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10 Green-tech Startups of the Decade

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Green-tech is an umbrella term used to describe the science and technology used in the development of environment-friendly and sustainable tech.

It is a young industry and has seen a renewed interest with the threat to the global environment due to climate change. Government agencies and the private sector are showing a commitment to changing the way the world uses and treats nature’s bounties.

The green tech industry is not an easy place to do business. Investors and entrepreneurs have the added burdens of being sustainable, profitable and beneficial to the people and the planet.

A 2018 United Nations report states that global investment in renewable energy and green processes was more than $200 billion in 2017, and the 21st century has seen more than $2.9 trillion in investments in solar and wind power industries.

In 2017, the developing countries outspent the developed with an investment of $177 billion. The green-tech market is pegged at more than $1 trillion.

Today, being environment-friendly and going green are just not fashionable terms or the mandated corporate social responsible requisition, but a serious commitment to make the earth a better place to live in.

Here is a list of the most successful green-tech startups in the last decade.

Tesla Inc.

A pioneer in electronic vehicles, Tesla has changed the way the world looks at electrical vehicles. In the last decade, it has become a brand synonymous with energy-saving. Tesla manufactures and sells high-performance, fully electric vehicles, as well as powertrain components. Tesla Inc has a subsidiary Solar City, manufacturing solar panels.

The company’s headquarters is in Palo Alto. It had a revenue of $21 billion in 2018. Its global sales were 720,000 units at the end of Q2 2019.

Orbital Systems 

It is a Swedish company that developed a shower system called OAS in collaboration with NASA to help save water during space missions. The company claims its product reduces water waste from showers by 90%. A typical shower uses 20 gallons of water but the OAS system uses just 2 gallons per shower with its reusable technology. The startup has raised $47 million to date.

The company was mentored by Skype’s founder Niklas Zennström.

Skeleton Technologies

It is Europe’s biggest developer and manufacturer of ultracapacitor cells and was declared Europe's best startup in 2015 at the EcoSummit. Their products solve power delivery and energy storage issues by providing reliable and long-life storage solutions across industries such as automotive to aerospace.

It is based out of Germany.

They use graphene-based tech and have patented nanoporous carbide-derived carbon or ‘curved graphene’. The startup has received 46.4 million Euros in six funding rounds.

Impossible Foods Inc

The company offers sustainable vegetarian products to environmentally aware and health-conscious people. They offer plant-based food substitutes for meat and cheese and have products that taste the same but are more healthy.

Impossible Food is based out of Redwood City in California and started operations in 2011.

They studied animal products at the micro-level and then researched to find the micronutrients in plants that give the same taste and health experience.

Its signature product is Impossible Burgers. The company also makes a plant-based sausage.

 The company has raised  a  a total of $387.5 million in seven rounds of funding till date.

Impossible Foods’ investors include Sailing Capital, Temasek Holdings, Bills Gates, Horizon Ventures, Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Viking Global.

Choose Energy

The startup was launched in 2008 and offers a choice of clean technology and services on its platform. The Texas-based startup offers its customers a simple and easy way to shop for viable electricity and natural gas rates, renewable energy options, and term plans to choose and compare.

The customers can choose 100 percent green products based on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Choose Energy has raised $25.7 million in a series of funding. It was acquired by Red Ventures in 2017.

Solarkiosk

It is a Berlin-based clean-tech energy startup providing solar-powered business hubs to companies based off the grid in developing countries.

It is a social enterprise helping rural communities across Africa and Asia.  It sustainable energy kiosks give access to refrigeration, water purifiers, communication technologies, etc.

As of October 2018, Solarkiosk annual revenue was $4.4 million.

Altered Nozzle

The Altered Nozzle is a Swedish company that has come up with an aerated faucet that reduces water usage by 98 percent without sacrificing functionality.

It is an aerator with force. The water through the faucet is atomized. It comes in two modes. The aeration mode and the more water-based mode where water particles are a little denser to fill up containers faster.

The founding team is headed by the innovator KIaj Mickos, and marketer John Nilhen.

The initial funding of the company was done through a Kickstarter campaign. With investors and crowdfunding, they raised $550,00 and now hope to raise more with around $1.6 million

They have partnered with IKEA to help them develop their own version of the ducal Nozzle faucet. They got a licensing fee from IKEA for the same.

Altered has sold over 60,000 nozzles all over the world.

Freight Farms

It is a Boston-based startup launched in 2011. They use shipping containers to build self-contained farms.

They use low energy lights and hydroponics to grow fresh products in an environment within n year.

Its product is called Leafy Green Machine and retails at $85,000.

The founders Jonathan Friedman and Brad MacNamara looked for initial funding at Kickstarter and have raised $12.2 million in six rounds of funding.

 Arctic Sand

Arctic Sand startup is the brainchild of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is a power-saving tech to conserve energy lost in the form of heat.

It offers patented technology licensed by MIT to improve power conservation through “Transformative Integrated Power Solutions”.

 Arctic Sand raised a total investment of $28.6 million in two funding rounds from six investors in October 2018.

Holganix

Holganix is into organic lawn care and sells environmentally friendly products aimed at preserving natural micro-organisms. It claims to reduce the use of fertilizers by almost 90 percent.

Holganix is a Philadelphia-based company and its “environmentally-friendly lawn care products contain natural microorganisms. The green startup raised $300,000 in seed funding in 2015 and in 2017, raised $3 million in a venture round. Total funding as of October 2018 was $4.9 million in six rounds.

Arctic Sand was founded in 2010 by Gary Davidson, who took over as CEO of the company in 2014. The company’s technology reduces the space occupied by power components by 50 percent. This also helps reduce the height of components while decreasing power loss and increasing run time.

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