Speedinvest Blog

Industrial Tech 2021 Report: Industry is Crucial for Solving the Climate Crisis

by 

Leo Schmid, Lisa Mangertseder

November 9, 2021

The future of industry is digital and green

The old economy, as many call it, or simply “Industry” as we like to phrase it, is crucial for solving the climate crisis. The evidence supporting this claim is piling up. Stakeholders now understand that change is inevitable and are starting to explore solutions in their fields. Luckily, these solutions are increasingly easy to find - but more on that later.

One fraction from our findings stood out to us: ⅓.  Approximately one third of all emissions are attributable to industry and logistics. Being such a frightening contributor to climate change, there are huge opportunities within the sector for industrial Climate Tech to help reduce emissions (and other waste).

As a VC investor, Speedinvest has been tackling this topic for several years and we strongly believe that the future of industry is digital and green. That's why we keep a close eye on Europe’s Leadership in Climate Tech and are proud to back Climate Tech front-runners such as Resourcify, one • fıve, Greyparrot and Twaice.  

Today, we can finally share our latest endeavor: The Industrial Tech Report 2021.

In the report, we back up the statements above with in-depth figures and data from our partners at Dealroom. Similar to last year’s report, Industrial Tech, a Sleeping Giant Awakening, the 2021 edition also includes a general update on the industrial tech startup and VC landscape, a look at new facets of the market, and the impact and future of Climate Tech on the sector.

Read our key findings and download the full report below.

Takeaway 1: Industrial tech is key to solving the climate crisis… and on a good track!

We have identified the leading startups that are providing the solutions needed to solve the climate crisis. 

We found that each niche of the industrial tech ecosystem, from 3D printing to logistics and robotics, includes startups which are helping to combat the climate crisis, with some niches being almost 100% climate-aware. We also see that many industrial tech startups are directly addressing the EU Green Deal targets: Zero Pollution, Clean & Circular Economy, Clean Energy, Sustainable Building, Smart Mobility, healthy and affordable Food, Biodiversity and Sustainable Finance. 

Investors are taking notice. VC funds are showing growing interest in European industrial tech startups addressing climate issues. In fact, in 2021, VC investment in this space has already grown 3.2x from last year and we expect this trend to continue. 

Takeaway 2: Industrial tech ecosystem more than doubled in value to €73.9bn

We’d also like to emphasize the overall rise of the industrial tech ecosystem and add some juicy funding and exit stats.

The figures have shown that the rising trend for Climate Tech goes hand in hand with the increased attention towards industrial tech. As seen in the report, the combined enterprise value of European industrial tech startups has grown 2.2x from last year,  reaching €73.9bn ($85.3bn). This growth has been mainly driven by large exits and several mega-rounds. 

Notable rounds were raised by Celonis ($1.0bn Series D), Forto ($240m Series C) and Agile Robots ($220m Series C). Further mega-rounds, as well as the European industrial tech investment development from 2014 to 2021,  can be found in our report. There are now 13 unicorns and $1bn+ exits in European industrial tech. 4.1% of startups are classed as future unicorns, higher than in many segments, including Enterprise Software or Food.

Takeaway 3: Drivers - US and corporate money piling on and COVID-19 as accelerator

Our last sneak-peek shows that the development of industrial tech has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It's no secret that the pandemic made the digitization of industrial tech no longer optional. Furthermore, we found an interesting movement in the investor landscape on both a geographical and institutional level. 

European industrial tech startups have seen increased attention from US investors. In 2021, €1.8bn ($2.1bn) out of €3.8bn ($4.4bn) came from the US alone.  Likewise, increased funding by corporate and CVC investors created a notable tailwind with investments growing 2.6x from 2020. We expect both trends to continue in 2022. For startups, this opens up a variety of opportunities for funding which will further drive the growth of industrial tech in the upcoming years. 

We hope you could gain some valuable insights from this short teaser. Head over to the full report for further charts and figures and learn more about challenges and chances in industrial tech. 

We want to thank our interview partners in this report for sharing their experience and viewpoints with us - packing insights from ABB, Aveo, Breakthrough Energy, FabricNano, Infarm and Siemens.

We broke down the findings of our Industrial Tech 2021 Report with a panel of distinguished speakers on the topics in the 11th edition of series of Industrial Tech Talks. Click below to see the discussion.

You can download the full report from the link above. Should you have any questions or comments on the report, feel free to reach out to the Industrial Tech Team. If you’re a Climate Tech founder and want to talk to us, click here. We'd love to chat!


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