more generally?

What I really like is that more and more companies and also VC-funds shift their focus from pure software to hardware-driven businesses. Apart from a few outliers, I believe that the first wave of climate tech start-ups launched 4-5 years ago with a big focus on software and hardware being seen as a no-go for many investors. This has dramatically changed, which is also reflected in the steep upcurve of new climate-focused VC funds as well as generalist funds investing in the space. Luckily, also the carbon removal sector is significantly growing with a wide range of technologies emerging from engineered to nature-based.

It’s great to see so many different approaches being launched in so many different sub-sectors and spaces.

As for hydrogen, there seems to be an ever-growing number of potential applications introduced ranging from transport to energy storage to industrial processes. It will be exciting to see which use case will prevail eventually. For instance, short-term air traffic is an interesting case where e-kerosene-, battery- and hydrogen-powered engines are competing against each other for the dominant solution.

How are startups supporting Europe’s green transition?

Startups are playing a critical role in supporting Europe’s green transition by launching new radical ideas that large corporations otherwise would not have dared to launch with the same intensity. As well, they are building connecting ecosystems (like carbon removal marketplaces) that unite the whole industry and drive innovation across borders. To scale, especially hardware-driven start-ups need the support of corporates in the form of early adopters, scale-up resources, financial aid, and sometimes even buy-outs with the objective to increase scaling speed. This will fuel the excitement and get more companies off the ground. However, very critically, I also see the need for Universities and research institutions to change. To get more research into industrial usage, we need much more standardized and much easier IP transition frameworks. 

What else needs to be done to make Europe greener and more sustainable?

Europe needs to do three things. A) We need to provide similar incentives to the IRA in the US, which provides massive cost advantages that are needed to bring down green premiums for renewable carbon feedstock, hydrogen, and carbon sequestration. B) Europe needs to stop policing technologies and instead incentivize outcomes. The recent combustion engine discussion is a prime example of this. Whilst I agree that ultimately electric cars will prevail and their inherent efficiency is unbeaten, I disagree with the proposal to prohibit combustion engines from 2035 onwards. The pollution from combustion engines comes from fuel made from oil, but this can be solved by e-fuels. I’d much rather like to see a proposal that forbids the sale of fossil fuel petrol and diesel from 2035 onwards. Eventually, the market will decide and consumers can either pay the green premium for expensive and less efficient e-fuels or switch to electric cars. We are too far behind in the race against climate change to worry about the best technologies. We need to optimize for speed and start doing everything that has a carbon-neutral potential right now. C) But, finally we need to have fair pricing of CO2. This is not just a European problem. A ton of emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 1,000 years, hence also has this detrimental effect for 1,000 years. The accumulated costs of damage over the full lifespan caused by this very ton needs to be priced accordingly. If we were to do this lifespan calculation the resulting CO2 cost would be much higher than they are today and would eventually make renewable technologies more than price competitive.

GreenTech Updates: The Breakdown

New Funds and Accelerators

  • Munich-based VC firm Rethink Ventures launches a €50 million fund to shape the future of sustainable mobility, making it more sustainable and tech-driven. 
  • Rome-based COREangels climate is an angel fund that collaborates with prominent venture capitalists to invest in startups located in Southern Europe that are focused on combating climate change. It was officially launched in March 2023.
  • EIT Urban Mobility opened up a call to back innovative urban mobility startups coming up with solutions for energy, mobility and the green transition.
  • EIT RawMaterials and Anglo American teamed up to support solutions for steel decarbonisation

Hitting the headlines

At EU-Startups, we aim to put a spotlight on exciting startups and innovative and inspiring entrepreneurs and thought leaders from across Europe’s startup ecosystem. We think it’s important to shine a light on those making an impact, and firmly believe that highlighting innovation, sharing ideas and promoting bold ideas that aim to make a change in the world is one way to contribute to a more positive society.

