The Climate Tech Startups to Watch: February Week 2

February Week 2, 2024: In this weekly series, we highlight 5 climate tech startups to watch by featuring the incredible startups, companies, or projects that are leading the fight against the climate crisis. 

Each month, we add these startups to our running list, which we have categorized based on fuel emission sector data from the most detailed, recent data SBC could identify from the World Resource Institute in 2016.

This initiative from Startup Basecamp aims to support founders by giving them access to networking and exposure opportunities that help them to scale and finance their climate tech solutions.

Do not hesitate to join our collective movement by requesting your membership.

With care,
Guillaume and the SBC TEAM

Waste (water & landfills)

1. Tozero


Founded: 2022 – Munich, DE

Founders: Ksenija Milicevic Neumann & Sarah Fleischer

Elevator Pitch: Tozero GmbH is pioneering the future of lithium-ion battery recycling in Europe with a groundbreaking sustainable process designed to recover all critical materials from used batteries. Positioned as Europe’s first startup dedicated to lithium-ion battery recycling, Tozero is challenging existing recycling technologies and propelling the decarbonization movement forward. Their innovative approach not only promises to reclaim lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite but also aims to reintroduce these essential raw materials back into the supply chain.

Problem they solve: The rapid growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market and other technologies reliant on lithium-ion batteries is creating an urgent need for sustainable recycling methods to handle end-of-life batteries. Traditional recycling processes often fall short in efficiently recovering all valuable materials, leading to a significant loss of critical resources and contributing to environmental degradation. Tozero addresses this challenge head-on by developing a sustainable recycling process that ensures the complete recovery of all critical materials contained in lithium-ion batteries.

Impact: By ensuring the full recovery of critical materials, Tozero significantly reduces the need for virgin mining activities, which are often associated with severe environmental and human rights issues. This comprehensive recycling approach helps mitigate the ecological footprint of battery production, promoting a more sustainable and ethical supply chain. Moreover, reintroducing recovered materials into the supply chain enhances the circular economy, decreasing the carbon emissions associated with material extraction and processing. 

Stage: Pre-seed.

Interested in Tozero?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch, see here.

Waste (water & landfills)

2. Raiku


Founded: 2022 –  Taillinn, EST

Founders: Karl Pärtel & Rain Randsberg

Elevator Pitch: RAIKU is transforming the packaging industry with its pioneering approach, embodying the principles of the circular economy at its finest. Their innovative packaging solution not only avoids waste but serves as a nutrient for soil after its use, closing the loop on sustainability. Crafted from 100% natural materials, RAIKU’s products can expand up to 20 times their raw material volume, all while maintaining an impressively low energy consumption during production.

Problem they solve: The issue of waste, particularly in the packaging industry, is a significant environmental concern. Traditional packaging solutions contribute to landfill waste and pollution, failing to adhere to the principles of sustainability and circular economy. RAIKU addresses this challenge by introducing a packaging solution that not only minimizes waste but actively contributes to environmental health by becoming a nutrient for the soil post-use. 

Impact: By transforming used packaging into soil nutrients, RAIKU supports the regeneration of the earth, promoting soil health and reducing the need for artificial fertilizers. The ability to significantly expand the volume of their raw material, coupled with low energy production processes, further reduces their environmental footprint, making RAIKU a leader in sustainable packaging. Their transparent footprint analysis not only underscores RAIKU’s dedication to environmental transparency but also educates and empowers clients to make more informed choices regarding their packaging needs, driving the industry towards a more sustainable and responsible future.

Stage: Pre-seed.

Interested in RAIKU?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Waste (water & landfills)

3. Seloxium


Founded: 2022 – Oxfordshire, UK

Leadership: Christian Peters

Elevator Pitch: Seloxium, a trailblazing University of Oxford spin-out, is set to transform the metal recovery industry with its revolutionary approach to purifying metals and water from industrial waste. Specializing in the mining, refining, and recycling sectors, Seloxium’s technology is a game-changer for selectively extracting valuable metals from wastewater and mine tailings. 

