Revealed: The future sustainable technology unicorns

Given the push by the governments, regulators, investors and stakeholders towards sustainability, startups are in a rush to build capabilities and advanced tech driven solutions ranging from electric mobility, energy storage, biodiversity, renewable energy, emissions monitoring & reduction to circular economy. Against this backdrop, the Unicorn Prediction Model of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has released a list of ‘30 Sustainable Technology Startups’ that have the potential to become unicorns (valuation > US$1bn).

Apoorva Bajaj, Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData, says: “The global incidents including Australia bushfires and Amazon rainforest wildfires in 2020, forest fires in Turkey and floods in China, India and Germany in 2021 warrant immediate action. IPCC’s sixth assessment report ‘a code red for humanity’ warns of climate change and the urgent need of solidarity in developing inclusive and green economies. Startups are creating innovative and scalable solutions to help limit climate change. But there is still a long way to go.”

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Future Unicorns in Sustainability Technology, reveals that in Q3 2021, the VC deals in sustainable technology space reported over US$12bn investment spanning across 185 deals globally. During the period, North America (primarily the US) accounted for nearly half of the overall VC deal volume, followed by Europe with 26%.

When it comes to social media discussions, ‘Sustainable Technology’ and its use cases in electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, renewable energy, biological manufacturing, and energy storage are increasingly being mentioned by social media influencers. Tesla’s launch of solar roof and panels, Rome’s Fiumicino Airport getting ready for Flying Electric Taxi are some of the stories that caught attention.

Some of the sustainable technology startups in GlobalData’s list of potential unicorns include Genomatica, Sono Motors, BreezoMeter, Omnidian and Agilyx.

Genomatica offers biobased process technology services for the chemicals industry, manufacturing sustainable chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The company enables its partners to offer better food packaging, auto parts, clothing, tires, carpets, cosmetic ingredients, and cleaning products.

Germany-based Sono Motors develops solar-powered electric cars that are suitable for daily use. The company offers innovative mobility services as it believes in mobility free from fossil fuels.

Israel-based BreezoMeter offers a real-time air quality tracking platform that gathers data from thousands of sensors worldwide and provides location-based maps of air pollution levels (with past levels available) at the street level using air pollution dispersion models and analytics.

Omnidian operates software platforms that provide monitoring and maintenance solutions for solar power assets for more than 80 corporate customers, including developers, utilities, financial organizations and corporations.

Agilyx is an alternative energy company that offers commercial-scale platforms redirecting hard-to-recycle plastics from waste streams, converting them into valuable, low-carbon products

Mr. Bajaj concludes: “The adoption of ‘Sustainable Technology’ is increasing as is evident by increase in the number of related mentions in corporate filings and continued increase in jobs posted to hire talent in this space. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues to accelerate and how companies with better and transparent sustainability practices can get ahead of the curve to find themselves in a better position among its customers, investors, employees and regulators.”

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