German tech startup NeoCarbon raises €1.25 million to reverse climate change

German tech startup NeoCarbon raises €1.25 million to reverse climate change

Published: 30-09-2022 10:38:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 362 | Tags:

NeoCarbon, a Berlin-based tech startup which retrofits cooling towers to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, announced it has raised €1.25 million in a Pre-Seed round co-led by PropTech1 and Speedinvest, with further investment from their initial backer Antler. 

The funding round of the Direct Air Capture (DAC) startup also included several high-profile angel investors specialized in ClimateTech such as Founder of Planetly Anna Alex, Stefano Bernardi and Matthias Ernst. The new financing will enable the scaling of NeoCarbon’s technology from the lab to a full-scale commercial pilot by growing the engineering team.

René Haas, CEO, NeoCarbon: “Globally, humanity emits around 51 gigatons of greenhouse gasses per year. DAC is going to be an essential tool to offsetting emissions and preventing catastrophic global warming, but the technology is currently unprofitable and thus under-developed. NeoCarbon aims to tackle this problem. Our retrofitting approach aligns the incentives of industry with that of the environment, allowing for economical capture of CO2 at scale.”

NeoCarbon uses existing infrastructure in the form of cooling towers to perform Direct Air Capture. This enables NeoCarbon to dramatically reduce the cost and time associated with DAC, encouraging mass-market adoption. Millions of cooling towers exist around Europe, having been built to circulate massive amounts of air to remove heat from industrial plants and buildings. By efficiently retrofitting those towers, NeoCarbon removes the carbon dioxide from this processed ambient air.

Konstantinos Matsoukas, Investment Team Lead, PropTech1: "NeoCarbon is in an ideal position to make a meaningful contribution to keep climate change from irreversible levels by advancing the global goal of capturing 10 to 20 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2050. Out of many Direct Air Capture startups we have analyzed, we have invested in NeoCarbon in particular because of their retrofit approach that can drastically lower capital expenditure and operating expenses of DAC, along with speeding up deployment time. We believe NeoCarbon’s approach will enable a faster adoption of carbon removal technologies by the built world, which is the key to actually reduce the speed of climate change." 

There are currently only 19 DAC plants operating worldwide, with their cost per unit of CO2 removed being up to 10 times higher than the economically viable price. By retrofitting existing infrastructure, NeoCarbon substantially reduces the up-front expense and time investment to construct DAC. This can rapidly improve the mass-market adoption of DAC technology. This paves the way to several gigatons of CO2 being captured this way annually, a huge share of humanity’s long-term needs.

Namratha Kothapalli, Principal, Speedinvest: “Given the growing global crisis of an over-abundance of atmospheric CO2, we've been on the lookout for low-cost, low-energy carbon capture solutions that can make a real impact for a while now. We found it in NeoCarbon. We're beyond thrilled to support René, Silvain, and Andrew on their journey to build and scale DAC solutions that seamlessly piggyback on existing industrial airflow systems."

NeoCarbon was founded in January 2022 and has already developed a first prototype working in a controlled environment, with support from a growing network of industry partners, including Siemens Energy.