The Future is Green: 15 Climate Tech Startups to Watch This Year

Angelina Graumann

In an era where the urgency of combating climate change has never been more pronounced, innovative solutions are not just desirable—they are essential. In this article, we’ll cover a diverse array of startups that are not just envisioning a greener future but actively forging it. From groundbreaking direct air capture technologies to revolutionary energy storage systems, these startups exemplify the ingenuity and determination necessary to tackle environmental challenges. Their varied approaches – spanning carbon sequestration, sustainable battery production, and even personal carbon offsetting – are a testament to the multifaceted nature of climate technology. These trailblazers are redefining the boundaries of sustainable innovation, offering diverse and groundbreaking approaches to ecological challenges.

Related Resource: Leveraging Innovation and Sustainability: A Guide for Clean Tech and Climate Tech Founders

1. CarbonCapture

CarbonCapture stands out in the climate tech sector with its innovative approach to direct air capture (DAC) technology. The company's systems, which use molecular sieves and renewable energy sources, are designed for adaptability. These machines not only remove CO2 from the atmosphere but also capture clean water distilled from the air, a dual functionality that enhances both environmental and practical value. The potential impact of this technology is substantial, offering a scalable and efficient solution to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. This approach is particularly promising in the fight against global warming and climate change.

  • Year founded: 2019
  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Funding amount/type: The company has raised a total of $35 million over three funding rounds.
  • Funding series: The most recent, a Series A round completed in September 2023.
  • Major investors: Climate Pledge Fund, Ethos Family Office, Rio Tinto, Idealab Studio, Idealab X, and Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures.

2. Astraea

Astraea is a significant player in the climate tech sector, particularly with its innovative use of data analytics for environmental insights. The company has developed an AI platform for geospatial data, which includes products like EarthAI Site and EarthAI Enterprise. These tools offer vital insights using imagery, analytics, and dashboards, catering to a variety of industries such as real estate, renewable energy, conservation finance, and agriculture. Astraea's EarthAI platform is particularly notable for its ability to aid in understanding climate patterns and their impacts, leveraging AI and geospatial data to provide actionable insights​​.

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA​​
  • Funding Amount/Type: Astraea has raised a total of $16.5 million over four funding rounds​​. In a recent development, the company raised $6.5 million in Series A funding​​.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding, completed on July 21, 2022, was a Series A round​​.
  • Major Investors: The Series A funding was co-led by Aligned Climate Capital and Carbon Drawdown Collective, with other participants including CAV Angels, Tydall Investment Partners, and the University of Virginia Seed Fund​​.

Astraea's role in climate tech is particularly exciting due to its innovative use of AI and satellite data to provide critical environmental insights. This approach is essential for addressing complex climate challenges, enabling better decision-making and strategy formulation in various sectors. The support and funding received from notable investors reflect confidence in Astraea's potential to make a meaningful impact in the field of climate technology.

3. CellCube

CellCube, known for its innovative energy storage solutions, is making significant strides in the field of climate tech with its focus on vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). As a leader in sustainable, future-proof, and durable energy storage infrastructure, CellCube has emerged as one of the first and largest developers, manufacturers, and sellers of VRFBs globally. Their modular CellCube batteries are designed to store large electricity capacities efficiently for 4 to 24 hours, meeting the highest safety standards and boasting a lifecycle of 20 to 30 years. This technology is crucial for enabling the storage of energy from intermittent renewable sources like solar and wind, thus facilitating their integration into the energy grid and enhancing the sustainability of energy systems​​​​.

CellCube, initially known as Enerox, has evolved over the last ten years from a specialized product developer to a leading provider of comprehensive energy storage solutions. With more than 140 systems installed worldwide, they have established themselves as a key player in the industry​​​​.

CellCube's significance in the climate tech field is highlighted by its role in enhancing renewable energy integration. Their VRFBs provide a reliable and scalable solution for energy storage, addressing one of the most significant challenges in the shift towards renewable energy sources. By enabling more efficient storage and use of renewable energy, CellCube contributes significantly to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and combating climate change. Their progress and the growing investor interest underscore the critical role of energy storage technologies in achieving a sustainable future.

