In partnership with PwC, we are delighted to announce the 20 leading late-stage climate tech companies that have been accepted into Net Zero X; the first programme to help the UK’s highest-impact late-stage (Series A+) climate tech companies to overcome common growth challenges and scale faster
With 40% of emission reductions relying on technologies not yet commercially deployed on a mass-market scale, the Net Zero X programme aims to bring together pioneering climate tech businesses working to decarbonise a wide range of sectors, and to provide them with the support, coaching and connections they need to drive down the UK’s carbon emissions by one gigatonne annually.
Zubin Randeria, ESG Leader at PwC and Net Zero X Judge, said: “There has never been a more crucial time to tackle the climate crisis head-on, and climate technology will play a critical role in addressing this global issue. For real change to take place, climate technology and innovations are required across all sectors, and I am delighted to see such a range of companies joining the inaugural Net Zero X programme. It’s an honour to be part of these transformative companies’ journeys and I hope this programme can help them scale their impact and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.”
Diverse companies fighting for the same cause
The first Net Zero X cohort brings together the highest-impact, later-stage climate tech companies from across the UK. A majority (11) of the companies hail from outside of London, with HQs across Northern Ireland, the North of England and Wales.
Collectively, these 20 companies have raised almost £387 million in VC investment to date, and are working across a diverse range of sectors; including agriculture, energy and hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation, construction and carbon removal technology.
Nearly half (8) of the companies are working to decarbonise the energy sector, with climate hardware company Solivus creating thin, lightweight solar panels for homes and commercial buildings, and space tech company Satellite Vu specialising in high-resolution thermal imaging to ensure any structure on the planet is energy efficient.
The inaugural Net Zero X cohort also contains companies who are developing high-speed, zero-emission marine vessels to ensure a sustainable maritime future (such as Artemis Technologies, who have just unveiled their new zero-emissions passenger ferry), creating all-electric, ultra-high-speed zero emission underground delivery tunnels for transporting goods (Magway) and disrupting the dairy industry by creating alternative ‘dairy’ products that remove animals from the equation (Better Dairy).
Net Zero X’s mission
Net Zero X aims to futureproof the UK’s climate tech sector by reducing the climate tech carbon funding gap, and countering the climate tech ‘valley of death’ experienced by many R&D-intensive companies due to longer times before commercialisation. The programme supports the growth of high emissions reduction potential (ERP) companies, primarily in hard-to-abate sectors, by connecting them to investors, corporates, partners, policy-makers and other stakeholders, in order to help shape the ecosystem that founders need to succeed.
Net Zero X will build on the success of Tech Nation’s Net Zero programme for early-stage climate tech scaleups. Net Zero saw its first cohort of companies increase their collective funding by £154 million since completing the programme (an average increase of £5 million each), while its second cohort has increased their collective funding by over £100 million in the past 6 months (from £55 million to £156 million). The Net Zero programme welcomed its third cohort of early-stage companies two weeks ago.
Tech’s vital role in addressing the climate crisis
Over the next decade, technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in driving down the UK’s carbon emissions, but the UK’s climate tech companies must be given access to funding, support and networking opportunities in order to innovate and scale.
In their recent State of Climate Tech 2021 Report, PwC found that only 25% of total funding raised in climate tech is currently being channelled into the technologies that hold 81% of the emissions reduction potential (ERP). Anotherreportfrom PwC, published earlier this month, revealed that current decarbonisation rates are the lowest they have been for a decade (at 0.5%), at a time when significant action has never been more crucial.
Over the next 6 months, all 20 of the transformative companies joining Net Zero X will be helped to tackle sector and stage-specific challenges through sessions delivered by specialised coaches and entrepreneurs, in addition to attending roundtables with industry leaders across the policy, corporate and investment landscape, which will look at how to collectively increase the impact of climate tech. Founders and their leadership teams accepted onto the programme will benefit from both Tech Nation and PwC’s expertise, investor networks and mentorship.
