Success! You're on the list.

Success! You're on the list.

Towards climate neutrality in Europe: 10 promising climate tech unicorns

Climate tech unicorns

Climate tech refers to the implementation of technology to tackle climate change and its associated environmental problems. Technological innovation in the form of AI, synthetic biology, advanced sensors, and more, are transforming the unit economics of climate solutions.

Reportedly, a survey conducted among climate tech leaders reveals that 62% of them consider achieving net zero emissions impossible without the assistance of technology. The main goal of climate tech companies is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help the transition toward a low-carbon, sustainable economy.

In the past decade, investments in the global climate tech sector have drastically increased and the sector has witnessed a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2022. Europe is aiming to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2030 and several climate tech companies from Europe joined the unicorn club last year with massive funding to scale up their operations. Recently, Berlin-headquartered scored €5 million, Dutch heat pump startup HeatTransformers raised €15 million and CollectiveCrunch, a Finnish creator of the AI-powered platform for sustainable forestry scored €1.4 million.

That said, this Earth Day, we at TFN have listed some promising European climate tech unicorns that will help the continent achieve climate neutrality.

Neoen (France)

Neoen team
Image credits: Neoen

Founder/s: Xavier Barbaro
Founded year: 2008
Total funding: $75M
Valuation: $7.1B

An independent energy company, Neoen, develops, finances, builds, and operates power plants based on renewable energies. It operates solar, wind, and biomass power plants. The company, through its subsidiaries, also specialises in the development of marine renewable energy projects, supports photovoltaic project developers and investors in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of solar power plants, and develops solar and wind farms.

Oatly (Sweden)

Image credits: Oatly

Founder/s: Bjorn Oste, Rickard Oste
Founded year: 1990
Total funding: $200M
Valuation: $2.4B

Turning oats rich in fiber into a drink with high nutritional value, Oatly delivers products with maximum nutritional value and minimal environmental impact. The company’s sole purpose is to make it easy for people to turn what they eat and drink into personal moments of healthy joy without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources in the process.

Last month, Oatly launches two new ice cream flavors and upgrades its popular oat-based Salted Caramel ice cream in Germany. Also, it entered into a commitment letter to amend its Sustainable Revolving Credit Facility Agreement, and a commitment letter documenting a $125 million term loan B credit facility commitment.

Enpal (Germany)

Enpal team
Image credits: Enpal

Founder/s: Mario Kohle, Jochen Ziervogel, Viktor Wingert
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $513M
Valuation: €2.3B

Photovoltaics leasing firm, Enpal leverages AI for provisioning and installing solar services, and offers a subscription-style model for homeowners to pay for it. The AI-based algorithm lets users click pictures of their roofs and uses computer vision and other techniques to determine the size and positioning of the installation required. With this process, the provisioning part is done remotely and technicians only visit the house for installation. Eventually, it offers faster service at a lower cost.

In January, the Berlin-based solar unicorn Enpal raised €215 million in its Series D round. It plans to deploy the round to expand beyond Germany and enter other European markets this year. It aims to fulfill its vision of creating a global renewable-energy community.

Climeworks (Switzerland)

Climeworks team
Image credits: Climeworks

Founder/s: Christoph Gebald, Jan Wurzbacher
Founded year: 2009
Total funding: $777M
Valuation: $2.2B-$3.3B

Climeworks engages in capturing CO2 from the air via commercial carbon dioxide removal technology. Its direct air capture plants capture CO2 with a filter, using mainly low-grade heat as an energy source. The pure CO2 gas is then sold to customers in commercial agriculture, food and beverage industries, the energy sector and the automotive industry. Customers use this atmospheric CO2 in carbonated drinks or to produce carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels and materials. Additionally, the company enables customers to realise their climate goals by reversing their emissions and safely storing the captured CO2.

Last year, Climeworks signed an equity round of CHF 600 million in a round co-led by Partners Group and GIC alongside participation from other investors.