Inspiring interviews
Other news catching our attention

Funding rounds

  • Bois-colombes-based Kabaun checked €75 k in funding for its open-source and open-data technology that helps companies collect, measure, and reduce their carbon emissions.
  • Berlin-based Enapter secured €25 million for its hydrogen generators with patented Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) technology and energy management software.
  • San-Lazzaro-based Angiodroid raised €7 million for its medical technology offering an automatic injection system for carbon dioxide angiography.
  • Lausanne-based Qaptis bagged €1.3 million for its climate change initiative that involves capturing CO2 emissions at the source.
  • Rowlands Castle-based Hectare raised €18.6 million for its platform connecting the critical parts of the food supply chain to ensure sustainable agriculture.
  • London-based WNWN Food Labs raised €5 million for its fermentation food tech company that creates delicious harm-free, guilt-free alternative ingredients that are good.
  • Brussels-based Cowboy has secured €10 million to continue creating innovative electric bikes for city riders.
  • Tallinn-based Roofit.solar bagged €6.45 million to meet growing demand for rooftop solar power.
  • Paris-based Ecosystem Restoration Standard received €5 million to establish a certification for nature-based restoration projects on the Voluntary Carbon Markets.
  • Paris-based Green-Got raised €1.9 million for its online neobank with an eco-friendly positioning.
  • Berlin-based trawa secured €2.4 million for its renewable energy-as-a-Service platform.
  • England-based ViridiCO2 picked €3.4 million for delivering innovative, disruptive technology capable of addressing the lack of mitigating Carbon Capture Utilization technology.
  • Madrid-based ECOALF has raised €565 k for its high-quality textile products and accessories designed and made of recycled materials.
  • Amsterdam-based Agurotech plants €1.5 million to cultivate more sustainable farming.
  • Great Malvern-based Indra Renewable Technologies secured €22.4 million to be a manufacturer and supplier of electric vehicle components and services
  • Copenhagen-based Lun has raised €10.3 million to develop a zero-friction path to net-zero for consumers and installers.
  • Grenoble-based carbonABLE has accumulated €1.1 million to invest in decarbonization through its Green DeFi Launchpad.
  • Paris-based ZEWAY has secured €26 million to develop mobility solutions that help people transition to electric scooters for better transportation.
  • Paris-based Estuaire provides SaaS solutions for aviation and environmental data, offering CO2, contrail, and lifecycle impact data for any aircraft, route, or airline combination, and has raised €30 k.
  • München-based DeepDrive has raised €15 million to develop revolutionary and ultra-efficient drive units for electric vehicles.
  • Berlin-based ampere.cloud offers solar power plant monitoring solutions and has raised €5 million.
  • Inning Am Ammersee-based Energyminer provides micro hydroelectric power plants and electricity generation, and has raised €900 k.
  • Munich-based Grinol grabbed €900 k to green the energy supply in Germany.
  • Dublin-based Fusion Fuel has secured €3.6 million for its production of green hydrogen.
  • Cork-based ActionZero has received €3 million to develop and deploy self-funding solutions for a zero-emissions future.
  • Amsterdam-based Chargetrip has secured €10 million for its Smart EV Routing platform, which is offered as an API SaaS platform.
  • Enschede-based OneThird has raised €2.75 million for its food tech startup aimed at preventing food loss and food waste.
  • Amsterdam-based Coolset raises €1.5 million to launch its decarbonization platform.
  • Istanbul-based ForFarming has received €146.5 k in funding for its smart agriculture solutions that aim to create a healthy future.
  • London-based Piclo has raised €9.45 million for developing software to make electricity grids smart, flexible, and sustainable.
  • Leeds-based Terrae Novo has secured €8 million for its creative method to transform biowaste and non-recyclable plastic into new plastics and low-carbon fuels. 
  • Berlin-based Sunhero grabbed €10 million to deliver custom-built solar panel solutions.
  • Groningen-based EV Biotech secured €4.35 million for its Microbial Cell Factory engineering using computational biology as design basis.
  • Aberdeen-based ETZ raised €3.70 million to be a pioneer in the field of net zero energy transition and a net exporter of goods, services, technology, and expertise. 
  • Berlin-based Nex landed €3.5 million to provide sustainable and regional air mobility and enabling transport between cities with a range of over 500 km.
  • Praha-based MIWA scored €2.7 million to provide reusable packaging services.
  • Cologne-based METYCLE landed €1.5 million for its B2B marketplace for global scrap metal trading.
  • Delf-based Solho landed €580 k to develop an innovative and fully off-grid energy system called sprout.
  • Helsinki-based Norsepower Oy secured €28 million to pioneer the generation of renewable wind energy.
  • Berlin-based Atlas Metrics raises €5.2 million to empower companies to boost their ESG performance.
  • Cassington-based Mixergy Ltd. grabbed €10.4 million to offer a cost-effective solution to save energy and facilitate more renewable power generation.
  • Derby-based IVY TECH LTD picked €198 k to focus on delivering cutting-edge solutions to achieve net-zero targets by supporting digital transformation initiatives.
  • Copenhagen-based Agreena secured €46 million to mint, verify and sell carbon credits generated by farmers.
  • Copenhagen-based Viggo landed €3.3 million for its Electric Rides & Urban Ultra Fast Charging.
  • Joensuu-based Carbonaide lands €1.8 million to make carbon-negative concrete manufacturing possible.
  • Toulouse-based Ascendance Flight Technologies raised €21 million for its sustainable flight solutions.
  • Gyeben-based Hygraph landed €27.7 million to develop technology to collect, manage, and report environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data.
  • Freiburg-based Recyda bagged €1.75 million to develop software for the international evaluation of the recyclability of packaging.
  • Rome-based Resrcle landed €189 k for its Digital Platform for Circular Textiles


  • Hennigsdorf-based pedal-powered electric motorcycles creator eROCKIT , founded in 2017, was acquired by the Indian Motovolt Mobility for €1 million. The startup has been able to raise a total funding amount of €5 million. 
  • Grunwald-based Tion Renewables, founded in 2018, was acquired by the Swedish EQT AB for €150 million. 
  • Espoo-based deviser and implementer of renewable energy Pohjan Voima, founded in 2021, was acquired by the Swedish Arise for €12 million.  

