Carbon13, the venture builder for the climate emergency, has announced the first close of their €30 million fund. It will see investment in six German startups and, combined with Carbon13’s existing portfolio of more than 50 climate tech startups, has the potential of abating half-a-gigaton of CO₂ emissions, more than 1% of the global total.
The first six startups to benefit will each receive €120,000, with the investments made through Carbon13’s new Venture Builder in Germany. These will be Carbon13’s first investments outside the UK, marking the start of their global expansion.
A proven record of matching talent to the climate challenge
Founded in 2021 in the Cambridge tech ecosystem, Climate13 has now worked with over 500 founders across their Venture Builder and Venture Launchpad programmes. In those two years, they have worked with names like Kita, Infyos, Nium, Biozeroc, Materials Nexus and Tierra Foods.
Carbon13 works with every venture to develop plans to reduce or remove ten million tonnes of CO₂ when scaled. “We continue to see the results from combining world-leading talent and ingenuity with a burning passion to combat the climate,” Dr Nicky Dee, Carbon13’s founder and CEO, said. He added that “the magic of innovation in the art of what is possible” was luring investors globally.
Carbon13’s other co-founder and chief strategy officer, Michael Langguth, also noted that the 500 founders they selected from thousands of applications had gone on to co-found over 140 startups. With the latest round seeing their 64th pre-seed investment, it makes Carbon13 one of the most active investors in the space, with £7 million already invested in UK startups, but they are ambitious to achieve more. “Our sights are set on making sure this potential is maximised,” he said. “Expanding it significantly through more programmes, startups and enhancing the acceleration process.”
Carbon reduction as a founding strategy
Carbon13’s ethos is based on the belief that entrepreneurs will play a significant role in the world’s transformation to Net Zero. They work by supporting founders to integrate carbon reduction in every part of their strategy so that, when they scale their startup, they also scale their carbon reduction.
They only invest in startups built in one of their programmes, Venture Builder in Cambridge and Berlin, and the Venture Launchpad. Venture Builder brings together a cohort of 80 high-potential founders to form teams and develop ventures. Venture Launchpad takes early-stage teams, providing them with support and networks to help them maximise their carbon impact.
And they are looking for carbon reduction almost everywhere conceivable, as the first six recipients from Venture Builder Berlin illustrate.
They include EV charging service, VoltVogel; carbon capture and storage startup, Climalyst; Point2Hectare, an agritech that unlocks the full potential of biochar, charcoal produced from plant matter, for soil; and Hoop Solar, which creates semi-transparent solar greenhouses to generate energy while protecting horticulture.
However, the wide range of Carbon13’s founders can be seen with Mardeca and Fungtional.bio. Mardeca is helping reduce the carbon emissions from the world’s shipping — currently responsible for around 3% of the world’s emissions — with vessel retrofits. But at the other end of the scale, Functional.bio is working at a microbial level, with digital nutrition coaching to support the circular bioeconomy.