4. Jackery

Jackery, a leader in the field of portable solar power solutions, was founded in 2012 in California, USA, by a former Apple battery engineer. The company is recognized for its innovative approach in developing portable solar power generators, solar panels, and other related products. Jackery's mission is to provide green energy solutions that are accessible to everyone, everywhere, particularly focusing on outdoor and emergency use scenarios. Their products, known for their efficiency and accessibility, cater to the needs of those requiring mobile power sources, whether off-grid or during power outages​​​​.

  • Year Founded: 2012
  • Location: Fremont, California, USA​​
  • Funding information isn’t given for Jackery

Jackery's innovation in portable solar power solutions is particularly exciting for the field of climate tech due to its contribution to sustainable energy accessibility. By providing efficient, portable solar generators and panels, Jackery plays a crucial role in enhancing the adoption of renewable energy sources. This is especially important in remote or disaster-prone areas where traditional power sources are unavailable or unreliable. Jackery's commitment to developing green energy solutions aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Their growth and the success of their products in the market underscore the increasing demand for portable and sustainable energy solutions.

5. CarbonCure

CarbonCure, a pioneer in carbon sequestration within the concrete industry, has garnered significant attention for its innovative approach to reducing carbon footprints. Founded in 2011 by Robert Niven and headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CarbonCure's technology revolves around the injection of captured carbon dioxide into concrete, where it is permanently stored. This process not only utilizes CO2 but also enhances the strength of the concrete, presenting a dual benefit​​.

The implications of CarbonCure's technology for the construction industry are profound. As concrete is one of the most widely used materials in construction, its production is also one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions globally. By integrating CarbonCure's technology, the construction industry can significantly reduce its carbon footprint, contributing to the global efforts against climate change. This technology offers a practical and scalable solution for carbon sequestration, aligning with the industry's growing focus on sustainability.

  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Funding Amount/Type: CarbonCure Technologies has raised a total of $97.36 million over 12 funding rounds, with the latest being a Series F round for $80 million on July 11, 2023​​​​​​.
  • Major Investors: The company's investors include Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Innovacorp, GreenSoil Investments, Pangaea Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, BDC Capital, 2150, Mitsubishi Corporation, Carbon Direct, Taronga Ventures, and Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund​​.

CarbonCure's technology is particularly exciting in the climate tech field due to its practical application in a widespread and traditionally high-emission industry. The ability to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete production and use while improving the material's quality represents a significant advancement in green construction practices. The company's successful funding rounds and the backing of major investors underscore the industry's recognition of the importance of sustainable solutions like CarbonCure's, indicating a promising future for this technology in global efforts to combat climate change.

6. Form Energy

Form Energy, a Massachusetts-based technology company founded in 2017, is revolutionizing the field of climate tech with its advancements in long-duration energy storage systems. These systems are designed to enable a reliable and fully renewable electric grid year-round, addressing one of the major challenges in the transition to renewable energy. Form Energy's technology is crucial for maintaining grid stability and integrating renewable energy sources, as it allows for the storage and release of energy over extended periods, thus balancing supply and demand even when renewable sources are intermittent​​​​.

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, US
  • Funding Amount/Type: Form Energy has raised a significant amount of funding, with a $450 million Series E financing round announced in October 2022​​. This adds to their total funding, which had previously exceeded $350 million, reaching a valuation of $1.2 billion in mid-2021​​.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding round was a Series E round​​.
  • Major Investors: The Series E round was led by TPG’s global impact investing platform, TPG Rise, and included major investors such as GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), ArcelorMittal, Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and others​​​​.

Form Energy's long-duration energy storage technology is particularly exciting in the climate tech sector for its potential to transform how energy grids operate. By allowing for the storage of energy for days, rather than hours, this technology enables a more seamless integration of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which are often variable in nature. This capability is crucial for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and achieving a more sustainable and resilient energy infrastructure.

