Microsoft pays Running Tide to remove 12,000 tons of CO2 by sinking biomass into the ocean

Microsoft has paid to have 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed into the open ocean over the next two years, by “ocean health” company Running Tide.

Running Tide offers carbon capture and removal by deploying floating buoys containing limestone, which boosts the ocean’s alkalinity, and algae which then grows and captures more carbon, before sinking to the deep ocean, where gravity and water pressure hold the biomass. The captured carbon is trapped in a slow cycle that Running Tide says will keep it locked up for thousands of years.

More on Running Tide’s work with Microsoft here.

Boom Supersonic Begins Construction on Overture Superfactory

Boom Supersonic, the company building the world’s fastest airliner, kicked off construction of its Overture Superfactory in January 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Overture Superfactory is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located on a 62-acre campus at the Piedmont Triad International Airport. This site will house the final assembly line, as well as test facility, and customer delivery center for Boom’s flagship supersonic airliner, Overture.

“Today’s groundbreaking for the Overture Superfactory represents a significant step forward in building sustainable and accessible supersonic travel for the world,” said Kathy Savitt, President of Boom Supersonic. “This milestone is a shared one and we are deeply appreciative of the input, leadership, and support of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, local community, and the state of North Carolina.”

More on Boom’s Overture superfactory here.

LCI Aviation signs agreement with Elroy Air for 40 Chaparral VTOL aircraft

LCI has entered a committed order of up to 40 of Elroy Air’s Chaparral vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

The investment made by LCI in Elroy Air’s system underpins the company’s long-term commitment and trust toward sustainable growth and innovation.

Under the terms of the deposit-backed agreement, LCI will initially acquire 20 aircraft, with an option for another batch of 20 planes, which makes a total of 40 planes. The VTOL aircraft is currently under development at Elroy Air’s facility in South San Francisco, California.

More on Elroy’s agreement with LCI Aviation here.

Equipped with $15M, Andrena aims to scale its wireless model

A new wireless broadband company is emerging in the Northeast. And with $15 million from Dragonfly Capital, it hopes to take its end-to-end connectivity model nationwide.

Andrena, which got its start in 2017, is working to deliver affordable broadband to buildings by partnering with real estate owners and property managers through a revenue-share arrangement. The company currently provides service in “a bunch of different pockets” in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, with a couple of deployments in Florida as well, said co-founder and CEO Neil Chatterjee in a conversation with Light Reading.

Rather than a fixed-wireless access (FWA) provider, Andrena is more of a fixed-wireless transport provider, said Chatterjee. The company incorporates decentralized wireless elements into its network and is one of the “largest deployers” of Helium 5G, which offers cryptocurrency for hosting its hotspots.

More on how Andrena aims to scale its wireless model here.

Waste wood biofuel developer Xfuel gearing up to launch production plants

Advanced marine biofuel developer Xfuel, which raised €8.2m ($8.8m) last year, is lining up plans for commercial production plants and offtake agreements for shipping fuels that can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%.

The Irish company, which is running a demonstration plant in Spain producing up to 1m litres of fuel from waste wood products a year, hopes to unveil significantly larger commercial-scale projects in Europe this Spring.

More on Xfuel’s production plants here.

UNDO Becomes Microsoft’s First Enhanced Rock Weathering Supplier

UNDO has been awarded a contract to provide Microsoft with its first carbon removal via enhanced rock weathering (ERW). The award will contribute towards Microsoft’s commitment to becoming carbon negative by 2030 and removing all of its historic CO₂ emissions by 2050.

As part of the agreement with Microsoft, UNDO will spread 25,000 tonnes of mineral-rich basalt rock on agricultural land in the UK, which will permanently remove approximately 5,000 tonnes of CO₂ over the next 20 years. The rock is a by-product supplied by our partner Breedon’s Cragmill Quarry in North East England and spread using existing machinery. As well as funding UNDO’s ERW operations, Microsoft will be funding UNDO’s Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) enhancement and agronomy trials.

Learn more about how UNDO and Microsoft will work together on carbon removal.

OneSignal extends Series C funding round with strategic investment from ServiceNow

Customer engagement platform OneSignal Inc. said in January 2023 that it had closed on a new strategic investment from ServiceNow Ventures.

The funding, whose amount was not revealed, extends its recently announced $50 million Series C round of funding.

