Hardware

Strengthening climate change technology hardware: Greater funding required

European investors need to recognize the potential of climate technology hardware startups and allocate more resources to fill the funding gap.

As Europe faces a scorching heatwave, unprecedented wildfires in the east, and rising waters in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, proactive solutions are needed to address the continent’s alarming climate crisis. Masu.

Alarmingly, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has identified Europe as the fastest warming continent on Earth. The sustainability crisis is driving a wave of innovative solutions from entrepreneurs across Europe to combat climate change, but even some of the region’s most promising solutions face funding challenges However, the path to net-zero emissions is delayed.

While software innovations can play a key role in solving the climate crisis, hardware solutions will be fundamental in sectors such as energy, new materials, manufacturing, and agriculture. Unfortunately, European hardware environment startups face significant funding challenges due to the limitations of the venture capital (VC) model.

To overcome the challenges built into the standard 10-year, 10x return model, the climate crisis is calling for increased investment and alternative financing methods to meet the unique needs of climate hardware startups. Masu.

This article explores some of the pitfalls of VC funding, highlights the need to expand funding sources to advance climate hardware startups, and provides examples of breakthrough technology and support for these ventures. Emphasize importance.

VC models often miss promising hardware businesses

Venture capital, a trending option for funding new ventures, is not without its limitations. This comes with inherent risks, and investors expect substantial returns (often 10x, 20x, 30x) to compensate for those risks within a fund’s life of 5-7 years.

Not all hardware startups fit this profile, and funding options are limited, especially if the R&D period is long. Additionally, venture capital’s focus on rapid growth can undermine the sustainability and value proposition of hardware climate technology solutions, limiting the scope of opportunities for investors.

Hardware climate technology companies often struggle to attract investors due to a lack of hard science and engineering knowledge. There’s also a common stereotype in the world of climate change technology that founders of hardware technology companies focus primarily on the science and climate change “mission” and ignore the business side of running a startup.

This recognition stems from the fact that many of the technology founders in this field have Ph.D.s in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). But VCs like Planet A and Zero Carbon Capital, whose partners are all trained scientists, have debunked this myth and invested heavily in European climate technology hardware solutions. We are beginning to close this gap.

These startups have the ability to make a tangible impact in tackling climate change. One notable example is RepAir, a portfolio company that specializes in capturing CO2 directly from the atmosphere. Another innovative venture, his Phycobloom, uses algae to produce jet fuel using atmospheric resources.

Exploring alternative financing methods

Hardware climate technology companies can and should consider a variety of funding options beyond traditional VC.

Corporate ventures such as National Grid Partners in the US and TDK Ventures, which recently opened in London, provide hardware startups with valuable support such as R&D and investment de-risking, helping them access more capital. You can raise capital while retaining it.

Crowdfunding is another great option, involving the public in supporting climate change technology efforts while serving as evidence for negotiating with institutional investors.

Government funding through projects such as Innovate UK and the new German DeepTech and Climate Fonds (DTCF) is also an important funding route.

Many examples show that hardware companies dedicated to sustainability not only benefit the planet, but also offer promising opportunities for investors. Although Tesla often stands out, other examples include Sonnen GmbH, a German company known for its home solar energy storage systems, which was acquired for US$396 million.

By prioritizing long-term sustainability and recognizing the intrinsic value of green investing, investors can play a vital role in fostering a more sustainable future.

Increased funding and support is essential

Through Village Capital’s GreenTech Accelerator, we have worked with several companies that are introducing great hardware-driven solutions to address clean energy challenges. Given the potentially significant impact of these innovations, prioritizing funding for these ventures becomes essential.

Sinergy Flow stands out with its innovative redox flow batteries designed for clean energy storage. These batteries are made from sulfur, a byproduct of the petrochemical industry, and provide an efficient and sustainable solution for effectively storing and utilizing renewable energy.

Another impressive company is Heliorec, which specializes in offshore floating solar panels. By harnessing solar power in the marine environment, Heliorec overcomes the limitations of terrestrial space and optimizes the generation of clean energy from the abundant solar resources available at sea.

Addressing food insecurity and security is a top priority in a world facing the challenge of a rapidly warming climate. Technifris is developing a non-intrusive device that effectively extends the shelf life of fruits, vegetables and flowers by removing ethylene from transport and storage containers. Particularly in regions like sub-Saharan Africa, reducing corruption in supply chains and reducing waste can reduce corruption by up to 50%.

Hardware climate technology solutions are essential to addressing the climate crisis. Increasing investment in climate technology is key to achieving EU and global climate goals. The Climate Policy Initiative estimates that reaching net-zero targets will require investing US$4.35 trillion annually in climate technology by 2030. Hardware startups face unique challenges, but increased funding and support are essential to driving innovation and scaling solutions.

European investors need to recognize the potential of these startups and allocate more resources to fill the funding gap. By fostering hardware innovation, Europe can foster a thriving climate technology ecosystem and make significant progress in the fight against climate change.


This content was created in collaboration with partner organizations through our Global Visibility Program. Our programs help companies grow their digital presence and strengthen their professional thought leadership. Learn more about.



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