The company's focus on developing cost-effective and scalable energy storage solutions aligns with the growing global need for innovations that can support a fully renewable energy grid. The significant investment and support from major investors underscore the industry's recognition of the importance of long-duration energy storage and Form Energy's role in driving forward the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.

7. Klima

Klima, a mobile application developed by Climate Labs GmbH, is revolutionizing the field of climate tech with its unique approach to personal carbon offsetting. Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneurs Markus Gilles, Andreas Pursian-Ehrlich, and Jonas Brandau, Klima is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. The app's mission is to turn carbon neutrality into a mass movement, unleashing the power of individual action at scale. Klima allows users to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon footprint directly through the app, empowering individuals to contribute actively to climate change mitigation efforts​​.

  • Year Founded: 2019
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Funding Amount/Type: Klima has raised a total of €15.8 million over three funding rounds, with the latest funding being raised on April 21, 2022, from a Series A round​​. The total funding amount is also reported as $18 million in another source, with a Series A round of $11 million raised on April 1, 2022​​.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding round was a Series A round​​.
  • Major Investors: Klima's investors include Christian Reber (co-founder and CEO of Pitch), Jens Begemann, Niklas Jansen (co-founder and managing director of Blinkist),, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, 468 Capital, HV Capital, Keen Venture Partners, Headline, and Blue Impact Ventures​​​​.

Klima’s approach to climate change mitigation is particularly exciting in the field of climate tech because it emphasizes the impact of individual actions. By enabling users to track and offset their carbon footprint through everyday activities, Klima is making climate action accessible and actionable for the broader public. This approach not only raises awareness about personal environmental impacts but also provides a tangible way for individuals to contribute to global carbon reduction efforts.

The startup's success in raising significant funding and attracting major investors reflects the growing interest in solutions that empower individuals to participate in climate action. Klima's innovative use of technology to facilitate personal carbon offsetting marks a significant step forward in engaging the public in climate change mitigation and underscores the potential for technology to play a transformative role in addressing environmental challenges.

8. Polarium

Polarium, founded in 2014, is a Swedish company that has established itself as a key player in the lithium battery technology sector. The company focuses on providing smart lithium batteries designed to address power backup challenges in various sectors, including telecom, commercial, and industrial. Polarium's mission is to empower a sustainable world with innovative solutions for energy storage and energy optimization built on lithium-ion technology​​​​.

Polarium's innovations in lithium battery technology are significant for various reasons. First, these batteries offer a sustainable and efficient solution for energy storage and management, vital in sectors ranging from telecommunications to industrial applications. Second, Polarium's technology plays a critical role in the integration and optimization of renewable energy sources, contributing to the transition towards more sustainable energy systems.

The startup is particularly exciting in the field of climate tech due to its focus on lithium-ion technology, which is crucial for the development of more efficient and sustainable energy storage solutions. This technology is essential for the scalability and effectiveness of renewable energy systems, as it allows for more efficient storage and distribution of energy generated from renewable sources.

Polarium's success in raising significant funding and attracting major investors highlights the growing interest and demand for advanced energy storage solutions. Their contribution to the development of smart lithium battery technology positions them as a key innovator in the climate tech sector, driving forward the transition to a more sustainable and renewable energy future.

9. Infarm

Infarm, a Berlin-based startup founded in 2013, is at the forefront of urban and vertical farming technologies. Their approach focuses on distributing "modular farms" to urban locations, promoting sustainable and local food production. Infarm's technology enables the growth of crops in a controlled, indoor environment, utilizing less space and resources compared to traditional farming methods. This innovative approach contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of food production and transportation by enabling local cultivation in urban settings​​​​.

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Funding Amount/Type: Infarm has raised over $600 million in total funding. A significant part of this, $200 million, was raised in a Series D round led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)​​​​.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding round was a Series D round​​.
  • Major Investors: The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is a notable investor, among others​​.

