Amsterdam’s Rockstart co-leads €4.9M investment in its portfolio startup Helio: Know more

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Zürich-based Helio, a company that optimises cloud workloads like 3d-rendering for fewer emissions, better price, and larger scale, announced on Thursday that it has secured €4.9M in an equity and debt round of funding.

Investors in this round

The round was led by Amsterdam’s early-stage VC and accelerator Rockstart alongside QBIT Capital. Uebermorgen Ventures, seed+speed, Combination VC, ROI Ventures, Swisspreneur, and Cloud Angel Investors also supported this fundraiser.

The debt financing was provided by Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZBK) and secured by the Swiss Technology Fund instrument.

Helio is a Rockstart Energy portfolio company. Launched in 2020, the Rockstart Energy fund is Rockstart’s second fund which has backed over 35 startups to date. The Rockstart Energy portfolio companies have collectively raised more than €75M in total so far.

Brief about Helio

“Energy consumption of data centres has become one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions,” says Max ter Horst, Managing Partner Energy at Rockstart. “Many of these emissions come from idle cloud computing capacity, as servers still consume significant amounts of energy when they are on standby.”

“Helio helps to reduce such idle time and save costs by smart workload scheduling and aggregating. We are excited to be part of this funding round, which will support Helio to scale its business and enter new market segments,” adds Ter Horst.

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Founded in 2018 by Kevin Häfeli and Christoph Buchli, Helio is dedicated to transforming cloud computing by tackling its environmental and efficiency challenges. 

The company operates a compute delivery network, enabling the utilisation of idle computing capacity in data centres for resource-intensive applications like rendering, artificial intelligence, and research.

Capital utilisation

Helio says it will use the funds to expand its market presence in 3D rendering and AI technologies, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable and affordable cloud computing solutions. 

By capitalising on these trends, Helio aims to provide innovative services to industries such as entertainment, gaming, architecture, and artificial intelligence research.

The funds will fuel advancements in key areas, including optimising carbon-conscious workload scheduling, expanding their network of eco-friendly data centres, enriching the cloud spot market, and enhancing 3D rendering capabilities for the VFX industry. 

Helio uses a real-time algorithm that redirects computing tasks to underutilised or renewable energy-powered data centres, addressing the industry’s challenges of low efficiency (currently under 20 per cent) and high environmental impact. 

This approach is vital, says Helio, as the sector is projected to consume 6 per cent of the world’s electricity by 2030. 

Helio’s mission includes a bold target: reducing CO2 emissions by 200Mt by 2030, underlining their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Häfeli says, “This funding is a watershed moment for Helio, not just in securing financial support, but also in aligning with partners who share our vision for a carbon-aware cloud.”

“As we accelerate our mission to transform the cloud computing industry into a model of efficiency and sustainability, this capital enables us to reduce both cloud spending and emissions for our customers.”

“We are particularly excited to unlock new types of data centres as we make strides in key areas like 3D rendering and AI. The future of cloud computing is here, and it’s more sustainable and efficient than ever,” adds Häfeli.

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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