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Key Startups and Investors Who Will Be Leading Poland’s Growing Climate Tech Scene

The Polish Climate Tech Scene
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For a country that tops the ranking of greenhouse gas emitters in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is also seeking to become a regional leader in the climate tech space. Necessity is, as they say, the mother of invention. 

According to the Net Zero Future50 report by PwC and Wolves Summit, the CEE climate tech investment space has followed an upward trend, at around 57% compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2020. In total, $1.7 billion was invested over the period in more than 170 startups. Poland was the fifth most active investment hub, with 5% of total startup funding, behind Estonia, Lithuania, and Croatia. 

Yet, as the sixth largest economy in Europe, Poland is expected to further increase its contribution to the climate tech scene in the future in the years to come. Just recently, the state-owned fund PFR Ventures announced investing €55M in four green investments, in a bid to finance the development of new climate technologies that can address the climate crisis. PFR Ventures has signed agreements to invest with European investors Contrarian Ventures and Eurazeo, global investor General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero fund, and local VC Montis Capital.

Today, we are looking at the local startups and investors we expect to be leading the Polish climate tech scene in the coming years.

 

Key local players

Polish startups

Bin-e Smart Waste Bin

Founder & CEO: Jakub Lubonski

Sector: Waste management

Solution: The company created a smart waste bin, designed for public places, that uses AI to  recognize, sort, and compress waste automatically, controlling the fill level and processing data for convenient waste management.

Funding: They raised a Series A Funding of $272K.

 

Deeplai

Founders: Swapan Chaudhuri, Andrzej Saja

Sector: Emissions Data, Monitoring, Management and Reporting

Solution: The company’s cloud enterprise software solution uses AI, and computer vision to track forestry product provenance from logging to the final wooden product, deliver data for certification, monitor carbon footprint and offer carbon credit management.

 

DynamicAirCooling (DAC)

Founders:  Oleksandr Razumtsev, Olha Razumtseva, Pavel Panasjuk

Sector: Energy savings

Solution: The company developed a system that uses ordinary air for cooling instead of traditionally used hydrofluorocarbons, thus avoiding hazardous methods and reducing energy use and emissions. 

Read more:  20 Exited Founders and What They’re Doing Now

Funding: So far, the company raised a seed round of €250K. In 2022, the team won the Huawei Startup Challenge, with a monetary prize of €21K.

 

EcoBean

CEO: Marcin Koziorowski  

Sector: Food waste technology

Solution: EcoBean developed a solution for upcycling coffee waste into new raw materials and products. They work with HoReCa and offices alike.

Funding: The company received a ~$90K grant.

 

Four Point

Co-founder & CEO: Marek Wilgucki

Sector: Industrial machinery manufacturing

Solution: The company aims to reduce the environmental impact of opencast mines by re-imagining how the extraction process takes place, including by: improving surveillance of the opencast mines, creating a solution for autonomous extraction, and moving the extraction process into space. By 2023, they plan to have their first operational prototype of an autonomous vehicle powered by hydrogen, to be used on Earth and in space.

Funding: The company is implementing projects financed by European Funds EcoSat and MineCam. They also collaborate with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Astroport Space Technologies to use its Autonomous Transport Platform technology.

 

Intelligent Hives

CEO & Founder: Sebastian Gorecki

Sector: Precision agriculture and robotics

Solution: The company developed an apiary management solution that can automatically detect dangerous situations, anomalies, and the change of environmental factors in bee hives. With it, beekeepers can inspect hives remotely, detect diseases, schedule tasks, extract honey, and keep bee health records.

 

Nanoseen

Founders: Bartosz Kruszka, Mikolaj Granuszewski

Sector: Food waste technology

Solution: The company created NanoseenX, a solution for water desalination and purification. The product uses nanotechnology to turn saltwater or sewage into clean drinking water within 2 minutes.

Funding: So far, they raised $450K. In 2022, they won the Polish Product of the Future in a competition organized by PARP. 

 

No Spoilers

Founders: Michal Kowalkowski, Luke Bartosz Firmowski

Sector: Food waste technology

Solution: The company offers smart inventory software that helps restaurant owners take control of their inventory, reduce waste, improve efficiency and make data-driven business decisions. 

Funding: So far, they raised $260K in funding.

 

Plan Be Eco

Founders: Aga Maciejowska, Justyna Wysocka-Golec

Read more:  You always have to learn something new: A day in the life of a sustainability professional in tech

Sector: Supply chain, carbon emissions reduction

Solution: The company’s software calculates scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions across the whole supply chain and creates automatic carbon footprint reports following GHG Protocol and compliant with industry standards.

Funding: The company raised an undisclosed seed round.

 

Power Cob

Founders: Krzysztof Kondratowicz, Slawomir Kasper

Sector: Food waste technology, renewable energy

Solution: The company offers an innovative system that extracts and processes agricultural production residues, namely corn cob cores, to produce renewable energy.