Infarm’s urban farming and vertical farming technologies are particularly exciting in the climate tech field for several reasons. Firstly, their systems require significantly less water and land than conventional agriculture, making them a sustainable alternative for food production. Secondly, by localizing food production, they reduce the need for long-distance transportation, further decreasing the environmental impact. Lastly, the ability to control growing conditions leads to less waste and higher quality produce.

The startup's innovative approach to farming addresses crucial environmental challenges, such as land use, water scarcity, and the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector. Infarm's success in attracting significant funding and major investors underscores the growing importance of sustainable food production solutions in the fight against climate change. Their technology represents a significant step forward in creating more sustainable, efficient, and localized food systems, making them a key player in the climate tech sector.

10. Northvolt

Northvolt, a startup based in Stockholm, Sweden, was founded in 2015 and is spearheading innovations in sustainable battery production for electric vehicles. Their focus is on creating batteries with low-carbon manufacturing processes, contributing significantly to the field of climate tech.

  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Funding Amount/Type: Northvolt has secured investments totaling over $1 billion, including significant contributions from BMW Group, Volkswagen Group, Goldman Sachs, and Folksam.
  • Funding Series: Major funding rounds include a $1.6 billion loan from a consortium and a $1.2 billion fundraising effort in 2023.
  • Major Investors: Investors include BMW Group, Volkswagen Group, Goldman Sachs, and Folksam.

Northvolt's role in sustainable battery production and commitment to low-carbon processes make it an exciting startup in the climate tech sector. Their innovative approach addresses critical challenges in the automotive industry, reducing the environmental impact of electric vehicle batteries. The significant funding and support from major investors underline the importance of Northvolt's mission in the global transition towards sustainable energy solutions. Their expansion into North America with a new battery plant in Canada further solidifies their position as a leader in the field.

11. Propagate

Propagate, established in 2017, is revolutionizing the agricultural sector with its unique ecosystem that blends software, development, and financing. This innovative platform simplifies the process for farms to shift to agroforestry. By offering a comprehensive suite of services including agronomic insights, technical assistance, and financing options, Propagate ensures that farms can seamlessly integrate fruit, nut, and timber trees into their existing animal or crop farming systems. This approach effectively minimizes risks and supports a smoother transition.

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Funding Amount/Type: Funding Series: Series A with a total of $11.5 million raised.
  • Major Investors: The Nest, Agfunder, TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, The Grantham Foundation, Techstars and Elemental

Propagate's role in the climate tech field is significant, considering the growing need for sustainable agricultural practices. By focusing on agroforestry, they provide a viable solution to the challenges of food security, land degradation, and climate change, positioning themselves as a key player in the industry.

The core of Propagate's mission is to facilitate the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices, particularly agroforestry. This method involves incorporating permanent crops into farming, leading to enhanced profitability for farms. More importantly, it plays a crucial role in climate stewardship. By adopting these practices, farms not only boost their economic viability but also contribute significantly to climate solutions, showcasing Propagate's pivotal role in promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly farming methods.

12. BeZero

BeZero, founded in 2020 by Matthias Herbert and Tobias Frech in London, UK, is revolutionizing the carbon market with its carbon credit rating system. They've raised over $70 million, with a notable $50 million in a Series B round led by Quantum Energy Partners, and have attracted investments from EDF Group, Hitachi Ventures, and Intercontinental Exchange, among others​

  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom
  • Funding Amount/Type: BeZero Carbon has raised more than $70 million to date. In a significant funding round, the company secured $50 million in a Series B round, marking it as one of the biggest raises in the UK climate tech sector for the year.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding was a Series B round.
  • Major Investors: The Series B funding round was led by US-based Quantum Energy Partners, with strategic investments from EDF Group through EDF Pulse Ventures, Hitachi Ventures, and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Other investors include Molten Ventures, Norrsken VC, Illuminate Financial, Qima, and Contrarian Ventures.

