The world is increasingly growing aware of the detrimental effects of fossil fuel and is actively seeking an alternative. According to the EEA, “The European energy system is undergoing rapid changes to set the EU economy on a low-carbon and resource-efficient path. Renewable energy is instrumental to this transformation. EU efforts to double the share of renewable energy in its consumption have paid off, having reduced significantly the amount of fossil fuels used and their associated greenhouse gas emissions.”
A number of European startups are also playing their part in helping the EU achieve a sustainable future; especially in the Netherlands. According to a report, the Netherlands is aiming for a rapid transition to a carbon-neutral economy to help its economic growth and energy security. The country has made notable progress on its transition to a carbon-neutral economy and has set targets to reduce them by 49% by 2030 and by 95% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels.
The Netherlands is relying mostly on fossil fuels and has a concentration of energy-and emission-intensive industries. However, the IEA has provided a range of energy policy recommendations to help the country smoothly manage the transition to an efficient and flexible carbon-neutral energy system.
Earlier this year, in January, the official launch of Invest-NL took place in Amsterdam in the presence of Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Eric Wiebes. Notably, the Invest-NL will provide funding to companies that deal with sustainability and innovation in the Netherlands.
Invest-NL is a private company financed with public funds. It will actively participate on the commercial market as an impact investor, with the mission of making the Netherlands more sustainable and more innovative.
With a share capital of €1.7B, this private company intends to focus particularly on electrification & energy, circularity, agrifood, and more. In terms of innovative scaleups, the focus will primarily be on industrial technologies.
Furthermore, a new report by TechLeap notes that there’s a great potential for sustainable Amsterdam-based energy startups, but the investments are nowhere near enough.
We have therefore made a list of the 12 energy startups based in the Netherlands that raised more than €1M in funding this year, as sourced from Dealroom.
Founder/s: Bram van de Leur, Huub Rothengatter, Kristof Vereenooghe (current CEO)
Founded year: 2010
Total funding: Approx €350M
EVBox provides smart and scalable charging infrastructure and charging management software to electric vehicles around the world. The company offers a portfolio of both hardware and enterprise software solutions and claims to have built the industry’s largest installed base of EV charging solutions, with more than 190,000 charge ports across 70 countries.
Recently, US-based TPG Pace Beneficial Finance Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, entered into a definitive agreement with ENGIE New Business S.A.S. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENGIE S.A., to acquire its subsidiary EV Charged B.V. – which operates as EVBox – for a combination of cash and equity.
Following the transaction, EVBox expects to have more than $425M (approx €350M) in cash on hand, including a portion of the proceeds of TPG Pace’s Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) of $225M (approx €185.2M), raised from investors including Wellington Management, funds managed by BlackRock Inc. and Neuberger Berman, as well as Inclusive Capital Partners.
Founder/s: Jordi de Vos, Mesbah Sabur
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: €1.5M
Circularise helps plastic manufacturers, brands, and OEMs to trace raw materials from source, into parts, and ultimately to end products. The company uses blockchain and other emerging technologies to enable companies to share data about their products while retaining privacy over sensitive information.
The company aims at sustainability and believes that adopting the circular economy will prevent wastage of raw materials involved in making a product. It disrupts the long-held linear systems and reduces the harmful effects on the environment. Circularise develops an open-source protocol and dencentralised network to integrate transparency into global supply chains and migrate towards a circular economy.
Earlier in September 2020, the company announced that it has raised €1.5M from the EU Commission’s H2020’s SME Instrument Phase 2, to fuel its continued growth of the collaborative project for circularity in the plastics industry.
Founder/s: Arjo van der Ham, Koen van Ham, Lex Hoefsloot, Martijn Lammers, Qurein Biewenga
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: €45.3M
Lightyear is on a mission to make clean mobility available to everyone, everywhere. The company develops electric cars with an energy-efficient design and integrated solar cells. This allows motorists, depending on the climate, to drive up to 20,000 Kms/year on the power of the sun.
Currently, the company employs more than 120 employees. The team is made up out of a mix of young talent and experience from the automotive industry, including former employees of Tesla, Audi, and Ferrari.
In September, Lightyear had raised €5.3M in a convertible note according to Dealroom. And, previously in July, it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sioux Technologies and BOM Brabant Ventures.
Prior to that in January, Lightyear had received the Horizon 2020 grant of €2.5M from the European Commission. In the summer of 2019, Lightyear launched its first driving prototype, Lightyear One, and opened a new office. The first model is expected to be delivered in 2021 in an exclusive series of 946 pieces.
Founder/s: Hendrik Broering, Stine Carlé, Svet Bajlekov
Founded year: August 2018
Total funding: €1.15M
AMMP Technologies is the provider of digital solutions for energy service companies in emerging markets. The AMMP SaaS platform is a vendor-agnostic solution for remote monitoring and management of portfolios of renewable/hybrid energy systems. It enables data-driven operational excellence, leading to higher system uptimes and significant OPEX savings.
Since its inception, the company’s operational base has grown to nearly 1,000 systems worldwide. Prior to AMMP, the founding team worked together at E.ON Off-Grid Solutions to successfully deploy and operate mini-grids across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In September this year, the company had raised €1.15M led by Point Nine Capital. In addition, Africa-focused Raba Partnership and Musha Ventures also participated in the funding round. The capital was to be used for expanding the company’s customer base and in the further development of its solutions.
