Recent Deals – 16 May

Recent Deals – 16 May

Source Node: 2096168

Recycling batteries into energy storage systems; farming robotics; AI-based vehicle inspection systems – Recent deals worth looking at:


Agriculture & Food

EcoRobotix (2011) is an autonomous machinery company for the agricultural sector, offering sensors and robotics for weeding, inter cropping and spraying processes. Its AI-powered system has changed the game with its plant-by-plant recognition, precision analytics, and smart maintenance systems.

EcoRobotix recently raised $52M in growth equity funding from AQTON, Cibus Capital, Swisscanto Invest, Yara Growth Ventures, Flexstone Partners, Swisscom Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, Verve Ventures, 4FOX Ventures, and Swiss Technology Fund. The $52M capital raise included $48.3M of new equity and $3.4M of new financing facilities thanks to the FOEN Swiss Technology Fund.

This fresh capital will enable EcoRobotix to grow into new markets, expand its product range, and build on the existing commercial success of ARA in Europe.

Energy & Power

VoltFang (2020) integrates used electric vehicle batteries, which have reached the end of their life cycle, into stationary storage systems that can be used to store renewable energies. The idea is to give batteries a second life by turning them into energy storage technologies designed for EVs and SMEs more broadly.

The company has recently secured $5.4M in Series B funding from PropTech1 Ventures, Aurum Ventures, Helen Ventures, AENU, and Eviny Ventures.

This round of financing will go towards scaling its production on the back of its previously successful pilot projects in Germany. Voltfang aims to bridge the gap between the growing energy transition and current grids, the idea being that current grids are not designed with electric mobility, heat pumps and renewable energies in mind, all of which require short-term and cost-effective intermediate storage solutions. The ability to recycle batteries into storage systems allows Voltfang to quickly amortise batteries and deploy these systems offering measurable CO2 reduction, high power, and long-term storage guarantees.

Materials & Chemicals

Elephantech (2014) is greening the electric industry with its metal inkjet-based flex PCB manufacturing system which is applicable to various electronic components. Conventional PCB manufacturing is a high-emission and wasteful process involving a copper etching process. Instead, Elephantech’s Pure Additive™️ method prints copper ink wherever necessary, reducing copper consumption by 70%, water consumption by 95%, and carbon emissions by 75% — and get this, all while remaining cost competitive. The technology uses silver nano ink to form an electroless copper plating through inkjet printers, allowing single-sided flexible boards and other flexible substrates to be manufactured for the electronics industry.

The company raised $6.6M in a combined Series D and debt funding round led by Mitsubishi Electric and Global Brain Capital, which will go towards furthering its business and R&D plans. Further, Mitsubishi has noted that it plans to work with Elephantech to scale and promote its metal inkjet printing technology and further explore the eco-manufacturing space.

Resources & Environment

EcoSpirits (2019) has created a low carbon and closed-loop premium spirits distribution system for bars and restaurants to eliminate single-use glass waste. Its technology has reached 25 countries worldwide in more than 1,500 bars, restaurants, and hotels.

EcoSpirits has raised a total $10M in Series A funding from Closed Loop Partners, Pavilion Capital, Proterra Asia, Pernod Ricard, Convivialite Ventures, and Wavemaker Partners.

This oversubscribed funding round will go towards scaling up its hardware and software, to further push its R&D program, and expand its overall presence in key markets including growing its regional customer base in Miami, London, Shanghai and Singapore. EcoSpirits sits in an uncrowded niche within the B2B circularity sphere, advancing where many circularity businesses fail by prioritising convenience and ease of usage through its refillable containers. If circularity is offered as the most convenient option, it has the potential to be an inevitable no-brainer.

Transportation & Logistics

UVEye (2016) has designed a drive-through system fusing machine learning, AI, and sensor-fusion technologies to monitor and detect vehicle anomalies within seconds. Electronic and autonomous vehicles are key aspects of the energy transition with complex systems, and as such, operators of these fleets need to perform regular predictive maintenance to avoid missing external or mechanical anomalies. UVEye’s goal is to standardise how industry defects and mechanical issues are tracked in the automobile industry through its three unique, high-speed, and low-cost inspection systems.

The company has raised $100M in its recent Series D round from Hanaco Venture Capital, GM Ventures, CarMax, W.R. Berkley Corporation, and FIT Ventures.

The funding will allow UVEye to build upon its 5,000 commercial agreements with car dealerships and manufacturers across the U.S., and initiate production of its inspection systems in North America, while further scaling up its expansion efforts into international markets.

Enabling Technologies

Enercomp Solutions (2013) offers drone-based data analytics which leverages AI for decision-making support across private and government sectors in industries including agriculture, energy and specifically solar PV plants, forestry, smart city project modelling, utilities, building integration, road infrastructure and land mapping.

Enercomp has secured $325,000 in seed funding from ah! Ventures, Soonicorn Ventures, and BestVantage Investments to continue developing its drone technology and to push its manufacturing footprint further into current markets. Drone technology and AI-based data insights are transforming energy, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors by allowing optimised decision-making and filling in previous blind-spots.

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