BeZero aims to enhance transparency and efficiency in the Voluntary Carbon Market, crucial for achieving Net Zero targets. Their approach, supported by a team of experts, is significant in the climate tech sector, addressing the need for reliable information in the growing market, valued at approximately €50 billion by 2030​.

13. ChargerHelp!

ChargerHelp!, founded in January 2020 by Kameale C. Terry and Evette Ellis in Los Angeles, California, is a dynamic startup in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. The company specializes in operations, maintenance, and workforce development for EV charging infrastructure.

  • Year Founded: January 2020
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Funding Amount/Type: ChargerHelp! has raised $17.5 million in Series A financing. This funding round was led by Blue Bear Capital, with significant investments from Aligned Climate Capital, Exelon Corporation, and other investors like Energy Impact Partners and non sibi ventures.
  • Funding Series: The most recent funding was a Series A round.
  • Major Investors: Major investors include Blue Bear Capital, Aligned Climate Capital, Exelon Corporation, Energy Impact Partners, and non sibi ventures.

ChargerHelp! is not directly related to BeZero’s carbon credit rating system. However, in the broader context of climate tech, ChargerHelp! is contributing significantly by ensuring the reliability and efficiency of EV charging stations. Their focus is on improving the operational functionality of these stations, which is essential for the growing number of EV users and is pivotal in the transition to sustainable transportation. By addressing the technical and operational challenges of EV infrastructure, ChargerHelp! is helping to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, thereby reducing carbon emissions and advancing climate goals​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

14. Sylvera

Sylvera, established in 2020 by Samuel Gill and Dr. Allister Furey in London, UK, is a trailblazer in the climate tech industry. It specializes in providing a carbon offset intelligence platform, enhancing transparency and insights in the carbon market.

  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Location: London, UK
  • Funding Amount/Type: Sylvera has raised a total of $39.5 million. This includes a $32 million Series A round, led by Index Ventures and Insight Partners, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, LocalGlobe, and other angel investors.
  • Funding Series: The latest funding was a Series A round.
  • Major Investors: Key investors include Index Ventures, Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, LocalGlobe, and several angel investors.

Sylvera's platform stands out in the climate tech field for its robust approach to analyzing carbon offset projects using machine learning and diverse data sources like satellite imagery. This enhances accountability and credibility in carbon offsetting, addressing the challenges of asymmetric information and transparency. Their contribution is vital in a market projected to be worth $100 billion by 2030, making Sylvera an essential player in achieving net-zero targets through improved carbon market practices​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

15. ZeroAvia

ZeroAvia, founded in 2017 by Valery Miftakhov, is a U.S.-based company focused on developing hydrogen-fueled aviation technology. They are at the forefront of reducing aviation's carbon footprint, which is pivotal for the climate tech field.

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Location: United States
  • Funding Amount/Type: ZeroAvia has raised significant funding over the years, including $21.4 million in Series A financing in 2020, $24.3 million in a second round of Series A in 2021, $35 million in Series B financing also in 2021, and a substantial round in 2023 with Airbus as a lead investor.
  • Funding Series: The company has completed Series A and B funding rounds.
  • Major Investors: Notable investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Horizons Ventures, Royal Dutch Shell, Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund, British Airways, United Airlines Ventures, Alaska Air Group, Airbus, and Neom Investment Fund.

ZeroAvia's work in hydrogen-fueled aviation technology is transforming the industry. By developing powertrains for aircrafts that are zero-emission, they address a significant source of global carbon emissions. This breakthrough technology is not only crucial for the aviation industry's transition to sustainable practices but also represents a major advancement in the broader effort to combat climate change. The potential impact of ZeroAvia's technology in reducing aviation's carbon footprint makes them a particularly exciting and important player in the climate tech field​​​​​​​​​​.

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Related resource: 10+ Founder Friendly Venture Capital Firms Investing in Startups

Related resource: 11 Venture Capital Podcasts You Need to Check Out

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