Silicon materials for photovoltaic power generation, infinitely recyclable aluminium components and magnet-to-magnet recycling – Recent deals worth looking at:
Agriculture & Food
eFishery (2013) is an internet-of-things-based aquaculture company building an ecosystem for fish and shrimp farmers. The platform focuses on scaling up farmer productivity within a safe and fair environment, with technologies including its digitally controlled ‘smart feeder’, an online marketplace, access to financial services, and an end-to-end digital operations system.
Indonesia is a leading producer in the global aquaculture industry, which has had a history of mangrove deforestation and poor waste management practices. eFishery has worked to solve these challenges with its ecosystem spanning 6,000 fish and shrimp farmers across 250 Indonesian cities, wherein its platform helps these farmers reduce the total carbon footprint to be 92% lower than the meat industry.
The company has risen as Indonesia’s latest unicorn, securing its position with a $108M Series D funding round led by the G42 Global Expansion Fund, and with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund II and Northstar Group.
Energy & Power
Qingdian Photovoltaic Technology (2022) offers photovoltaic power generation services which aim to reduce energy consumption by leveraging silicon materials. The company has a range of products with various technologies in polycrystalline silicon and monocrystalline silicon production for sectors including agriculture, environmental protection, and clean energy.
Qingdian recently raised $213M in a Series A round led by Hefei Industrial Investment Group and Jingneng Group, with participation from Sany Heavy Energy, Borun Capital, Daoge Capital, and Xinghan Capital.
The funds will be used for the construction and operation of future projects. Despite the comparatively high barriers to entry in the silicon material and water industry versus the components and battery industries, silicon material and wafer companies have seen significant growth in recent years, including Qingdian.
Materials & Chemicals
Alloy Enterprises (2020) has an aluminium additive manufacturing system that provides high throughput of fully dense parts, enabling manufacturers to scale from prototyping to production. It produces fully dense and cost-effective parts without the need for expensive and high-risk powders which allow clients to reduce manufacturing challenges.
The company secured an oversubscribed Series A round reaching $26M. The round was led by Piva Capital with participation from Unless, Flybridge Capital Partners, MassMutual, FootPrint Coalition (by Robert Downey Jr.), Congruent Ventures, and Riot Ventures.
The plan is to pour this funding into expanding Alloy’s business operations and overall industry reach. The technology developed by Alloy is bridging the gap between the increasing demand for complex aluminium components, which has been driven primarily by the e-mobility sector, and the current supply. Aluminium components are a core part of the world’s electrification journey, offering a recycle option for components with twice the strength-to-weight ratio of steel.
Resources & Environment
Noveon Magnetics (2014) has designed a proprietary magnet-to-magnet recycling process that takes earth metals and recycles them into high-performance magnets. The sintered neodymium magnets are produced from scrap-magnet feedstocks, offering affordable magnets with superior performance.
The company has secured $75M in Series B funding in a recent round led by Nation Grid Partners (NGP Energy Capital Management) and Aventurine Partners, in which James Wallis from NGP will be joining Noveon’s Board of Directors.
The funding will go towards expanding its manufacturing capabilities with new facilities and further stepping into its industry and role as a provider of critical rare earth magnets to sectors including automotive energy, defence, and medical sectors, among others.
Transportation & Logistics
Ola Electric Mobility (2011) is an electric mobility platform making daily mobility both convenient and environmentally-conscious. The platform offers services including charging, shared mobility, and battery swapping networks to make e-vehicle ride-hailing accessible and dependable, and to make electric mobility a first option.
Ola Electric Mobility had a streak of steady and high-reaching funding rounds, including its $200M growth equity round in January 2022 by Alpha Wave Global, Tekne Capital, Jaws Ventures, Edelweiss Financial Services and Alpine Investors. It has followed this streak by securing a further $300M in growth equity by undisclosed investors.
The funding will primarily go towards ramping up the capacity for its electric two-wheelers from 0.5 million to 2 million per annum, with a plan to eventually reach 10 million per annum. Further, a portion will support the firm in setting up an advanced cell chemistry batter plant.
Pluton Biosciences (2017) is a targeted discovery platform which provides quick and inexpensive discovery of microbes for manufacturers of biosolutions, including biopesticides and antibiotics. The platform tests, mines and clones microbes from the soil to find solutions addressing agriculture sustainability challenges.
The company has closed a $16.5M Series A round co-led by Illumina Ventures and RA Capital, with participation from existing investors Fall Line Capital, The Grantham Foundation, and First In Ventures. It also includes new investors Wollemi, Radicle Growth, and iSelect.
The funding will go towards advancing the development of Pluton’s flagship product, the Microbial Cover Crop™, as it moves through initial field trials and develops commercial partnerships with key industry players. Further, a portion of the funding will support expanding its team, continuing to develop its platform to identify tailored solutions, and to advance its microbial-derived pesticide to combat the fall armyworm.