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Meet the most active investors backing European climate tech startups | Silicon Canals

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The European climate tech looks promising for 2024 with the positive developments last year. Fueling this optimism is the growth of climate tech startups in the EU, driven by the need to solve climate problems such as sea-level rise and intensifying natural disasters.

The European Green Deal sets ambitious climate targets for the EU, striving for carbon neutrality by 2050. Other initiatives, such as the Fit for 55 package and REPowerEU project, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean, affordable energy. 

Over €18.3B was raised last year by European climate tech startups, which is its second strongest year to date for VC investment. This proportion of global VC investment has significantly increased from 12 per cent in 2018 to 43 per cent in 2023.

The substantial funding for climate-related projects has made Europe a thriving hub for climate startups. Here, we list the most active investors that play an important role in the European Tech startup ecosystem. 

EIC Fund (Germany)

EIC Fund is the European Innovation Council (EIC) venture arm that funds companies selected under EIC Accelerator. EIC uses its budget worth €10 billion to strengthen Europe’s leadership in deep tech innovation. 

It addresses the funding gap for high-risk, market-creating potential deep-tech startups in Europe, providing patient capital to minimise risk for both private and public investors. EIC Fund supports startups in various sectors, including climate tech.

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One of the EU startups that secured funding from the EIC Fund is Skytree, a carbon dioxide capture and utilisation solutions company. The Amsterdam-based startup was awarded €2.5M in funding through the EIC Accelerator last year.

Bpifrance (France) 

Bpifrance is a state bank in France that plays a huge role in powering the rise of French tech. Since its founding in 2012, Bpifrance has provided €17.3B in direct funding for French entrepreneurs. 

It offers financial backing, support for innovation, and assistance with international expansion to companies at various stages of development. The services provided include consulting, networking opportunities, and accelerator programs.

Bpifrance is one of the most active investors in clean-tech, smart cities and impact investing startups. Caeli Energie, a startup focusing on replacing polluting air conditioning with low-carbon technologies, secured an investment from Bpifrance in 2023. 

Antler (Singapore)

Antler is a Singapore-based early-stage investor and VC firm founded in 2017. Antler provided support for early-stage startups from all over the world, with a record of over 1,000 to date. 

It has also shown great support for entrepreneurs in the EU, with its Founder-in-Residence program across Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam. The program aims to create a supportive startup ecosystem that can help entrepreneurs overcome various obstacles in business.

Antler has already invested in 17 European startups that focus on developing tech or products to address climate change issues in 2022. Evyon, an Oslo-based startup that develops EV batteries, received the largest funding worth €7M.  

Speedinvest (Austria)

Speedinvest is a venture capital fund based in Vienna with over €1B available to invest in pre-seed, seed, and early-stage technology startups throughout Europe.

Speedinvest concentrates its early-stage investments through six specialized vertical teams—deep tech, fintech, health and biotech, marketplaces and consumer, climate and industrial tech, and SaaS and infrastructure. 

It actively funds climate tech startups from circular economy marketplaces to sustainable fintech startups. Several climate tech startups that have received funding from Speedinest include Resourcify (a recycling startup) and Greyparrot (an AI waste recognition startup).

SFC Capital (United Kingdom)

SFC Capital is the UK’s most active early-stage investment firm, founded in 2012, that has made 400 investments for British startups. It operates as a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and EIS fund manager.

SFC Capital actively seeks and invests in promising startups across various industries, including climate tech. It was one of the most proactive funds in the UK’s CleanTech sector, with 22 GreenTech investments.

Earlier this year, SFC Capital invested in Furbnow, an all-encompassing home energy efficiency platform aiming to achieve net zero emission for every UK household. 

Green Angel Ventures (United Kingdom)

Green Angel Ventures is a UK-based venture capital firm focused on investing in environmentally sustainable and green technology companies. Until now, it has had a growing impact of £40M (€46.9M) capital deployed and 44 companies invested in it. 

It typically seeks out startups and businesses dedicated to developing solutions for environmental challenges, promoting sustainability, and addressing climate change concerns.

Its most recent investment was a follow-on for Power-Roll, a startup that develops solar film for solar panels. Green Angel Ventures raised £3.8M (€4.5M) for the company to accelerate the development of ultra-lightweight and low-cost solar film. 

High-Tech Gründerfonds (Germany)

High-Tech Gründerfonds is a venture capital firm that focuses on providing early-stage financing to innovative and technology-driven startups. The fund was established in 2005 and is based in Bonn and Berlin, Germany.

It has made more than 700 investments over the years, including several climate tech startups in areas such as energy, circular economy, batteries, and mobility. Cyclize, a Germany-based climate tech startup that develops a technology to defossilise the chemical industry, secured funding from High-Tech Gründerfonds last February. The startup will use the funds to expand its company and scale up its technology.

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