OneSignal is the creator of a customer engagement platform that enables mobile, web, email, SMS and in-app message push notifications for developers and marketers. Its software is designed to empower communications, with tools for mapping customer journeys, A/B testing, analytics, personalization and segmentation.

The platform is especially popular in the mobile industry. The company says it powers about 500,000 apps, or about 15% of the apps listed on the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Learn more about OneSignal here.

Lovevery Adds a Fifth Year to Its Early Learning Program

After conducting several hundred hours of play studies with multiple iterations of prototypes, observing families in their homes, and consulting with child development experts from a range of disciplines, Lovevery has designed a line of four Play Kits each targeting an executive function life skill: flexible thinking (The Connector), critical thinking (The Examiner), frustration tolerance (The Persister), and planning ahead (The Planner). Each Play Kit includes playthings for four-year-olds that level up with a child to keep them engaged and build confidence, like the Discover & Inspect Microscope, Plan Ahead Week Board, Montessori Movable Alphabet Game, and the Plan & Prepare Clock. Each Play Kit also comes with a Montessori-inspired children’s book to support social emotional learning, along with content for parents, including a Play Guide and a Guide to the Developmental Milestones of Age Four.

Learn more about Lovevery’s new Play Kits here.

Laka partners with Sigma Sports to provide insurance at point of sale

Laka has partnered with Sigma Sports to provide integrated insurance at point of sale.

As part of the partnership, Sigma Sports customers will secure 30 days of free insurance on their new bike purchase with access to preferential rates thereafter.

Tobias Taupitz, Laka CEO said, “Laka is proud to partner with Sigma Sports, a well-known name in the UK cycling community, and we’re determined to provide a best-in-class experience for its customers.

“Together, we can help their customers fully enjoy their bike, knowing that Laka has their backs and swiftly get them back on the saddle if needed.”

More about Laka’s partnership with Sigma Sports here.

Kickstarter announces Danny Baez as new Head of Arts

In April 2023, Kickstarter announced the appointment of Danny Baez as its new Head of Arts. In this new role, he will oversee the visual and performing arts categories, working closely with artists, collectives, arts organizations, museums, and cultural institutions around the world to help them realize creative and ambitious ideas.

With more than 15 years of arts industry experience, Danny has built a reputation for his community-focused, artist-first approach and work to create a more equitable and diverse art ecosystem. He’ll bring this same energy and focus to Kickstarter, using his expertise to expand on the company’s efforts to connect artists and organizations with a global community of supporters to help them achieve their goals. To date, over 39,000 artistic projects have raised nearly $290 million on Kickstarter across the art, dance, photography, and theater categories.

Learn more about Danny here.

Hubble Network wants to connect a billion devices with space-based Bluetooth network

Bluetooth-enabled devices are ubiquitous, but how those devices are used is constrained by the relatively short range provided by Bluetooth technology. Seattle-based startup Hubble Network wants to completely upend that status quo by launching a satellite network that any Bluetooth-enabled device can connect to, anywhere in the world.

The company’s aim is to build out a constellation of 300 satellites that can provide real-time updates for any sensor or device outfitted with a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) chip. On its website, Hubble proposes use cases that span industries — from child safety to pallet tracking to environmental monitoring. The startup’s ultimate goal is to connect over a billion devices on its network.

Learn more about Hubble’s satellite network here.

Hipcamp and RVshare partner to give away $10 million in RV campsite stays

In June 2023, campsite booking platform Hipcamp and RV rental website RVshare together announce a partnership that will make it easier for RVshare renters to reserve beautiful, affordable RV campsites across the United States.

The companies, both celebrating 10-year anniversaries, will explore a range of partnership-deepening opportunities during the coming year. The collaboration not only streamlines the RV campsite booking experience for RVshare renters but also provides Hipcampers with an incentive to book from RVshare’s selection of more than 100,000 RVs and campervans located across the United States.

As part of the partnership launch, RVshare and Hipcamp are giving away up to $10 million in RV campsite stays. The limited-time promotion will provide RV renters with a credit toward an RV campsite booked on Hipcamp, and the credit may be used upon checkout at

Learn more about Hipcamp’s partnership with RVshare to give away $10 million in RV campsite stays here.

H2U Technologies Enters Joint Agreement to Develop Low-Cost Electrolyzers

H2U Technologies and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. have partnered under a multi-year Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to discover novel catalysts and develop techniques to apply those catalysts onto membranes. The companies will leverage H2U’s proprietary Catalyst Discovery Engin™e (CDE™) to reduce the cost of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.

