Earth Day: 10 emerging startups fighting climate change in Europe

By - 22 April 2020

Find out how rated startups are saving our planet

From waste management to clean energy, more and more startups are innovating to fight against climate change and protect our planet. And what better time to celebrate these Greentech startups than on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Based on our database of over 3000 rated startups and in partnership with Les Echos Start, we have drawn up a list of 10 highly rated startups from across Europe who address climate change through technology. These startups operate in 5 areas: energy efficiency, circular economy, green mobility, waste management and green energies.

Below you can discover the value proposition of these young companies and their key strengths, as identified via the Early Metrics rating process.

Energy efficiency

BEAD – Germany

BEAD sells IoT devices with multiple sensors that analyse real-time daily cycles of occupancy in buildings. The monitored variables include heat, pressure, CO2, humidity, light and PIR. The system is then connected to a platform which uses collected information to autonomously make decisions about how the building should be run, in order to optimize energy consumption.

Key Strength: “BEAD’s technology is patented thanks to its superior performance in cost reduction, where the AI component can run a building efficiently without any human intervention. In addition, they have their own cloud platform for data storage as well as embedded software that encrypts the data.”

Bettergy – Spain

Bettergy offers a big data analytics platform that allows people to manage energy more efficiently. The company uses AI to combine electric meter information and external data in order to provide meaningful insights and recommendations to improve energy savings.

Key strength: “There is a significantly strong level of innovation when it comes to their product offering. Most of the players in the market that are providing energy monitoring platforms do not provide actionable recommendations based on AI.”

Circular Economy

Susteen Technologies – Germany

Susteen Technologies is a spin-off from Fraunhofer research institution that uses patented thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR) technology to turn organic waste into bioenergy products. Susteen delivers decentralised processing plants for municipal waste management companies. The startup can process several tons of sewage sludge per day, which their technology converts into sustainable oil, gas and biochar.

Key Strength: “Susteen can process more inputs than competitors and have better quality outputs environmentally speaking. The patented TCR technology also leads to high impact as it is a more efficient way of treating sludge than traditional methods.”

Phenix – France

Founded in 2014, Phenix revalues the unsold goods of food professionals. The products that are nearing the expiry date are offered at a reduced price thanks to an app. These products can also be redirected to charities. As a third option, if the products have passed their expiry date, they are used for animal feed.

Key Strength: “Phenix stands out from the competition from a service-oriented point of view. The startup has been able to innovate through its business model with the implementation of a win-win model for both contributors and receivers.” Early Metrics adds: “It reduces the cost of waste and allows a 60% tax exemption for supermarkets.”

Green Mobility

Fuelsave – Portugal

Fuelsave offers a solution to optimize truck fleet fuel consumption. A module analyses vehicle data in real-time via the fleet management system (FMS), and a mobile app provides driver guidance to help reduce fuel consumption by an average of 20%.

Key Strength: “The market for digital transport solutions is growing rapidly and, while the competitive landscape is dense, there is no dominant player that stands out. Fuelsave is therefore well positioned to take a leading spot in this market segment.”

K-Ryole – France

Created in 2016, the startup has designed a self-propelled electric bicycle trailer. It allows users to transport up to 250kg on any bike, effortlessly. This solution makes the distribution of parcels or letters more environmentally friendly by increasing the use of the bicycle.

Key Strength: “The project represents a strong innovation in the stress sensors that allow the bike to be steered very precisely,” explains Early Metrics.  “Moreover, the trailer reacts to the movements of the bicycle very fast, in a way that is imperceptible to the rider, regardless of its speed and load. »

Waste Management

Deedster – Sweden

Deedster is a digital platform that automatically presents your carbon footprint based on your consumption and lifestyle. The Swedish startup developed a platform for businesses and municipalities to educate people about climate change and reduce their footprint. The Deedster app connects banks, credit cards and grocery stores to give the user a picture of their current consumption. Thanks to the app, sustainable living becomes rewarding as users get both instant feedback on how they perform and receive tips on how they can improve their lifestyle.

Key Strength: “Compared to other platforms for sustainable consumption, Deedster differentiates itself by gamifying spending tracking in 5 areas: food, travel, transport, retail and housing. The startup is well positioned in the market as there is a growing willingness of the Swedish people to improve their carbon footprint but not yet a dominant app in this field.”

Hoali – France

Founded in 2016, Hoali created an app that facilitates the collection and sorting of individuals’ waste. The app sends alerts to users on the collection days and allows them to scan the barcodes of the products to learn the right way to sort their waste. The startup also informs users of all the places available in France to fill water bottles free of charge.

Key Strength: “While other companies are developing waste management applications, Hoali goes further thanks to a national coverage of urban areas, more engaging AR modules, and a service that ranges from sorting assistance to home waste management,” analyses Early Metrics.

Clean Energies

Vtree – Romania

VTree builds and sells VTree Fractal, a tree-shaped outdoor charging station for electronic devices and vehicles. Thanks to its solar panels, the tree only uses renewable energy, and also provides light and free wifi to those nearby. Combined with additional sensors, VTree Fractal can also monitor pollution levels, traffic flow and radiation.

Key Strength: “VTree is pioneering solar trees in both Romania and Portugal. The trees themselves are made with durable and high-quality metal. Moreover, the startup sells its product at less than a quarter of competitors – bringing interesting marketing innovation”.

Naked Energy – UK

Naked Energy designs solar thermal collectors that generate more energy and use less space than traditional generators – and at a lower cost. Naked Energy’s first product, Virtu PVT, is a patented hybrid solar panel that generates both electricity and heat for commercial and residential applications. The second, Virtu HOT, is a solar thermal collector for hot water.

Key Strength: “Naked Energy’s solar collectors bring tangible benefits in terms of efficiency, cost and space required for clean energy. The vacuum-and-PV product brings no new use cases but shows significantly advanced performance compared to the competition. Virtu PVT has 49% higher energy density and CO2 displacement at 60C than other PV world leaders, and Virtu HOT has 41% higher density at 70C than leading solar thermal companies.” 

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