March Milestones

  • Cactos, a producer of smart energy storage systems, signed a deal with Finnish third-party logistics giant Logitri to install 20 Cactos One smart energy storage units at their logistics centre in Tuusula, Finland. The storage system will provide 2.5 MWh of energy storage capacity, securing the electricity supply of Logitri’s logistics centre.
  • ekko launched a new incentives platform to meet the growing demands of ever-more ESG-conscious employees. The solution gives employees a recycled plastic debit card and an app that calculates the carbon footprint of every purchase in real-time with nudges on how to shop more sustainably. The card plants trees and saves plastic from entering our oceans as it’s used, and every tap is carbon offset.
  • AES and Swobbee revealed that they will be expanding their cooperation. In addition to the AES eBike Battery 2.0, which has already been integrated into the Swobbee system, the AES PowerPack Plus and AES SuperPack batteries will soon also be able to be swapped at the Swobbee’s battery swapping stations.
  • It’s reported by Arbonics that more than 14 million hectares of land across Europe (about the same size as Portugal and the Netherlands) could be used to plant forests – which would have the potential to sequester over 90M tonnes of CO2 per year, on average and balancing the emissions of up to 15 million Europeans every year.
  • Refurbed’s partnership with Reforest Nation, a tree-planting initiative, has resulted in over 7,000 native trees planted in Ireland over the past year. Refurbed plants a tree for every device sold in order to offset any carbon waste produced in the process.
  • HumanForest has published the first edition of its annual sustainability report measuring the impact of its service on the environment and communities. It also outlines the company’s framework for further action and improvement across three main pillars: planet, people and communities.
  •  The Natural Love Company has begun to launch its first range of sex toys which are made exclusively from recycled plastics found in the ocean.
  • GoodNews became one of the first coffee startups to get B-Corp certified.
  • Smart energy company, gridX, partnered up with the operator of one of the largest networks of independent EV charging stations in Europe and North America, ChargePoint. The partnership was concluded after a successful pilot phase in the UK and Germany. In the first year of the partnership, ChargePoint will integrate gridX technology into its software solution to make meter and system data digitally accessible, and to provide further control of charging processes.
  • EV charging platform Monta unveiled a new partnership with Nevo, Ireland’s dedicated EV marketplace, to roll out smart charging solutions for EV charging points across commercial and residential locations,  with the first installs happening at two separate residential apartment blocks in Dublin.
  • Leading mobility startups, Ubiq and Swobbee, have teamed up to revolutionize battery-swapping logistics. With a shared goal of making battery swapping more efficient and profitable for operators, the partnership brings together the innovative technologies and expertise of both companies to create a new standard in battery-swapping logistics.
  •  Yara, a global crop nutrition company based in Norway, and Syngenta Group, an agriculture innovation company headquartered in Switzerland, have entered into a partnership with Varda, a new ag-tech startup founded by Yara. The two companies want to accelerate the adoption of Global Field ID, a new technology standard that helps facilitate field data discovery and data sharing in the agriculture and food industry.
  • HumanForest partnered with food delivery app Uber Eats to provide the couriers who use its platform with discounted rates for its eBike and eMoped fleet. As HumanForest’s first eMoped delivery partner, couriers will be eligible to receive a 10% discount on minute bundles that can be purchased via the HumanForest app. This means they will be able to ride for as little as £2.25 per hour, highlighting the affordability and accessibility of the service available to couriers across London.
  • Bonnet, an electric vehicle charger aggregator in the UK and Europe, is inviting its more than 150k strong driver community to join top-flight global investors in taking a stake in the company. It comes as Bonnet has more than doubled its coverage in Europe in just three months, and now boasts over 200,000 chargers where EV drivers can easily start charging through its award-winning app in 12 countries.

This report is brought to you with support from Net Zero Insights

Net Zero Insights develops an AI-powered software to access information about 44k+ climate tech startups in Europe and North America. For each organization, the Net0 Platform provides details such as climate impact, patents, financials, traction, contacts, and much more. Investors, corporations, researchers and policy-makers use our platform to keep track of climate innovation and understand technology and financial trends

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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