The future stars within climate and environmentally smart solutions – From battery powered air taxis to fusion energy

One of the most interesting features of investing is the opportunity to meet companies that offer new, potentially disruptive, and revolutionizing solutions, that aim to solve existing problems. During the past week I had the chance to meet several such companies. I attended the JP Morgan Clean Tech Stars conference in London, where private companies offering solutions to problems related to the environment and climate met investors. These were no start-ups, rather private and often well-funded companies that in some cases were standing at the brink of going commercial, and in a few cases even about to ramp up production at scale. In some cases, the technology is extremely complex and the road to market fairly long, consequently revenues can only be expected at the beginning of the next decade. Nevertheless, it is of course crucial that these companies have access to capital in order for the innovations and technologies to actually be available to us and have a real impact. Although Fondita’s funds focus is on listed companies it was extremely informative and valuable to get some insight as to what kind of innovative technologies, products and solutions are out there. We continuously scout upcoming subtrends in the structurally growing megatrends that we find important and look for companies well positioned in them. I certainly hope that we will see some of these exciting companies going public at some point in time.

Listed below are some of the companies I found exceptionally interesting and wanted to highlight:

Kayrros – Kayrros provides environmental intelligence and earth observation resulting in accurate and detailed data to governments and financial institutions. The data is based on satellite images analyzed using AI. This data is extremely useful when monitoring effects of climate change and weather related events, as well as accurately detecting actual geographical changes in greenhouse gases and ecosystems. Kayrros provides an important tool to detect any deviations between actual and reported climate- and environmental-data.

ZeroAvia – ZeroAvia is focused on zero-emission aviation and is developing hydrogen-electric engines. Green hydrogen combined with green electricity would naturally result in zero-emission flights. Several test flights have been undertaken successfully, but the challenge now is getting all certificates by the relevant authorities before going commercial.

Descartes Underwriting – Descartes offers insurance solutions against the effects of climate related risks. Descartes models and prices potential incidents based on historical data, satellite images, radars and physical parameters. It is likely that this type of insurance will be in demand as climate related extreme events seem to clearly increase.

Newcleo – Newcleo intends to design, build and operate generation for modular lead-cooled fast nuclear reactors. They also intend to manufacture nuclear fuel from nuclear waste, which would lead to circular and cost-efficient nuclear power. Regardless of all the renewable energy and storage being built, there will still be a need for a solid base load energy source. The company´s management have a long and credible track-record within the nuclear power industry. The permitting and building of these reactors are naturally very long processes but we could see them in operation in the beginning of the next decade.

Umiami – Umiami has developed a unique process that replicates the texture, taste and aroma of vegan meat or fish substitutes. The key is that this is achieved using only natural ingredients rather than a mix of chemicals. Umiami are in the process of going commercial with a plant-based chicken breast and developing plant-based fish and meat based on the same process. The problem with some plant based “meat” products is the fact that aroma and texture is only acquired using some chemicals that are not necessarily healthy.

Infinite Roots – This is a biotech company addressing the global food challenge by transforming mushroom mycelium into a range of products that are alternatives to animal- or plant-based food options. The key is the fast harvesting of the mycelial biomass which results in a much smaller carbon footprint than animal- or plant-based food.

Volocopter – Volocopter is developing battery-powered manned air taxis serving the urban passenger market, i.e. replacing traditional taxis to some extent. The company intends to produce the air taxis as well as the software that is needed to operate them, both back-end and front-end. The company expects the first air taxis to be in service already in 2024.

Present were also some very interesting companies presenting innovative solutions within energy storage, energy efficiency, energy balancing & optimization, carbon capture solutions, waste recycling, green steel production, carbon credit solutions, fusion energy, and various innovations to make the food industry more sustainable. All in all, an excellent well-organized event with fantastic companies as well as interesting panel-discussions.

Marcus Björkstén
Portfolio Manager

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