Funding: The company raised an early stage VC round.

 

Saule Technologies

Founders: Artur Kupczunas, Olga Malinkiewicz, and Piotr Krych

Sector: Renewable energy

Solution: The nanotechnology company has pioneered the development of  lightweight, thin solar cells based on perovskite materials. They introduced the first real-life application of perovskite solar cells, a mobile phone charger operating with artificial light. 

Funding: In 2020, Columbus Energy, a leading provider of services in the Polish energy market, invested €10M in the company for 20% equity.

 

SEEDia

Founders: Artur Racicki and Piotr Hołubowicz.

Sector: Energy efficiency, renewable energy

Solution: The company is building a smart system of energy independent solar-powered products, including smart benches, solar bins, solar displays, and solar bus stops.  These are working off-grid, and are equipped with charging stations, smart hotspots, and sensors.

Funding: They raised a $265K seed funding from bValue Venture Capital.

 

SmokeD 

Founder & CEO: Arthur Matuszczak

Sector: Natural disaster management

Solution: The company produces wildfire detectors that support forest inspectors, regional crisis management centers, and other places at risk of fire to quickly respond to emerging threats. They use advanced technology, consisting of specialized drones, cameras, sensor networks, AI, and applications.

Funding: So far, they raised $3.7 million in funding.

 

VivaDrive

Founder & CEO: Dr Mateusz Maj

Sector: Smart mobility

Solution:The company offers an AI-powered platform that helps companies reduce car fleet operational costs, introduce electrical vehicles to their fleets, and manage fleets and drivers effectively.

Funding: So far, they raised $240K in pre-seed funding.

 

Local investors supporting sustainability startups

Accelero Ventures 

Managing Partners: Marcin Matysik

Read more:  Impact Investing in CEE: How to Get on Investors’ Radar

Industries & Solutions: CleanTech, BioTech, FMCG, IT innovations – Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and machine learning

Investment stage: pre-seed, seed, and series A

Ticket size: up to €850K in minority stakes

 

Arkley Brinc VC

Managing Partners: Piotr Wasowski, Bryony Cooper

Industries & Solutions: AgriTech, MedTech, Food/BioTech, Industrial Tech, Energy/Clean Tech, Robotics, IoT and Hardware

Investment stage: early-stage

Ticket size: up to $1M 

 

bValue Fund

Founder & Managing Partner: Maciej Balsewicz

Industries & Solutions: predominantly work with companies in B2B software, energy transformation, e-commerce, FMCG

Investment stage: two directions – seed and growth

Ticket size: €100K to 1M for the seed fund; €5 to 15M  for the growth equity fund

 

EEC Ventures

Partners: Rafal Malecki, Voytek Siewierski, Konrad Sitnik, Michal Lasocki

Industries & Solutions: circular economy and cleantech, advanced materials, process efficiency, energy sector, smart utilities/ infrastructure, AI/ Big data, ICT & cybersecurity

Investment stage: seed, start-up, expansion

Ticket size: €212K to 6.4M 

 

Montis Capital

Partners: Lukasz Dziekonski, Wojtek Szwankowski, Tomasz Poninski

Industries & Solutions: industry 4.0 – robotics AI, IoT, deep tech; life science – biotechnology, food processing, environmental and biomedical devices

Investment stage: Series A and above

Ticket size: €15M to €5M 

 

OTB Ventures

Co-founders: Adam Niewinski, Marcin Hejka, Gregory Jankilevitsch

Industries & Solutions: 4 deep tech verticals: spacetech, AI & automation, fintech, cybersecurity

Investment stage: early growth, post-product

 

Ragnarson 

Note: Unlike the rest of the investors in the list which are VCs, Ragnarson is a software agency and angel investor that invests and co-creates products with impact-driven startups.

CEO: Maciej Gałkiewicz

Industries & Solutions: solutions tackling climate issues and socio-economic inequalities

Investment stage: early-stage

 

RST Ventures For Earth

Managing Partners: Tomek Popów, Bartłomiej Dąbkowski

Industries & Solutions: Industry 4.0, IoT, renewable energy, advanced materials, smart solutions for a clean environmental, AI and ML

Investment stage: seed and early-stage 

Ticket size: €212K to 850K

 

Simpact VC

Managing Partners: Krzysztof Grochowski, Jacek Ostrowski, Wojciech Majewski

Industries & Solutions: impact-focused startups

Investment stage: pre-seed, but focus mostly on seed

Ticket size: average investment ticket is €1M, which we can extend as follow-ons to €2M

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https://therecursive.com/author/antoanelaionita/

Antoanela is a Sustainability Communications Specialist and Deputy Editor at The Recursive media. From these roles, she is helping organizations communicate their latest sustainability goals, strategies, and technologies. She writes about climate tech, ESG, impact investment, sustainability regulation, and related topics.