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Katapult’s latest climate fund makes new investments

Published: 16 October 2023

The fund has invested in 11 companies operating across the energy, mobility, the built environment and technology enabling sectors. They will all join the Katapult accelerator programme.

UK-based plant-based pigmentation company Sparxell is one of 11 early-stage companies to be backed by the Katapult Climate Fund 3 | Sparxell

Norwegian impact investor Katapult, which last week announced multiple investments in the Katapult Ocean Deep Blue Fund, has also announced it has invested in 11 climate tech companies through the Katapult Climate Fund 3.

The €2m fund is a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which means that all the capital has been raised and will be invested simultaneously across all 11 investments, with each company receiving €200,00 on average.

The fund has received backing from a range of investors including family offices, high net worth individuals, corporate investors and Katapult itself, and includes existing investors from funds 1 and 2.

All 11 companies are early-stage investments operating across the fund’s focus areas of energy, mobility, the built environment and enabling technologies, a term the fund’s managers use to describe technologies that enable other industries to reduce their climate impact either directly or indirectly.

Speaking to Impact Investor, Jørn Haanæs, partner and investment director at Katapult, explained that all three funds targeted climate startups at both pre-seed and seed stage.

“We do this with the intent to find venture scale startups addressing climate challenges across our investment domains,” he said. “We believe climate action is the most urgent challenge of our time. That also makes it the most profitable one to solve. Impact and returns go hand-in-hand when you’re doing what matters most.”

Haanæs said that the team had vetted 1550 companies in total this year, before choosing the 11 investments, and highlighted the importance of the founder team in the selection process.

“I do not know any investor that does not put the team as the number one factor,” he said. “We seek exceptional teams with some early commercial traction, who are building impactful climate solutions. That’s a big ask but we are on a big mission.”

Like the ocean investments, the 11 climate tech companies will join Katapult’s accelerator programme, which aims to help startups define their impact strategy, fundraising strategy and growth plans. 

Plant-based pigmentation

One of the 11 investments in Fund 3 is pigmentation company Sparxell, based in Cambridge in the UK. Launched in 2021, Sparxell has developed pigments made of plant-based cellulose for a range of industries, including the cosmetics and personal care industry, the food and beverage industry and the arts and crafts sector, among others.

Haanæs said that his team had not started the year planning to invest in pigmentation, but having studied the industry they quickly understood that it offered a huge decarbonisation opportunity.

“When we started looking for investments for Fund 3, we expected to find companies in the typical climate areas of mobility, the built environment or the energy sector but one of our scouts came across Sparxell and we came to realise just how big the market for pigmentation is and how large the potential impact on the climate,” said Haanæs. “The cosmetics industry alone needs to overhaul its environmental credentials and naturally derived pigmentation not only addresses its CO2 footprint but also the chemical pollution the industry is notorious for.”

The other investments in the fund include online marketplace for surplus food Cirkula, food tech company Adamo Foods, electric vehicle smart charging software company Gridio, synthetic biology and AI startup Herlab, green nanomaterials company Metalchemy, manufacturer and supplier of pre-assembled PV-units for solar installations on green and flat roofs Over Easy, composite recycling company Phoenix Carbon, biochar company Planboo, online solar marketplace Solfium, and The Tyre Collective, a company which has developed a catalytic converter for tyre wear, leveraging electrostatic technology.   

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