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Accelerating growth and impacts: Highlights from the Decarbon8 portfolio

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Our summer 2021 Decarbon8-US investment process is in full swing, with our panel of experts hearing pitches from companies in areas such as light duty EV charging and adoption, infrastructure, rail, and electric recreational boats, among others. This year’s focus on transforming transportation comes after last year’s successful launch and awarding of over $1 million in investments to three finalists.

We’re excited for year two of this philanthropic impact fund, made possible by donor-investors to the Fund and angels co-investing alongside the impact fund. Notably, Decarbon8 is open to everyone, beyond accredited investors or E8 members, anyone can invest in vetted climatetech startups for their potential returns and impact.

Ahead of announcing our 2021 semi-finalists, we’re highlighting the progress of our 2020 investees. Thanks to all the investors, donors, foundations and donor advised funds who invested with us last year:

All three have successfully completed follow-on rounds at substantially higher valuations and have seen revenue and orders grow more than 300% since 2020.

Hitting EV charging boom in stride: Xeal

Big news for EVs and charging infrastructure this week as the Senate moved forward with the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal. It includes over $7.5 billion towards EV charging among other major clean transportation investments. The landscape for EV charging tech, software, and infrastructure continues to broaden, and Xeal’s riding significant momentum as the US anticipates a huge increase in EV sales, EV support services, and overall growth in charging stations nationwide.

Xeal’s software grants access, processes payments, and charges vehicles without a direct connection to the cloud. And Xeal’s electric vehicle chargers provide multi-unit housing properties and workplaces with the ability to schedule drivers, optimize availability, minimize peak charging expenses, and generate revenue. Having just completed a $1.6M bridge round in spring, they are poised to begin raising their Series A to hire the staff needed to meet their exponentially growing demand. They have also secured reliable manufacturing and installation partners. Year-on-year revenue for 2021 is tracking towards >3x growth. Earning a 9x margin on their software, they are also now a profitable company!

Carbon removal marketplace is growing fast: EarthlyLabs

There's growing interest in CO2 removal at the global scale, with Congress considering various incentives and investments, and calls for massive growth and innovation in the industry. Corporate commitments to net-zero or carbon neutral often hinge on investing in carbon capture and big companies including Amazon, Microsoft, BP, Chevron and Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures are investing in various "negative emissions" startups. But the landscape of carbon capture cleantech is vast and EarthlyLabs finds a niche in the growing craft brewing industry and push for sustainability.

Earthly Labs is enabling brewers to reduce their carbon emissions by as much as 50% and actually make beer taste better. With an affordable unit price of $100K and brewers able to recoup their investment in as little as two years, brewers like Flying Embers, Proof Brewing, SanTan Brewing, and Blindman Brewing are signing up across North America as Earthly Labs has expanded to operate in 14 states and Canada. With over 17,000 craft breweries around the world, EarhlyLab’s is also eyeing expansion into new markets like wineries, distilleries, indoor agriculture, and dry ice is also on the horizon. With strong margins and recurring revenue through subscription-based follow-on services, they are a third of the way to a 10x return and a growth potential in excess of $50M over the next three years. Plus recent $5 million investment from Chart Industries provides a framework for strategic partnership and accelerates Earthly Labs’ high demand into even higher order and revenue growth.

Hydrogen is critical to the clean energy transition: Steelhead Composites

Hydrogen is one of the most plentiful substances in the universe and it’s gaining new ground and attention in the clean energy transition as a viable alternative to fossil fuels and huge federal investments. Hyundai and Cummins made big splashes this month with announcements for testing hydrogen fuel cell powertrains and earlier reports this year in the growth of the hydrogen storage market continue to bear fruit. Steelhead’s reliable, lightweight, and economic composite pressure vessels with many industrial applications and the company is poised to accelerate their growth in the multi-sector green hydrogen industry.

Steelhead is well positioned to be a leader in serving this market. To maximize market capture, they successfully raised a $5M Series A this past May. 2021 revenues are in excess of $3.5M so far and they have a very healthy backlog. With six large multimillion-dollar projects humming along on schedule, they’re also developing some very exciting partnerships including storage applications for the automotive industry, carbon capture for diesel fueled long haul trucks, and hydrogen-electric powertrain solutions for zero-emission airplanes. This is in addition to other lines of business such as aerospace and even revolutionary, lightweight scuba tanks.

Invest for philanthropic or personal gain in high-impact D8 companies!

Decarbon8-US is a philanthropic investment fund that allows recoverable grants (with philanthropic gains) as well as personal co-investment in the same deals. Open to everyone at any level of investment, you can choose the type of asset and potential returns that match how you prefer to invest in the cleantech transformation of the economy. Learn more on our website or by downloading our 1-pager.

2020 Decarbon8 Highlights
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