Sustainable Accelerator makes four new investments April 2020
Sustainable Ventures is delighted to announce that it has made four new investments from the Sustainable Accelerator 3 fund. We believe that all these investments will play an important role in addressing the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity.
We are especially pleased that we have been able to complete these investments and provide equity funding to early-stage companies at a time when the global situation is resulting in a general trend of abeyance in both liquidity and investment selection.
Sunswap – electric transport refrigeration hardware and software
Sunswap’s solution offers a zero-emission alternative to traditional diesel Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs). This innovative change of technology for refrigeration units deploys interchangeable, solar powered batteries coupled with energy prediction technology to replace diesel units.
Sunswap’s innovative technology equips electric TRUs with smaller, interchangeable batteries, enabling them to power TRUs at lower cost and lower emissions. Sunswap’s software takes data from previous TRU journeys and predicts future battery requirements based on the route and temperature data. Battery requirement is calculated on a per journey/route basis whilst a smart meter records energy usage to determine the battery replacement frequency.
As retailers look to their supply chain to improve their sustainability credentials, this technology creates customers benefits vis-a-vis their competitors. Sunswap has several revenue streams including sale of the TRU, sale of the electricity to charge the batteries (‘fuel’) and sale of idle battery capacity with demand side response and grid balancing.
Vendi – peer-to-peer second-hand electric goods marketplace
Vendi is a peer-to-peer marketplace providing a verification service for the trade in used electronic items. By combining specialised software together with an existing network of electronics shops, Vendi aims to restore trust in online second-hand electronics shopping by reducing scams and inefficiencies. Vendi’s Intellectual Property is a proprietary machine learning-based verification tool which is applied in their product verification (phone category detected, brand, colour and so on).
More than 40 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated each year constituting nearly $50 billion worth of recyclable materials. Vendi’s objective is to increase the willingness to reuse and therefore extend the lifetime of electronic products by increasing trust in the purchase of second-hand electronics.
Vendi’s initial focus is on mobile phones, with 1.5 billion mobile phones being sold every year and the average lifespan of a mobile phone only being 18 months. Instead of being recycled, 80% of mobile phones end up in landfill. Vendi aims to contribute to resource efficiency by increasing the number of re-used phones and other electronic devices and as a result reduce the number of new phones being produced and purchased.
Minviro – environmental life-cycle assessment software for the mining industry
Minviro has created tools that deliver predictive environmental performance data for mining projects and the industry more accurately. Minviro’s technology offers tangible business value to exploration and mining companies, and other stakeholders, by providing information which enables significant reductions to the environmental impact of extracting and processing metals. Minviro’s application in mining project developments can result in substantial reduction of CO2 emission as well as important efficiencies in the mining of scarce resources such as lithium and graphite where huge growth in demand is forecast as they play a critical role in decarbonisation technologies.
Thermulon – novel aerogel materials for insulation
Thermulon has devised a new process that overcomes the insulation market’s trade-off between price and performance by producing thermally insulating aerogel materials for the construction market. Thermulon aim to optimise their proprietary process to produce low thermal conductivity aerogel materials and to build a strategic foundation for a successful entry into the EU and UK insulation markets.
Thermulon’s key competitive advantage is their innovative chemical process, which enables the transition from batch to continuous production. At an industrial scale, this will produce economies of scale resulting in a 6x price-reduction in the final aerogel material.
For more information about Sustainable Ventures please contact the investment team at [email protected]