Meet the Net Zero X cohort
Adaptavate – South West – Stroud Adaptavate is focussed on developing and commercialising the carbon negative building materials of the future of the construction industry. Adaptavate produces construction products that outperform conventional solutions, whilst being better for people and the planet, such as the successful Breathaplasta product family in the UK (available in Travis Perkins and SIG Plc). In addition, the company is building a pilot line for ‘breathaboard’, a carbon negative alternative to the world’s third most used construction material; plasterboard. Adaptavate is best known for proving that making building materials can be ecologically regenerative, globally scalable on industrial processes and a drop in for the mainstream construction industry. Our materials are the next generation of environmentally friendly, biocomposite materials that can be grown, composted and used to make buildings energy-efficient, healthy and carbon-negative.
Angara Global – London Angara is a decarbonisation-focussed technology company that helps clients across several energy intensive industries globally to substantially abate emissions and save costs through the innovative cleaning of fouled heat exchangers and infrastructure. Angara’s patented, smart chemical recipes and AI-powered smart schedule approach enable heat exchangers to run more efficiently, reduce fuel consumption, improve production yield, and save cost. Angara’s technology offers a practical and commercially attractive solution to abate millions of tons of CO2 emissions, and their program is currently being deployed at scale with clients in Europe and Southeast Asia.
Artemis Technologies – Northern Ireland – Belfast Founded in 2017, Artemis Technologies is a world leading high-performance maritime design and applied technologies company committed to decarbonisation of the maritime industry. With skills in simulation, lightweight structure engineering, electronics, hydraulics, aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, Artemis Technologies develops high-speed zero-emission vessels and propulsion systems to ensure a sustainable maritime future. Through research and collaboration, the company continues to be a world leader in high-performance, green-powered vessels, utilising specialist expertise to provide tailored services to both high-performance and commercial clients, as well as developing unique products, including the unique Artemis eFoiler® electric propulsion system, which is set to revolutionise the industry.
Better Dairy – London Better Dairy leverages precision fermentation to produce animal-free dairy products. Unlike many existing plant-based products, Better Dairy’s products feel and taste the same as their traditional dairy counterparts, but don’t use animals as part of the production process, making them sustainable and ethical. Better Dairy is in the final phases of R&D and plans to have its first product range, animal-free cheeses, ready by 2023, with market launch set for 2024.
CATAGEN – Northern Ireland – Belfast CATAGEN provides best-in-class emissions data to the automotive industry, providing physical and virtual testing of catalytic converters for leading brands such as FERRARI, McLAREN, KTM, BENTLEY, ASTON MARTIN, JAGUAR LANDROVER and DUCATI. CATAGEN’s purpose is to clean and decarbonise the air. It provides customers with unique data so that they can develop their vehicles with the best calibration and thus optimised emissions. We are now using our patented re-circulating gas reactor test technology to develop new net zero technologies to produce green hydrogen and e-fuels more efficiently and with reduced energy input to decarbonise difficult sectors such as transportation and industry. This has led to UK Government funding awards from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop 5 projects within the green hydrogen value chain, including compression and carbon capture technology.
Greyparrot – London Greyparrot is the leading AI waste analytics platform for the circular economy on a mission to increase transparency and automation in waste management. The Greyparrot system uses cutting edge AI computer vision systems, deployed globally by waste managers like Biffa and Veolia, to monitor, analyse, and sort waste at scale. Computer vision is an area in artificial intelligence that uses camera systems to capture and analyse images to categorise objects. Applied to MRFs, it is a breakthrough technology that allows machines to ‘see’ and classify waste at human-level or better. Currently, less than 1% of waste is measured by hand. Manual sampling is limited by time and resource constraints and covers a small proportion of processed waste. Continuous monitoring through AI ensures a better depiction of true waste composition, providing new insights to waste managers, integrators, producers and regulators to increase recycling rates and accountability across the waste value chain.
HiiROC – Yorkshire and the Humber – Hull HiiROC develops and commercialises its plasma torch technology in the production of hydrogen from biomethane, flare gas and natural gas through Thermal Plasma Electrolysis. HiiROC’s proprietary technology enables the low-cost, zero emission production of hydrogen at a comparable cost to steam methane reforming, but without the emissions and using only one fifth of the energy required by water electrolysis. Plants can be small to industrial scale based on their modular design and can be located at the point of demand, thereby avoiding transport costs and enabling the use of existing infrastructure. The solid carbon black by-product has applications ranging from tyres, building materials and as a soil enhancer. Its production using HiiROC’s technology avoids the emissions and pollution inherent in the predominant oil furnace manufacturing process. HiiROC employs around 40 people with its development centre located in Hull, UK.
