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Climate Tech

Startup Radar: VCs on climate-tech startups you need to know

We asked five VCs active in the climate-tech market for the startups to watch this year.

Even with a slowdown in dealmaking, climate-tech startups are still pulling in billions of dollars globally.

Last year, $26 billion was invested across 1,312 climate-tech deals, according to PitchBook data. In 2024, 81 deals have been completed worth a combined $1.4 billion.

“At a global level, climate tech is now more than 10% of total PE and VC investments, taking a growing share of a shrinking market,” Namratha Kothapalli, principal at Speedinvest, said. “We see more ambitious operators and academics building climate businesses, and many more investors looking to dip their toes in the climate world—and we fully expect this momentum to continue.”

We asked five VCs active in the climate-tech market to share two startups—one in their portfolio, one not—that they expect to excel this year.

Namratha Kothapalli, Principal, Speedinvest, France

Tibo Energy (Netherlands)

Tibo Energy is building software for modeling local smart grids and planning energy installations for corporate and industrial energy users, alongside energy management software to optimize in real time. As grid congestion will continue to be a significant and growing concern, Tibo’s ability to enhance grid flexibility makes the company worth watching.”

Axle Energy (UK)

Axle Energy is building middleware connecting flexible home energy assets to electricity markets. By optimizing the combined flexibility of many energy assets, Axle’s software dynamically provides flexibility to the electricity grid and helps shift energy usage to when it’s cheapest and greenest. Axle taking advantage of this inexorable shift of accelerated electrification makes it worth watching.”

Matt Eggers, Managing director, Prelude Ventures, San Francisco

LuxWall (US)

“Buildings are one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize and account for 35% of global energy consumption. Windows are the leading driver of energy use in buildings because most of the heating or cooling in a building goes out the window.

LuxWall has solved this problem with a transparent wall. The company uses advanced chemistry and precision lasers to seal a vacuum between two panes of glass. Just like in outer space, thermal energy will not move through a vacuum which means the LuxWall windows can cut heating and cooling costs in half. The transition to LuxWall’s product will be one of the largest changes in building envelopes since the switch from single- to double-pane windows 45 years ago. The annual market opportunity today is over $30 billion and the total global retrofit opportunity is over $1 trillion.”

Guidewheel (US)

Guidewheel is a plug-and-play factory management system that brings AI to any machine in any factory in a matter of minutes. The company’s technology reads the power signature of a machine and translates that into an analysis of throughput, downtime, machine health, product quality, and other useful metrics in real time. Customers use the data to boost production from existing factory equipment reducing the need for more factories and machines.

“It also helps reduce both machine energy use and scrap saving money and emissions. The company is growing fast in both mid-sized manufacturers and in the industrial giants who see the potential to finally have a single pane of real-time analysis on every machine across their entire global operation.”

Sebastien Michaud, Investor, Foundamental, Berlin

Enter (Germany)

Enter’s value proposition is in fixing the rapid thermal renovation of the European building stock, and has established itself as the leading building energy audit provider in Germany.

“In Europe, 80% of buildings are heated with fossils: gas, oil, and, in some parts of Europe, even coal. Additionally, the EU is introducing ever-more ambitious decarbonization targets and regulation for building owners. Their secret to achieving such scale recently is that they built a suite of proprietary technologies that allows them to capture building data from owners extremely hands-off and run the audit calculations and merit-order supported by technology.”

Neustark (Switzerland)

Neustark is a carbon removal startup, which rolled out a solution to capture and permanently store CO2 in mineral waste material such as demolition concrete. In other words, they turn existing waste streams into carbon sinks.

“The demand for high-quality, durable carbon removal is estimated to skyrocket in the next years. One big challenge for climate-tech startups is to achieve measurability and scalability, which Neustark manages to do at an international scale. As for impact, Neustark’s technological process solves two core climate problems: the production of cement, which is 8% of global CO2 emission, and demolished concrete, which is the world’s largest waste stream.”

Jamie Vollbracht, Founding partner, Kiko Ventures, UK

Vytal (Germany)

“Worldwide, over 380 million tons of plastic is produced every year, and some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single-use, the vast majority of which ends up in landfill.

Vytal is building the tech platform for the reuse economy, eliminating single-use packaging waste and positioning itself at the forefront of the circularity revolution. It provides a deposit-free reusable container system for food and drinks, with more than 6,500 partners across Europe. Recently, it was even the focus of a Harvard Business School case study.

“The company is currently experiencing strong tailwinds from circularity regulations—in Germany, new legislation was passed which requires restaurants to offer reusable packaging. Vytal is expanding, both internationally, and into new applications like events—another major single-use plastic problem area that Vytal is solving.”

CarbonPool (Switzerland)

“Voluntary carbon markets are an important part of the pathway to net zero and are expected to grow to up to $250 billion by 2050. They have been plagued with difficulties, however, leading to understandable caution from potential investors and credit purchasers. We are excited about what Swiss startup CarbonPool is doing, providing insurance for carbon markets by building a carbon balance sheet of high-quality carbon credits to compensate for credit shortfalls and reversals.

“We see the provision of insurance, and CarbonPool’s disruptive model, as a smart way to build the credibility of carbon markets, which could unlock the potential of carbon markets to deliver on their promise at scale.”

Ferdinando Sigona, Partner, LocalGlobe, London

Supercritical (UK)

Supercritical’s platform helps businesses build portfolios of scientifically vetted carbon removal credits to empower their journey toward net zero. This not only makes it easier for these companies to navigate the complexities of carbon offsetting, but by only supporting the highest-quality removal programs, Supercritical brings a level of integrity and credibility to the market.”

Again Bio (Denmark)

Again has developed a bioreactor that turns industrial CO2 emissions into carbon-negative chemicals that can be reused to make everyday products. By capturing CO2 at the source and putting it back into the manufacturing cycle, Again turns the problem into a solution while helping companies accelerate their path to net zero.”

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