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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Recent Deals – 29 November


From photocatalyst technology for chemical manufacturing and virtual power plant programs, to returnable glass bottles – find insight on the latest cleantech delas here. 

Agriculture & Food 

Modern Milkman (founded in 2018) is a provider of a fresh produce delivery service using plastic-free packaging and returnable glass bottles which are tagged and tracked through its radio frequency identification (RFID) inlays.  The company has received $60.1M in Series C funding from Insight Partners, ETF Partners, Praetura Ventures, and the Avery Dennison Corporation.  Modern Milkman will use the funds to continue developing its tracking technology which is able to identify the end-to-end lifecycle of returnable glass bottles within the UK, supporting the battle to reduce waste across the UK, and to further its research and development into new pioneering technologies and pushing the company towards international expansion. 

Materials & Chemicals 

Syzygy Plasmonics (founded in 2017) is a deep decarbonisation company that has developed a photocatalyst technology to electrify chemical manufacturing and produce low-cost and low-emission hydrogen.  The reactor replaces traditional heat power with light energy which allows it to operate at a far lower temperature than standard chemical reactor technology.  Aside from the benefit of lower energy consumption, its technology is applicable across multiple chemical reactions and can reduce costs across the hydrogen industry.  

Syzygy Plasmonic has recently raised $76M in a Series C financing round led by Carbon Direct Capital Management with participation from Chevron Technology Ventures, Aramco Ventures, Lotte Chemical Company, Toyota Ventures, Pan American Energy, Evok Innovations, The Engine, Equinor Ventures, GOOSE Capital, Horizons Ventures, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.  Following this investment round, Carbon Direct Capital will join Syzygy Plasmonics with a board position as the company’s Series C director.  Further, this round of funding will support the development process and delivery of its all-electric reactor systems eliminating fossil fuel combustion and will improve its technology to further reduce the intensity of chemical manufacturing of hydrogen, fuel, and methanol, through better harnessing light power for chemical reactions.   

Syzygy Plasmonics will continue working towards its goal of achieving 1 gigaton of carbon emission reduction by 2040, with this recent funding becoming a key milestone towards this overarching aim.  

Energy & Power 

Swell Energy (founded in 2014) is the developer of an energy storage and management system alongside AI-smart grid technology to encourage consumers and utilities to move away from traditional sources and towards modern energy technologies.  The company has created virtual power plant programs (VPP) which intelligently coordinate dispersed energy resources across the grid to meet shifting energy demands seamlessly, a process which provides low-cost reliable energy.  The company has raised $120M in Series B funding from SoftBank Vision Fund (Fund I), Greenbacker Capital (Fund I), Ares Management and Ontario Power Generation Pension. The funding will support Swell Energy in developing its 600 MWh VPPs through the deployment of 26,000 energy storage systems across the United States.  In terms of future direction, Swell maintains that a successful transition towards a carbon-neutral future will demand critical dynamic and responsive clean energy resources within the utility sector which are easy to use and drop costs for consumers.  

Resources & Environment 

BeZero Carbon (founded in 2020), operator of a scoring framework for the voluntary offset market by combining climatic and earth sciences with machine learning technology, has secured $50M Series B funding from Quantum Energy Partners, EDF Pulse Expansion, Hitachi Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Molten Ventures, Norrsken VC, QIMA, Illuminate Financial, and Contrarian Ventures.  The platform allows individuals and businesses to purchase carbon credits which offset their emissions.  The credits are rated from A to AAA which reflect the low, moderate, or high feasibility of achieving 1 tonne of CO2e; the aim is to increase overall accuracy of risk calculation.   

From 2020 to 2021 the carbon offset market has quadrupled to a market value of $2B and this investment has elevated BeZero’s total funding to $74M, which alongside its plans to expand its presence in the United States and Asian markets, will allow the company to strengthen its standing as a leading carbon offset ratings platform.  

Transportation & Logistics 

Advanced Navigation (founded in 2010) is a developer of navigation technology and artificial intelligence (AI) -powered robotics which utilises a global positioning system (GPS) and attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) for accurate positioning, acceleration, and orientation data.  The technology supports a range of fields including sensors, inertial navigation, robotics, and radio frequency technologies within broader sectors of commercial and air, land, sea, and space defence industries.  

The company has raised a $68M Series B funding round led by KKR and supported by AI Capital, Main Sequence Ventures, In-Q-Tel, and Our Innovation Fund.  This round of financing will support its plans to accelerate research and design programs for robotics, navigation, photonic and quantum sensing solutions, scale-up production for new technologies and products that complement its existing products, and finally, to grow its marketing capabilities and customer base.  Looking forward, Advanced Navigation aims to continue growing and becoming a driving force within the technological autonomy revolution.   

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