Magway – London Magway is a zero-emissions, scalable, intelligent goods transport system. Magway redefines logistics with a disruptive transportation system for consumer goods and raw materials that is intelligent, cost-effective and emissions-free. The system comprises high-speed, advanced software-controlled, linear motor carriages that can travel horizontally and vertically along routes which are just one metre in diameter. Magway’s solution improves the cost, control, certainty and cleanliness of intra-site and inter-site supply chain logistics. The company is currently focused on intra-site opportunities.
Mission Zero Technologies – London Mission Zero Technologies is a low-cost, decentralised Direct Air Capture (DAC) company that uses established industrial processes to re-invent the potential of DAC. At scale, Mission Zero Technologies will use electricity to extract CO2 from the air at a price point that is competitive with fossil fuels sources of carbon. This will allow Mission Zero Technologies to be a long-term, competitive source of permanent carbon removals to offset difficult-to-decarbonise industries but also to provide a scalable and rateable means to support the new carbon economy with carbon negative CO2 and replace fossil fuels.
OLIO – London OLIO is an app that connects people with their local community so that surplus food and other household items can be given away, rather than thrown away; and everyday things can be lent and borrowed, instead of bought brand new. OLIO has over 50,000 trained volunteers who collect unsold food from local businesses and redistribute it to the community via the OLIO app so that food can be eaten, not thrown away.
OX Delivers – West Midlands – Warwick OX delivers on-demand logistics in emerging markets; delivering goods efficiently, reliably, and affordably. Vertically integrated from truck to customer, OX has created an innovative service using proprietary software, purpose-designed electric trucks, and an entrepreneurial depot operating mode.
Petalite – West Midlands – Birmingham Petalite has dedicated the last seven years to research and development for charging technology, with four years dedicated purely to electric vehicle charging technology. The result was SDC, a solution that meant the company’s customers and their customers (the electric vehicle driver) can reliably charge in a cost effective way. Since late 2020, Petalite has grown in strength in regards to employing an elite team of engineers and business development specialists to now bring the business to commercialisation. 2022 is the year to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and Petalite’s whole team is dedicated and passionate to improving reliability and future costs for all stakeholders. This makes Petalite one of the best EV charger solutions globally in terms of technical innovation, high reliability and low future costs. Petalite is looking to support the EV charge needs for energy companies, fleets, local authorities, commercial businesses and EV drivers.
SATAVIA – East of England – Cambridge SATAVIA is an industry-leading green aerospace startup on a mission to cut up to 2% of all human climate impact by enabling aircraft contrail prevention in commercial aviation. Combining deep connections in the aerospace ecosystem with an agile start-up culture, SATAVIA is able to scale quickly and adapt to new opportunities and partnerships. Rooted in scientific and technological acumen and working with leading players ranging from Etihad and MIT to Microsoft and AWS, SATAVIA embodies an entrepreneurial mindset with the ambition to transform the relationship between aerospace and the environment. SATAVIA’s growing team offers unique subject matter expertise (SME) capacity, ranging from atmospheric and climate science to cloud physics, and from agile software and API development to aerospace project management. SATAVIA’s team embodies industry-leading expertise on contrail prevention, laying the basis for the creation of a new carbon offset market worth up to $18.3bn (CBI figures).
Satellite Vu – London Satellite Vu was founded in 2016 with the aim to fill the void in high resolution thermal data from space. It has, since then, turned into a high-growth space tech company poised to help the globe address its sustainability challenges through high-resolution thermal imaging. Satellite Vu is on a quest to ensure any structure on the planet is energy efficient, and supports the reduction of businesses’ carbon footprint. In near real-time, Satellite Vu will use infrared technology to monitor the Earth and will be able to assess and determine insights into economic activity. This will allow businesses to make decisions in order to become more environmentally sustainable. Other techniques are more expensive, requiring dedicated inspection, and require users to know what structures to examine. Satellite Vu’s data gives a global picture and can help with lead generation, and like for like comparison globally
Sero – Wales – Cardiff Sero provides a technology solution for planning, implementing and operating net zero homes in both new build and retrofit sectors. Sero partners with organisations in the residential housing sector, which includes Housing Associations, Housebuilders and most recently Banks and Building Societies. All of these organisations are looking to understand the “Pathway” to Net Zero, how much will it cost and what are the risks and opportunities. Sero collects data on properties and uses its intelligent cloud based platform to forecast the home into a future Net Zero energy system, forecasting the changes required along the way. Sero also supports the resident engagement, through all stages of the retrofit journey and into the future by providing a technology solution that enables Sero to become the operator of the home. Residents receive an innovative new service offering; comfort, not kilowatts.
