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Zurich-based Helio raises €4.9M to reduce CO2 emissions in cloud computing

Helio Team
Picture credits: Helio

Helio, a Swiss startup has secured a €4.9 million seed funding round. The equity and debt round was led by QBIT Capital (which has backed Relio) and attracted a roster of notable sustainability and deep-tech investors, including Uebermorgen Ventures, seed+speed Ventures, Combination VC, Rockstart Energy Fund, ROI Ventures, Swisspreneur, and Cloud Angel Investors. 

Helio plans to use this funding to accelerate its market penetration, particularly in areas like 3D rendering and AI, as it capitalises on the booming demand for sustainable, efficient, and affordable cloud computing. These include optimising carbon-aware workload scheduling, increasing the network of green data centres, enriching the cloud spot market with excess capacity, and developing their 3D rendering capabilities for the VFX market.

Kevin Häfeli, co-founder and CEO, Helio, commented: “This funding is a watershed moment for Helio, not just in securing financial support, but also in aligning with partners who share our vision for a carbon-aware cloud. As we accelerate our mission to transform the cloud computing industry into a model of efficiency and sustainability, this capital enables us to reduce both cloud spending and emissions for our customers. We are particularly excited to unlock new types of data centers as we make strides in key areas like 3D rendering and AI. The future of cloud computing is here, and it’s more sustainable and efficient than ever.”

Luis Huber, Partner at QBIT Capital said: “We see Helio as a game-changer in both sustainability and cloud computing efficiency. Their innovative model addresses pressing industry challenges, making this a strategic and timely investment for us. We’re excited to be part of their journey towards reshaping a more sustainable digital future.”

Max ter Horst, Managing Partner Energy, Rockstart stated: “Energy consumption of data centers has become one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions. Many of these emissions come from idle cloud computing capacity, as servers still consume significant amounts of energy when they are on standby. Helio helps to reduce such idle time and save costs by smart workload scheduling and aggregating. We are excited to be part of this funding round, which will support Helio to scale its business and enter new market segments.” 

Redefines cloud computing 

Founded by Kevin Häfeli and Christoph Buchli in 2018, Helio revolutionises cloud computing by addressing its environmental and efficiency pitfalls. It makes the idling compute capacity of data centres available to computing-intensive applications such as rendering, artificial intelligence, or research. 

With its approach, Helio tackles the dual challenges of poor efficiency in the industry (currently below 20%) and high environmental impact. As the sector is poised to account for 6% of the world’s electricity usage by 2030, Helio’s model offers a greener and more cost-effective alternative. The company has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 200Mt by 2030.

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