Sustainability/Climate Tech/Analysis/

In numbers: Germany dominates European climate tech

What do Europe's 800 climate tech startups do, where are they based and who's raised the most?

By Isabella Pojuner and Freya Pratty

Credit: An Infarm vertical farm uses high tech LEDs as an alternative light source to grow crops. Credit: diephotodesigner.de

European climate tech is on the rise. VC investment into the area is increasing and there are more and more companies around the continent working on sustainable solutions to the climate crisis: from carbon capture to electric bikes, and from plant-based nutrition to clean energy storage.

There are now over 800 climate tech companies in Europe, according to a new dataset gathered by VC firms Speedinvest and Creandum.

But what are they focusing on? Where are they based? And how much money have they raised?

Location, location, location

Germany is home to the most climate tech startups — it has 252, including big names like Lilium, which makes electric-powered air vehicles, and vertical farming company Infarm, who raised $170m at the end of last year and a further $100m this week.

The UK and France are also home to a lot of the continent’s climate tech — with 103 and 96 companies respectively.

Which startups have raised the most?

 

Northvolt, which manufactures sustainable batteries, takes the crown by a long way, with $1.8bn in total funding — after a $600m megaround in 2020 (the second biggest round on the continent last year).

There are plenty of mobility startups in the running too — German transport giant Flixbus, French carpooling company BlaBlaCar, scooter startups Tier and Voi, and Lilium (although these businesses aren’t quite as green as can be.) 

Agricultural startups Infarm, Ynsect and refurbished devices marketplace BackMarket come in eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively.

Which sector has attracted most funding?

 

You’d be right if you guessed that micromobility takes the top spot in terms of funding by subsector — though it’s followed closely by the European energy sector.

Agriculture happily takes third place, probably due to big names like Infarm, Ynsect and Innovafeed, but also perhaps due to the sheer number of agricultural startups (157) in this dataset. There’s Agricool, which recycles shipping containers into urban farms; Connecterra, which uses AI to grow food; and online grocer Farmdrop.

Despite the fact that the construction industry accounts for a whopping 39% of global carbon emissions, it appears underfunded at $267m — and biodiversity startups come in last, receiving a fraction of that at $68m.

Where are clusters forming?

 

Germany is leading the way in most climate tech subsectors. It has the most startups working on sustainable building, energy, circular economy, smart mobility, agriculture, biodiversity and zero pollution.

The only subsector it doesn’t lead in is sustainable finance. The UK takes first place there with 13 companies, including investment platform Clima8 Invest, machine learning fintech Util and flood insurtech Flood Flash.

Data was extrapolated from Dealroom by Speedinvest and Creandum and does not include undisclosed funding rounds. Speedinvest and Creandum are crowdsourcing climate techs across Europe: find the full list and submit any they’ve missed.

Freya Pratty is Sifted’s news reporter. She tweets from @FPratty

Isabella Pojuner is Sifted’s editorial intern. She tweets from @ipojuner

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