Energy suppliers and manufacturers across the globe are taking the initiative to scale up electrolyzer manufacturing, especially for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers that are ideal for making “green” hydrogen from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. However, a major hurdle stands in the way. Contemporary PEM electrolyzer designs rely on rare, costly platinum group metals (PGMs) like iridium, a very expensive element with a highly constrained supply.

More on how H2U is partnering with Tokyo Gas to develop low-cost electrolyzers.

Gameto Named as 2023 Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

Gameto, a female-led biotech company developing treatment solutions to improve women’s reproductive health, was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s “Technology Pioneers.” The Technology Pioneers award is given to companies that are tackling issues such as sustainability, climate change, and healthcare. Gameto is being recognized for its work developing a broadly applicable platform that has the potential to solve gaps in women’s health, including fertility, menopause, and ovarian disease.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early-stage companies operating at the forefront of new technologies and innovation and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

“We’re excited to welcome Gameto to our 2023 cohort of Technology Pioneers,” said Verena Kuhn, Head of Innovator Communities at the World Economic Forum. “Gameto and its fellow pioneers are at the forefront of innovation and disruption needed to help us solve the world’s most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the Forum’s content work that brings together public and private sectors to tackle these global issues.”

More on Gameto being named as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum here.

Elroy Air demonstrates autonomous cargo-handling capabilities of Chaparral aircraft

Elroy Air, the company leading the race to develop a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial logistics system for middle-mile commercial shipping, humanitarian aid and military resupply, demonstrated the autonomous ground navigation and cargo-handling systems of its Chaparral aircraft for the United States Air Force senior and executive officers as part of the Golden Phoenix Technology Demonstration Event.

During the live demonstration, a developmental prototype of the Chaparral aircraft’s ground systems performed a series of autonomous manoeuvres without the use of GPS, which can be unreliable or jammed in contested environments. Without intervention from operators, the vehicle located and navigated autonomously to a cargo pod inside a hangar from a distance of 20 meters, then used its robotic grasping mechanism to pick the pod up and secure it to the underside of the vehicle. The system then navigated out of the hangar to the takeoff zone.

More on Elroy Air’s autonomous cargo-handling capabilities here.

Clinikally is Delivering AI-Powered Personalised Dermatological Care in India

Amidst numerous options for beauty products, medical-grade advice for skin & hair care is becoming more and more vital. Clinikally is India’s first dermatology platform that brings effective products, consultations, and personalised care under one single roof.

Skin & hair care products from Clinikally include their pigmentation cream, hair growth serum, Niacinamide serum, SPF 50 sunscreen, and Hyaluronic acid serum, besides others. More products from Clinikally are set to launch to incorporate the complete skin & hair care routine.

The products are made using latest technologies and powerful ingredients sourced from Europe & USA. Therefore, Clinikally’s products aim to make expert-level dermatologist care and products more accessible and affordable to common users in India.

More on Clinikally’s AI-powered personalised dermatological care in India here.

Boom announces three new suppliers for Overture supersonic plane

American aerospace company Boom Supersonic (Boom) has released new details regarding its Overture supersonic aircraft at this year’s Paris Air Show.

The company, founded in 2014, has released details of the supersonic plane’s ‘Symphony‘ engine, as well as key suppliers for its wing, fuselage, and empennage.

Spanish aircraft components manufacturer Aernnova will design and develop the wing structure for the Overture. Overture’s gull wings, which are structurally thinner than typical subsonic wings to reduce drag, are shaped to enhance supersonic performance and improve subsonic and transonic handling.

“Overture will be an extraordinary opportunity to provide our expertise in the design and development of aerostructures for the first sustainable supersonic aircraft,” said Ricardo Chocarro, CEO of Aernnova.

More on Boom’s new suppliers and engine details here.

Andrena uses FWA to blanket MDUs with broadband

There’s a new fixed wireless access firm providing residents of multi-dwelling units (MDUs) with low-cost broadband service and its secret sauce is its custom access points that use a special beam-forming technology to deliver optimal speeds throughout the building.

Andrena, which launched in 2018, delivers connectivity to MDUs and nearby residents by using unlicensed spectrum in a variety of different bands (including E-band and 24 GHz) and equipment from several unnamed vendors to outfit each MDU with wireless connectivity.

