It’s always great to see climate tech getting the financial support it needs to make a real difference, particularly when the solution has the potential to have a significant impact. The next green startup set to make its mark on the world is Albotherm, after announcing today a new stream of funding

The University of Bristol spinout develops passive cooling technologies to reduce energy usage in agriculture and the building sector.

Its investment of £1.6m was led by Green Angel Ventures and supported by Oxford Innovation Finance through its angel platform OION, Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Agritech, and Science Angels Syndicate (SAS), along with a £500k Innovate UK grant. The investment will enable Albotherm to further develop its smart coating technology within the commercial building and greenhouse sectors. 

Keeping things cool the green way

As global temperatures rise and many parts of the world are seeing their hottest summers yet, there is an ever-increasing need to find sustainable, low carbon cooling solutions to regulate temperatures in indoor settings.

We’ve all sat in a stuffy building wishing for air-con. Heat stifles productivity, deteriorates sleep quality, and can just be simply uncomfortable. Keeping our homes and workplaces cool is essential, but can we do this in a greener way?

Energy intensive air conditioning systems currently in place are a key contributor to global warming, accounting for 10% of global electricity usage, thus worsening the problem and creating a further need for a sustainable solution.  

Albotherm has discovered a unique solution to this pertinent problem. Founders Molly Allington, CEO, and Dr Sian Fussell, CTO have built a reversible coating for glass surfaces, using polymer chemistry that can switch between opaque and transparent, providing shade in high temperatures and allowing sunlight through at lower temperatures. 

Albotherm’s proprietary technology has significant implications as a net zero approach for temperature regulation, replacing energy intensive cooling systems. 

“As Albotherm continues to push the boundaries of low carbon cooling, we are thrilled to announce our recent investment”

The solution isn’t just applicable to commercial buildings. A key target for the duo is the agriculture sector. In greenhouses, 25% of crop yields can be destroyed by excess heat and light, threatening the farming industry and global food security. 

Alborthem’s initial focus on commercial greenhouses has shown a 34% increase in crop yield compared to other approaches. The company’s work in commercial greenhouses will not only increase food production but also pave the way for broader applications in the building sector, where energy-efficient cooling solutions are in high demand.

Transforming an industry

This significant investment solidifies the extensive value in Alborthem’s vision to transform the cooling industry. Utilising the funding, Albotherm is poised to shape the CleanTech landscape, moving the greenhouse and built environment industry towards low carbon cooling technologies.

Commenting on how the investment will skyrocket Alborthem to the next stage, Molly tells us, “We are delighted to have received investment to propel our technology development into large scale commercial pilots. Gaining support from prominent investors such as GAV, will help us realise our vision to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system.”

Sian also adds, “As Albotherm continues to push the boundaries of low carbon cooling, we are thrilled to announce our recent investment. As an all-female founding team in the sustainable technology sector, we are inspired by the growing recognition and support for diverse voices and perspectives and we are thrilled to have found investors that are leading the way for this cause.”

The product has been derived from cutting-edge research from the University of Bristol. The funding will enable Albotherm to develop its technology further, scale up manufacturing capabilities, and complete large-scale commercial pilots, allowing the company to bring its first products to the greenhouse market within the next two years.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.