Aussie carbon sequestration startup Loam Bio has raised $40 million in funding, as more funding pours into climate-conscious startups.
Loam’s round was led by Marc Benioff’s Time Ventures, and also includes investment from Main Sequence, Horizons Ventures and Grok Ventures, the VC fund of Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie Cannon-Brookes.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation also contributed to the raise, as well as Acre Venture Partners, Lowercarbon Capital and Thistledown Capital.
The announcement comes just a week after Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes announced they were committing $1.5 billion of their personal wealth to tackling climate change, including through investments and philanthropic work.
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Cannon-Brookes was also scathing of the government’s plans to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, announced this week, calling it “no plan. Just more bullshit”.
Founded in 2019 by Tegan Nock, Guy Hudson and Frank Oly, Loam’s microbial technology boosts the natural power of plants to store carbon in soil. Its products can be spread in agricultural settings, increasing the amount of CO2 stored in the ground permanently, while also boosting yields for farmers.
It means farms can easily offset some of their carbon emissions. In a statement, chief executive Hudson said it offers a cost-effective, scalable and long-term solution while we make the transition to a lower-emissions economy.
“The entire annual US aviation emissions could be removed if our seed coating was applied to America’s soybean crop,” he claimed.
“The time for our technology is now.”
But this is not the only Aussie startup attracting millions in funding for innovations cleaning up the planet. In fact, with impact investment on the rise, this space is attracting more cash than ever.
Here are nine more startups that have secured capital in 2021, so far.
All the way from New Zealand, Vertus energy raised NZ$1.2 million ($1.15 million) in pre-seed funding this week for its technology turning manure and other organic waste into a green alternative to fossil fuels.
The funding will power the startup’s first pilot programs in the field, including a demonstration plant set to be operational on a South Auckland farm early next year.
Back in May, Seabin raised $1.2 million via an equity crowdfunding campaign to tramp up growth for its business that uses floating litter bins to clear debris from the ocean.
That followed on from a $1.7 million raise in February 2020, and allowed the startup to focus on its leasing model, and community outreach work.
Earlier this month, Energy traceability startup Enosi raised $1.48 million for its tech allowing businesses and individuals to track exactly where their energy is coming from, and how much they’re paying, at any given time.
In another raise announced this week, Sydney-based Novalith secured $2.5 million to develop its low-carbon methods of producing lithium — a key component for battery technologies.
The funding will allow the startup to further build out and pilot its technology, before developing a commercial demonstration plant.
In September, cleantech startup Wattwatchers raised $5.3 million, including $2.5 million from the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.
The startup monitors energy usage across appliances and serves up data to help households and businesses to operate as energy efficiently as possible.
Back in January ARENA announced a $3.9 million investment into renewable energy startup Renergi, specifically to back a project in Western Australia to divert waste from landfill and turn it into energy.
Earlier this month, Zero Co raised $6 million in VC funding plus $5 million in a record-breaking equity crowdfunding campaign.
The startup provides its customers with reusable bottles and refills for household cleaning items, with the funding proving a clear demand to solve the plastic waste problem from VC and retail investors alike.
Back in April, Tasmanian business Sea Forest raised $34 million for its native seaweed farm producing methane-reducing supplements for cows.
As well as reducing the environmental impact of cattle, the seaweed itself also draws considerable amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, founder Sam Elsom told SmartCompany at the time.
V2food (and friends)
V2food secured $72 million in August to take it’s plant-based meat products global. But it’s not the only startup raising cash for planet-friendly proteins.
Since the start of the year, Michael Fox’s Fable has raised $6.5 million, Harvest B raised $4.5 million for its meaty ingredients, Eden Brew raised $4 million for a milk alternative and Vow raised $7.7 million to commercialise cell-based meat.