Solar Energy Startup Samara Closes $10 Million Series A Funding

UP Catalyst, a producer of sustainable carbon nanomaterials and graphite, closed a €4 million (~$4.31 million) seed investment round led by Berlin-based climate tech VC fund Extantia and supported by Estonia’s state fund SmartCap, along with existing investors Sunly, Little Green Fund, Scottish Baltic Invest, and UniTartu Ventures.

The investment will be used to expand the company’s production capabilities. UP Catalyst said it will build an industrial pilot reactor capable of processing 100 tons of CO2 annually and producing 27 tons of carbon materials and graphite, which are critical components of an electric vehicle battery. The reactor is expected to have a production capacity ten times larger than the current setup.

“We are thrilled to have secured this funding, bringing us one step closer to empowering 4 million car batteries with graphite sourced from CO2 emissions by 2030. This carbon supply can cover approximately 20% of the EV battery market’s yearly carbon need in Europe.” Said Gary Urb, CEO of UP Catalyst.

“UP Catalyst is redefining the conventional approach to graphite production by turning away from environmentally detrimental fossil fuel methods. We perceive China’s export restrictions not as a barrier but as a catalyst for European green innovation,” said Yair Reem, Partner at Extantia.

According to Mercom’s 9M And Q3 2023 Funding and M&A Report for Storage & Smart Grid, VC funding in Energy Storage in the first nine months (9M) 2023 was up by 115% YoY with $8.6 billion in 68 deals compared to $4 billion in 74 deals in 9M 2022.

AM Batteries, a lithium-ion dry-electrode technologies developing company, recently closed a $30 million Series B in an oversubscribed funding round led by Toyota Ventures. The company has stated that it has raised over $60 million to date, and its recent funding round will help the company develop and drive the commercialization of dry powder coating technology and equipment for low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing.