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Vote for the Cleantech Startup of the Year

Cleantech startup of the year

Sustainability has escalated on most political and business agendas this year, especially following the red warning code from IPCC. With it, cleantech startup valuations are also going through the roof, indicating an increased trust in the ability of young entrepreneurs to provide solutions for the future clean economy.

The Recursive wants to shine light on the thoughtful eco-entrepreneurs from Southeast Europe.

You have until December 22nd, 2022 to vote for your favorite cleantech startup from the list below. Exciting prizes will be awarded to the winner:

  • 1-year free access to all premium functionalities of The Recursive’s Growth Club  (worth 220+ euro);
  • 1 Architect of Change T-shirt for each founding member.

Startups were selected based on the following criteria:

  • They are founded and based in the SEE;
  • They address one or multiple environmental challenges with their business model;
  • They have achieved a significant milestone in 2021 – funding round, regional or global expansion, user growth, product development, or growth in revenue.

 

Is the company you deem worthy of the title missing from the list? Nominate it by December 14 and we will add it to the list if it fits the criteria.

Which are the cleantech startups from Southeast Europe?

EcoTree

Founded: 2019

Based in: Romania

SDGs addressed: 11 – Sustainable cities and communities; 12 – Responsible consumption and production

The solution: A digital platform that gathers and connects waste stakeholders to simplify the waste management process.

Milestones in 2021: $500k funding round led by Sparking Capital; 60+ waste producer representatives and 40+ waste collection companies registered.

Nasekomo

Founded: 2017

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 2 – Zero hunger; 12 – Responsible consumption and production; 14 – Life below water

The solution: Insect products with low environmental impact for animal farming feed, food for pets, and agricultural fertilizer.

Milestones in 2021: In July, they received a grant from Innovation Norway to scale the production of insect-based proteins. The overall budget is about €722K, of which the company invests 65%. The project aims to save 147K tonnes of wild fish from the aquafeed industry, and prevent 105K tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Read more:  Is Romania’s cleantech market finally starting to shape up?

Cupffee

Founded: 2014

Based in: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 12 – Responsible consumption and production

The solution: Biodegradable, plant-based alternatives to the traditional coffee cup.

Milestones in 2021: With help from angel investors, they made investments in production in 2021, in order to reach full automation. They recently opened a new manufacturing plant in the Trakia Economic Zone (TEZ) of Plovdiv.

Ampeco 

Founded: 2018

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 7 – Affordable and clean energy; 9 – Industry, innovation, and infrastructure; 11- Sustainable cities and communities; 12 – Responsible consumption and production

The solution: A white label software solution for EV charging and energy management to businesses in the industry.

Milestones in 2021: In 2021, they added 40 team members (300% headcount growth), doubled the clients base, and entered the US market with several deals signed. Ampeco currently has 30,000+ chargers in operation.

Strawberry Energy

Founded: 2011

Based in: Belgrade, Serbia

SDGs addressed: 7 – Affordable and clean energy; 9 – Industry, innovation, and infrastructure; 11- Sustainable cities and communities; 12 – Responsible consumption and production

The solution: Solar-powered street furniture that provides charging for mobile devices, WiFi, air quality monitoring, and local information in different types of public areas

Milestones in 2021: Present in 50+ cities and 23 countries around the world,  in 2021, they kept expanding, most recently installing smart benches in 3 Danish cities.

Develiot

Founded: 2019

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 6 – Clean water and sanitation, 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, 12 – Sustainable consumption and production

The solution: Empowering data-driven decisions through IoT to pinpoint investments with the highest return in the areas of water management and air quality.

Milestones in 2021: They expanded to new cities, new geographies, including Pakistan. In 2021, IDC selected Develiot as one of the most promising technological startups in Europe addressing climate change.

Read more:  Proptech and COVID-19: Virtual Tours, Home Office and the Industry in SEE

Pollenity

Founded: 2015 (initially named Bee Smart Technologies)

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 2 – Zero hunger, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 13 – Climate action, 15 – Life on land

The solution: IoT solutions for beekeepers such as the Beebot hive monitoring devices, and e-commerce platforms that facilitate connections between beekeepers and consumers.

Milestones in 2021: After growing 100% during 2020, they raised €310K from existing shareholders. They want to open to other investors with an initial public offering of BEAM. The company now has 2,500 beehives and 60 corporate clients. They are planning to launch 4 new products this month.

Augmenta

Founded: 2016

Based in: Paris, France, and Athens, Greece

SDGs addressed: 2 – Zero hunger, 8 – Decent work and economic growth, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 13 – Climate action

The solution: Technology solutions based on edge computing, multispectral computer vision, and AI, which aim to help farmers automate tasks, such as fertilizer application.

Milestones in 2021: After a seed round of $2.5M in 2019, they raised $8M in 2021 to bring sustainable precision automation to all farmers. 

Perceptual Robotics

Founded: 2016

Based in: Athens, Greece, and Bristol, UK

SDGs addressed:  7 – Affordable and clean energy; 9 – Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

The solution: They use drones, machine learning algorithms, and advanced robotics to deliver fully autonomous inspections of large-scale infrastructure.

Milestones in 2021: The company raised €1.87M in September, in a round led by cleantech VC TSP Ventures and joined by the previous investor, Athens-based Metavallon.

Biomyc

Founded: 2018

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

SDGs addressed: 12 – Responsible consumption and production

The solution: An eco-design company that specializes in innovative materials and sustainable product design. 

Milestones in 2021: They recently partnered with Grown.bio in the Netherlands to bring Mushroom® Packaging to Central and Eastern Europe. Also, the sustainable assembly protector part they designed together with the Mercedes-Benz Group Research Team is now used in Sindelfingen production of the S-Class and the new EQS.

Read more:  The stories of which Bulgarian cleantech startups should we tell in July?

Verdino Green Foods

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

SDGs addressed: 2 – Zero hunger, 12 – Responsible consumption and production, 13 – Climate action, 15 – Life on land

The solution: Plant-based meat alternatives, including burgers, cold cuts, hot dogs, but also coconut oil cheese, pizzas, and various specialties.

Milestones in 2021: The company raised growth equity from BlackPeak Capital to accelerate its growth in the local market and expand internationally. They are listed in 2,000 grocery stores across Europe and have signed distribution agreements with 12 other countries.

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

Antoanela is a Deputy Editor at The Recursive, where she writes about climate tech, blockchain, and other high-impact innovations in Southeast Europe. She loves complex topics and translating geek to chic. Her holy grail is telling stories that have great potential for social and environmental impact. Prior to becoming a full-time journalist, she worked in various sustainability roles.
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