9 businesses pitched their business models to investors and key stakeholders in the climate impact ecosystem at the 2023 P4G Colombia Summit and shone a spotlight on concrete investable solutions, their challenges and plans for scaling. The P4G Summit had a sharp focus on channeling climate finance to low- and middle-income countries and the financial mechanisms and enabling environment required to support climate businesses.
These pitch sessions gave climate businesses an avenue to receive constructive feedback for improvement and build long-term relationships with prospective investors. The pitch sessions were divided across the three Summit tracks of Biodiversity, Energy Transition and Sustainable Cities.
Judges who provided feedback during the sessions included Gideon Blauww, General Director, Clean Teach Hub Colombia; Wonyoung Kim, Executive Director, Crevisse Partners; Isabelle Foster, WWF Impact, World Wildlife Fund (WWF); Jaswinder Bedi, General Director, Bedi Investments and Chairperson, Kenya Private Sector Alliance; Pham Duy, Head of Investment, National Startup Support Center of Vietnam; Jenitha Badul, Senior Advisor, Department of Environment, South Africa; Clemente Del Valle, Director, Financial Sustainability Center, Universidad de los Andes; Sergio Zuñiga, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, Chamber of Commerce, Cali; and Morten Elkjaer, Senior Vice President, Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU)
Transforming Africa’s Bamboo is a P4G partnership that uses native bamboo in Ethiopia to make durable construction materials such as frames for dry walls. African Bamboo, the business partner in the partnership, uses an intensified manufacturing process that halves processing time, cuts energy consumption by more than 30%, and reduces costs by more than 61%, while producing a material that is two times stronger than steel. The company has a competitive advantage because of its focus on biodiversity and climate change. It has created a value of €47.7 million to date with 100% offtake from SECA, a family-owned Austrian business that is one of the leading wood industry companies in Europe.
Terrasos is a Colombian company that specializes in the structuring and operation of environmental investments. It designs biodiversity banks to offset environmental impacts. These are management mechanisms to restore, create or compensate for the ecological impact of development projects. The company focuses on highly threatened ecosystems with high biodiversity. It establishes conservation and restoration areas and companies purchase biodiversity offset credits from it. The company conducts a rigorous due diligence process to estimate the number of available credits and uses an independent third-party expert for monitoring.
Bioingred is a company providing natural and sustainable ingredients for the food and cosmetic industry. It has a portfolio of natural products for oils, food and dietary supplements. It is working with 750 farmers and sells ingredients to local markets in Colombia and international markets such as Australia and Italy. The business has reforestation projects to support communities and promotes direct purchasing from farmers and farmer associations to improve livelihoods. The funding requirement for their ongoing funding round stands at approximately US $3.25 million.
Digitizing Energy optimizes household energy appliances for consumers and the grid through an automated smart energy management system. Village Energy is the commercial partner in the partnership. Through a digital platform, it connects household energy appliances to the grid and helps utilities manage the energy according to demand requirements. This allows consumers to manage their energy spend and save money, and it supports utility companies to keep up with energy demand and the transition to zero-carbon grids. The company is looking for an estimated investment of US $4 million to deploy more connections to utility customers, attract new customers and invest in new product development.
SEOS is scaling up a financing platform to encourage the uptake of residential rooftop solar. It provides web and mobile portals and energy smart monitors designed for end users and installers. It offers financing options for solar loans for homeowners and for installers. The business is growing with a monthly increase of 9.4% in customer acquisition. Its focus is to strengthen its presence in Colombia, while also designing an entry plan to Mexico and two other countries in Latin America. It is planning to launch a priced seed investment round in Q1 2024 to raise around US $4 million in equity. In parallel, it is looking to secure senior debt facilities up to US $10 million.
Uptime Analytics was another presenter during this session, showcasing their expertise in optimizing energy consumption and aiding in industrial decarbonization through the use of Artificial Intelligence. Over the past year, they have achieved an impressive fourfold growth in revenues and successfully completed their pre-seed stage in 2022, with EPM in Medellin as one of their prominent investors. Looking ahead, in line with their expansion plans involving both existing and prospective clients, they are gearing up to launch a new investment round in early 2024.
Building Circular Food Systems uses insects to convert organic food waste into high quality animal feed and fertilizer. Chanzi is the commercial partner in the partnership. A single Chanzi facility has the capacity to process more than 25 metric tons of waste per day, offset 9.2 metric tons of carbon every day and benefit more than 2,800 smallholder farmers. In 2023, Chanzi has managed more than 3,000 metric tons of waste. It currently operates in Tanzania and Kenya with a new facility coming up in South Africa. The long-term vision is to have 47 operational facilities by 2028 for which it needs an estimated capital raise of US $17 million. This will allow Chanzi to process 2,000 metric tons of waste per day, hire 10,000 direct and indirect staff, and offset 250,000 metric tons of carbon annually.
SUN RUN is bringing the e-mobility transformation to rural Kenya with a focus on gender inclusivity. E-Safiri and Kiri EV are the commercial partners in this partnership. Sun Run will build local capacity to maintain electric vehicles and lease the vehicles through pay-as-you-go (PayGo. The vehicles will be charged at solar powered battery charging stations with the extra power serving other businesses. Sun Run plans on increasing the number of vehicles and charging hubs. Sun Run works in collaboration with Kiri EV, which focuses on the Business to Business side of the market, last mile delivery and corporate fleets. Kiri EV assembles the e-motorcycles with revenue coming from bike sales, leases and spare parts and servicing. It is currently raising US $1.5 million in seed financing and is targeting US $5 million for its next raise.
Digital Food Rescue Ecosystem is a digital platform that automates the food rescue process and connects the industry with food banks to reduce waste and combat hunger. EatCloud, the commercial partner, operates in Colombia and Mexico. Not only does it optimize the pick-up of surplus food from the food industry, but also through analytics optimizes the most efficient routes to pick up and deliver the food. EatCloud has a subscription-based model with two charge fees, one for the automation platform and the other for analytical data collected. It has redistributed 70 million dishes of food, mitigated 20,000 tons of carbon emissions and saved businesses US $30 million. It is currently seeking US $2 million in pre-Series A funding to consolidate and expand the business in Colombia, Mexico and Spain.