Problem they solve: The extraction and processing of metals are notoriously energy-intensive and environmentally damaging, often involving extensive mining operations that deplete natural resources and generate significant pollution. The challenge of recovering valuable metals from industrial waste in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner has long been an obstacle for the mining, refining, and recycling industries. Seloxium addresses this challenge by introducing an innovative technology that not only recovers high-purity metals from waste but does so with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, thereby offering an efficient alternative to conventional mining and refining processes.

Impact: By recovering valuable metals from waste, Seloxium reduces the reliance on new mining operations, lessening the destruction of ecosystems and lowering greenhouse gas emissions associated with metal extraction and processing. Furthermore, their approach to purifying water as part of the metal recovery process contributes to reducing industrial pollution and promoting water conservation. 

Stage: Seed.

Want to learn more about Seloxium?
To learn more about their technology or get in touch see here.

Waste (water & landfills)

4. Magmatic


Founded: 2022 – Vienna, AUT

Founders: Oliver Siegel, Jorg Herwanger & Dhaarsi Jaksch

Elevator Pitch: Magmatic is pioneering a groundbreaking approach to critical metal regeneration, leveraging the vast biological repertoire honed by billions of years of evolution. They are dedicated to developing a novel integrated metal separation process capable of recovering a comprehensive range of metals. By harnessing a broad spectrum of metal-binding proteins—robust, highly selective, and tolerant to diverse operating conditions—Magmatic aims to revolutionize metal recovery. 

Problem they solve: The extraction and recycling of critical metals are currently marred by inefficient processes that are energy-intensive and often rely on toxic reagents, posing significant environmental and health risks. The challenge of separating metals within critical fractions has traditionally required substantial energy and water resources. Magmatic’s innovative approach addresses these challenges head-on, offering a sustainable and efficient alternative for the recovery of critical metals. 

Impact: Magmatic’s biologically inspired metal separation technology stands to make a profound environmental impact by reducing the reliance on toxic chemicals and minimizing energy and water use in the metal recovery process. This approach not only lessens the ecological footprint of metal regeneration but also contributes to the preservation of water resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption.

Stage: Seed.

Interested in Magmatic?
To learn more about this company, see here.

Energy use in Industry and Buildings

5. Zeroth


Founded: 2022 – Paris, FR & Princeton, NJ, USA

Founder: Octave Perrault

Elevator Pitch: Bridging the gap between high-tech and low-tech, Zeroth enhances the efficiency of traditional heat pumps using natural elements like air, water, and sunlight, coupled with advanced software, without relying on rare or toxic materials. Designed for seamless integration into both new and existing buildings, Zeroth’s systems can be implemented as drop-in or facade-integrated modules, offering an eco-friendly, cost-effective alternative to conventional heat pumps.

Problem they solve: The challenge of efficiently heating and cooling buildings, especially in a way that doesn’t exacerbate climate change, is significant in the built environment. Traditional systems often involve extensive retrofitting, use of harmful materials, and can be energy-intensive, contributing to high operational carbon emissions. Zeroth tackles these issues head-on, offering an innovative thermal energy system that not only outperforms standard heat pumps in efficiency and cost but also champions a non-invasive installation process.

Impact:  By optimizing the integration of natural elements and advanced software into its climate control solutions, Zeroth drastically reduces reliance on fossil fuels and minimizes carbon emissions associated with heating and cooling. The system’s low impact on resources, coupled with its ability to improve the thermodynamic profile of buildings using minimal material, embodies a holistic approach to environmental sustainability.  

Stage: Pre-seed.

Interested in Zeroth?
If you are interested in learning more, see here.

Do you know of other startups we should include in our Startups to Watch Series? Submit to our list!

How do these startups fit in with all the others we have looked at?

Check out our running list of the 400+ climate tech startups to watch we have featured. 

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