Smart Metering Systems (UK)

Smart Metering Systems CEO
Image credits: Smart Metering Systems

CEO: Tim Mortlock
Founded year: 2009
Total funding: NA
Valuation: $1.4B

Scottish energy tech unicorn, Smart Metering Systems provides an integrated service from beginning to end, from project managing the installation of the gas and/or electricity supply and connection through to the procurement, installation, and management of the meter asset, data collection, and ongoing energy management services. Its divisions include Asset Management, which consists of regulated management of gas meters, electric meters, and ADM units within the United Kingdom.

Perpetual Next (Netherlands)

Perpetual Next founder
Image credits: Perpetual Next

Founder/s: Martijn van Rheenen
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $847M
Valuation: $1.4B-S2.1B

Perpetual Next’s mission is to prevent further climate change by reducing CO₂ emissions and extracting CO₂ from the atmosphere for its clients. This Dutch climate tech unicorn upgrades biological waste streams into renewable raw materials such as bio-carbon and green gas. The companies’ production facilities are located in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Estonia.

Last year, Perpetual Next picked up €320 million in a Series A round of funding in a round that saw involvement from the majority shareholder and investor Momentum Capital.

Infarm (Germany)

Infarm founders
Image credits: Infarm

Founder/s: Erez Galonska, Guy Galonska, Osnat Michaeli
Founded year: 2013
Total funding: $473M
Valuation: $1B

Infarm is an agritech unicorn that builds and distributes efficient vertical farms throughout cities. It combines efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent, and affordable. The company distributes its smart modular farms throughout the urban environment to grow fresh produce for the city’s inhabitants.

In December 2021, Infarm picked up $200 million in a Series D funding round and reached unicorn status. The fund came from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Partners in Equity, Hanaco, Atomico, Lightrock, and Bonnier.

EcoVadis (France)

EcoVadis team
Image credits: EcoVadis

Founder/s: Frederic Trinel, Pierre Francois Thaler
Founded year: 2007
Total funding: $734M
Valuation: $1B

EcoVadis is a provider of business sustainability ratings, intelligence, and collaborative performance improvement tools for global supply chains. Its easy-to-use and actionable sustainability scorecards provide detailed insight into environmental, social, and ethical risks. The EcoVadis network is used by several renowned clients to protect their brands, foster transparency, and innovation, and accelerate growth.

Last year, the unicorn scored $500 million in a round led by Astorg and BeyondNetZero, General Atlantic’s climate investing venture, with participation from Singapore-based GIC and Princeville Capital’s Climate Technology Fund.

Sono Motors (Germany)

Sono Motors founders
Image credits: Sono Motors

Founder/s: Jona Christians, Laurin Hahn, Navina Pernsteiner
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: $120M
Valuation: $1.9B

Sono Motors intends to put an end to the usage of fossil fuels by bringing about sustainability in the mobility industry. With its proprietary solar technology, Sono Motors is able to integrate solar panels into a vehicle’s bodywork, using energy captured from the sun to charge the vehicle’s battery. Sono Motors is engaged in the design and development of its own first solar electric vehicle, the Sion, which is expected to come to market in Europe in 2024.

Earlier this year, the solar mobility solutions provider secured €1.46 million in funding from the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) to advance the development of its proprietary solar technology.

NW Groupe (France)

NW team
Image credits: NW

Founder/s: Jean Kerdelhue
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $330M
Valuation: $1.7B

NW Groupe works in the sectors of renewable energies, electricity storage, and high-power charging for electric mobility. It offers services for renewable energy, photovoltaic, wind power, electric storage, and electric cars. NW is the first French unicorn of the energy transition and a pioneer in high-power electric charging. Late last year, the French renewable energy company secured $315 million for its NW Storm arm, which handles electricity storage facilities.

Related Posts

Get daily funding news briefings in the tech world delivered right to your inbox.

Enter Your Email
join our newsletter. thank you