Founder/s: Hervé Huisman, Robert Vrancken, Freek Smelt
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: €1.9M
Gradyent is an AI-enabled cloud platform that helps district heating companies participate in the sustainability transition. It does so by improving the management and efficiency of district heating networks without compromising stability and reliability.
Gradyent uses digital twin technology (a replica of real-world objects) built by a unique combination of hydro- and thermodynamic modelling combined with AI. Its AI cloud platform not only provides insight into heating networks but also determines how to optimise them and improve overall efficiency. The solution leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
The company’s vision is that breakthrough energy savings can be achieved by its advanced design, modelling, and control techniques, which are now rapidly driving impact at a growing number of networks.
In mid-July, the company had raised €1.9M from Helen Ventures, Capricorn Partners, and energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ. Together with existing investor henQ, the investors agreed to support Gradyent with expertise and access to their international networks throughout Europe.
Founder/s: Eline Stiphout, Jan Kolijn
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: €3.1M
Tusti is a high-tech recycling company founded by the cooperation of the Technical University of Eindhoven, Holding and Stiphout (Stiphout Industries, Stip Recycling and Stiphout Plastics). The company has developed a cleaning process to remove frying oil from high-density polyethylene, a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum, making it easier to recycle.
Earlier this year, in July, the European Innovation Council awarded over €307M to 64 game-changing ‘green deal’ startups and SMEs contributing to the objectives of the European Green Deal Strategy and the Recovery Plan for Europe. Tusti was one among those 64 startups that were awarded the grant.
Founder/s: Richard Hardiman
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: €1.6M
RanMarine Technology specialises in the design and development of industrial autonomous surface vessels (ASV’s) for ports, harbours, and other marine and water environments. The company specialises in remote-controlled and autonomous drones. It came up WasteShark, a drone to swim through water, gather data about the marine environment, and extract unwanted material. It is a drone that is efficient, non-threatening, unobtrusive, and long-lasting. This drone will eat plastics and litter, chemicals in the water, and extract pest and alien vegetation.
In May this year, the company raised an undisclosed amount from European investment firm Boundary Holding. RanMarine Technology was also among the 64 ‘green deal’ startups that were awarded grants from the European Innovation Council.
RanMarine currently serves clients across industries in the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, EU, and UAE as well as various NGO’s such as the WWF, amongst others.
Founder/s: Michiel Mensink, Jan Jaap van Os
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: €5M
Exasun accelerates sustainability through innovations that lower the costs of solar power, through the use of local production and suppliers, and through better aesthetics. It produces glass-glass solar panels with high efficiency and long life, on its own production line in The Hague. The company has developed its advanced production line in recent years in cooperation with suppliers, knowledge institutions, and renowned Dutch machine builders. In addition, the company also produces modules with special dimensions for building-integrated applications.
In March 2020, Exasun raised €5M in a fresh round of funding to be able to shape the next upscaling phase. Despite the corona crisis, investors and management are confident that the company will be able to take successful steps in the market in the short term. The raised capital was deployed to help Exasun to strengthen the organisation, further automate and optimise its production process, and increase its reputation and visibility in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
Founder/s: Michael van der Jagt, Michele Fiori
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: €1M
Parx Materials (formerly Parx Plastics) is involved in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of biocompatible plastics and antibacterial polymers. It claims that its technology does not feature synthetic chemicals, biocides, heavy metals or nanoparticles, is fully biocompatible, non-toxic, does not diffuse out of the material, and can be used with any type of plastic. Also claims to remove about 99% of bacteria and microorganisms pilling up on the surface within 24 hours.
The company had announced in February 2020, that it has raised €1M in a fresh round of funding from Lausha N.V., for expansion and scale-up.
This funding was to be used by Parx Materials to expand its team and make the required investments for the scaling up of the production of Saniconcentrate. The fund was also meant to enable Parx in the development and commercialising of its unique antimicrobial and antibiofilm technology.
Founder/s: Benno Schwarz, Kees van Alphen
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: €1M
Hello Energy is a SaaS (software as a service) company that focuses on the international B2B real estate market. Large real estate companies and real estate investors use Hello Energy to meet their sustainability ambitions and obligations. The company collects and visualises energy and sustainability data in a fun, insightful way and activates tenants and users of buildings to actively participate in the energy transition.
Earlier this year, in February, the company raised €1M in its pre-series A round of funding led by Enfuro Ventures and supported by a number of investors from the Netherlands and the UK. This raised capital was deployed to enable Hello Energy to continue to grow exponentially with new and existing customers in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
The company’s clients include large, often international, innovative, and sustainable real estate players such as Prologis, NSI, citizenM hotels, Bouwinvest, and Avignon Capital. Besides, Hello Energy is already being used in more than 1,000 buildings in more than 10 countries, including the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, France, and Germany.
Founder/s: Marc Peters
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: €2.6M
Sunchip has developed a proprietary optimiser technology that offers a solution to inefficiencies of the series connection in solar panels. It has been integrated with a traditional roof tile to enhance viable residential photovoltaic locations, improves shading and soiling inefficiencies up to 15%, and provides an affordable off-grid solution for clean sustainable energy generation.
According to Dealroom, the company has raised a €2.6m from the European Innovation Council and Oost NL. East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NL) is a regional business development and investment agency that focuses its activities and projects on strengthening and stimulating the economy of the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, the Netherlands.
The company last raised €250k in seed funding from Oost NL, in June 2020, as per Dealroom.