Small Robot Company – South West – Salisbury Small Robot Company’s mission is to help farmers feed the world while regenerating the planet. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, Small Robot Company has created an entirely new model for sustainable, efficient and profitable farming, which it calls Per Plant Farming. SRC’s sustainable farmbots Tom, Dick and Harry, along with AI brain Wilma, will plant, monitor and treat arable crops autonomously. This increases yields, soil quality and biodiversity, and reduces carbon emissions. This will decrease variable costs for farmers: 20% saving on seed usage, and up to 90% saving on chemicals. It also has the potential for yield increases of 30% – 40% globally. Finally, it will reduce cultivation energy in arable farming by up to 90%. The Net Zero potential here is huge: net capture and storage of between 1.42 and 5 tonnes CO2/ha per year is possible with regenerative farming, rising to up to 9 tonnes with Small Robot Company’s system. Founded 5 years ago, SRC employs 51 people, and is now rolling out its commercial offering to 50 farms.
Solivus – London There are 2.5 billion metres squared of south-facing roofs in the UK alone. If half of these had solar, it would be enough to provide half the UK’s electricity needs without the need to develop on greenfield sites. Solivus is an energy company decarbonising the planet starting with lightweight solar. Solivus wants to enable businesses, and – from next year – homeowners, to transition to cheaper, cleaner onsite energy generation for independent supply and control. In recent years, solar has progressed from a niche technology. Yet, we don’t see it on top of big stadiums, industrial estates or shopping centres. Many large buildings simply cannot take the weight of conventional solar and many homeowners do not like the look of solar on their roofs. The built environment contributes to 40% of global emissions. A new type of solar that is far lighter than conventional solar can turn low-load-bearing rooftops into high-energy generating assets.
Tevva – East of England – Tilbury Tevva is a UK-based all-zero-emission hydrogen electric truck OEM and mobility technology company. Tevva designs and manufactures battery electric medium-to-heavy-duty trucks with revolutionary hydrogen fuel-cell range extender technology. Tevva mobility technology solutions are built to revitalise urban freight and logistics – optimising zero-emission commercial vehicle range, cost, driver experience, and environmental impact. Tevva’s pledge is to develop sustainable (electric and hydrogen electric) urban trucks at volume, to address climate change and local air quality issues, and to improve the lives of humanity through innovative transport solutions. Tevva trucks are already on the road (including 15 trucks with UPS) and have accrued hundreds of thousands of miles in customer hands.
UNDO – North East – Darlington UNDO exists to scale nature-based technologies that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere. UNDO believes that by harnessing nature-based carbon removal technologies, we are able to have an outsized impact on climate change. UNDO’s first technology is Enhanced Weathering, the acceleration of natural rock weathering; a geological process which locks away billions of tonnes of CO2 over hundreds of thousands of years. UNDO partners with global organisations to source and spread basalt, enabling it to scale well beyond our own four walls. UNDO has developed an internal R&D and external scientific advisory board that is at the cutting edge of EW, helping it co-develop the first verification process for EW. UNDO is also scaling operations, and by late 2022 will be the largest CDR project in the UK, with the aim of being the largest in the world in 2023 (by volume removed). UNDO’s Emerging Technologies Team is already looking at other nature-based processes they will be able to scale in a similar way in future.
Winnow – London Food waste costs the hospitality industry over £100 billion annually. Kitchens can waste up to 20% of food purchased, often equivalent to their total net profits. This is because chefs too often lack the necessary tools to accurately measure and manage waste. What gets measured gets managed, and by using data intelligently kitchens can be made more efficient. Winnow develops technology to help chefs achieve greater visibility in their kitchens and make better decisions that lead to dramatically reduced food waste and costs.
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