RADAR – Our selection of innovative businesses #82

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Caeli Energie raises €10 million to develop low-carbon air con. Urban Canopée raises €2.7 million to adapt cities to the climate emergency. CarbonBuilt successfully produces concrete without Portland cement.

Caeli Energie raises €10 million to develop low-carbon air con

French startup Caeli Energie, a member of Leonard’s 2021 SEED programme, has just completed its second funding round, amassing €10 million. This latest round was led by investment funds Asterion Ventures, Starquest and Rise PropTech, as well as French Tech Seed (managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French state as part of the France 2030 plan).

Its goal? To increase the production of its air conditioners which are based on an evaporation system which operates without refrigerant, without a heat rejection system that rejects air to the outside and without an external unit. They aim to have their product on the market in 2024. The startup is focusing on equipping buildings in the public sector (care homes, kindergartens, town halls) as well as public housing facilities. 

After developing the technology in partnership with the CNRS, Caeli Energie’s product addresses a key climate change issue: as temperatures rise, people are increasingly resorting to air conditioning solutions, which in turn exacerbates global warming due to its hefty CO2 emissions.

Founded in Grenoble in 2020, Caeli Energie used its initial €2.1 million funding raised in 2022 to develop its first prototypes. It now plans to move to the industrial phase, by automating its production line and recruiting around 15 people over the next 18 months.

Urban Canopée raises €2.7 million to adapt cities to the climate emergency

Urban Canopée is an Ecole des Ponts ParisTech spin-off that was launched at the end of 2016. It’s positioned itself on the urban greening market, looking to combat heat islands with its vegetated structures.

The startup has developed modular “corollas” that can be installed and moved about very quickly. Furthermore, they have zero impact on neither underground networks nor existing urban infrastructure. Equipped with sensors in the ground and a water reserve, its connected system automatically waters the plants. Many cities and public places have already adopted the structures.

Building on its initial street furniture success, Urban Canopée is now tackling a new market, by greening roofs and facades with a solution that rapidly covers the building envelope with vegetation.

To accelerate this development, the startup has just raised €2.7 million from ARaymond, a Grenoble-based family business founded in 1865, inventor of the press stud and leader in assembly and fixing systems. This financial investment also doubles up as a partnership, as Urban Canopée intends to benefit from the group’s expertise in fixing systems, a key aspect for connecting green structures to the building envelope.

CarbonBuilt successfully produces concrete without Portland cement

The US startup CarbonBuilt is excited to have reached an important milestone in its quest to develop low-carbon concrete: in its factory in Childersburg, Alabama, it has managed to eliminate the use of Portland cement in its production of concrete blocks, thus significantly reducing the amount of carbon emitted in the process.

CarbonBuilt’s approach involves replacing traditional Portland cement with calcium-rich, low-carbon industrial waste materials. The startup up began commercial production of its low-carbon concrete in May 2023, and has since gradually reduced the proportion of Portland cement in its mix, while increasing the percentage of alternative materials. Plans to produce the low-carbon concrete on an industrial scale should begin early 2024, with the aim being to reach 6,000 concrete blocks per day.

The startup raised $10 million in Series A funding in autumn 2021 and received support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

There’s more…

French startup Rayon raises €4 million to develop its collaborative tools for architects – Read more at Tech.eu

Scottish startup Continuum Industries raises $10 million to develop AI-based energy infrastructure planning – Read more at Techfundingnews

Procore buys Seattle-based mapping startup Unearth – Read more at Geekwire

Swedish startup Ekolution raises €12.6 million with its low-carbon insulation solution – Read more at Silicon Canals

Israeli startup Qbiq raises $10 million in seed funding for its solution that creates floor plans and 3D virtual tours – Read more at Finsmes

Australian infrastructure modeling platform Neara raises €24 million for expansion in Europe and the US – Read more at Techfundingnews

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