Andrena CEO Neil Chatterjee says that because the company is able to blanket the MDU with a broadband signal, it doesn’t need to install each apartment with a customer premises equipment (CPE). Instead, every new customer can just log in and start receiving broadband service immediately. “You can move in and have your internet right away,” Chatterjee said.

More on how Andrena is using FWA to blanket MDUs with broadband here.

Adept Raises $350 Million To Build AI That Learns How To Use Software For You

Chatbots rule the day in AI for now, but soon, Adept cofounder David Luan predicts, AI won’t just display unsettlingly human responses to typed queries, it will execute them. It will do what you would do with your computer for you. Granted such technology is still years away, but the speed of innovation in the AI space means we’re talking about two to three years, according to Luan — not decades.

More here on how Adept is building AI that learns to use software for you.

Rewind fights climate change by sinking carbon into the sea

Israeli portfolio company, Rewind, which is scaling up now, is fighting climate change by sinking carbon into the sea. “Rewind plans to collect huge quantities of plant material and sink it to the bottom of the Black Sea, where, like the ancient ships, it could remain intact for centuries or even millennia, locking away all the carbon that would be released into the atmosphere if that biomass decomposed on land.”

Where will Rewind find the billion tons of unwanted organic material that it needs to put its plan into action? The region around the Black Sea is the heart of Europe’s breadbasket, annually producing gigatons of combined agricultural, orchard and forestry residues — in the form of wheat stalks, leaves and trimmed tree branches, according to Amar. Much of this waste is piled up and left to rot, or worse, burned, Amar said.

Rewind intends to work with countries’ agriculture and forestry industries to collect and transport biomass to the Black Sea. The company calculates the cost in emissions of doing this would be just 3 percent of what the company can sequester. And far from filling up the Black Sea, all that organic matter, Rewind estimates, would take up less than 0.1 percent of the sea’s volume.

The company is striving to sequester a gigaton per year by 2030, initially at $200 per ton of CO2, then decreasing to $80 per ton of CO2 once Rewind has optimized its supply chain, he said.

Canary Media covers all the details here.

HelixNano is granted foundational mRNA chemistry patent

Even if you can’t tell your oligoribonucleotides from your polyribonucleotides, there’s big news in the field of mRNA, and good news for HelixNano, Yes VC’s portfolio company. They’ve just been granted a patent:

“One of the few things HelixNano is bad at is pausing to take in our wins, but a recent development made us pop the champagne: our foundational mRNA chemistry patent has been granted by the USPTO.

This isn’t just a major win for us, but a milestone for the entire mRNA field. You may be familiar with the groundbreaking work by Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, who were the first to show that it’s possible to hide mRNA from cells’ antiviral alarms. Their seminal discovery – the chemical modification m1Ψ – gave birth to the entire modern mRNA field and drove the efficacy of Moderna and BioNTech’s COVID vaccines.”

United Airlines to take Boom Supersonic’s new jet to the skies

Yes VC portfolio company, Boom Supersonic, unveiled the design of its supersonic passenger jet. United Airlines will be one of the first to take it to the skies. It won’t burn fossil fuel because its engines are being designed for 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Nearly two years after rolling out ts prototype supersonic demonstrator, the XB1, Boom has unveiled a major new design for its much anticipated Overture airliner, which will fly at twice the speed of today’s subsonic commercial jets and is expected to carry its first passengers in 2029.

According to Kathy Savitt, president and chief business officer at Boom Supersonic, the refined design is the result of around 26 million hours of software simulation, five wind tunnel tests, and 51 design iterations.

The aircraft, scheduled go into production in 2024, will fly Mach 1.7 over water with a range of 4,250 nautical miles and have capacity for 65 to 80 passengers, say the team at Boom.

Caterina named to the Founders Forum Angels Hall of Fame

Yes VC Partner, Caterina Fake, was named to the Founders Forum Angels Hall of Fame for her long history in early stage investments. After her company Flickr was acquired, her first check went into two startup investments. One has since gone out of business and the second was Etsy where she went on to become Chairman up until its IPO. “After that, I was hooked.” she said. Who wouldn’t be? Many if not most VCs start out as angel investors.

Yes VC funds Steady Energy, maker of a new class of small nuclear reactors

Yes VC teamed up with Lifeline Ventures to fund Steady Energy, maker of a new class of small nuclear reactors. The first model, LDR-50, was invented by CEO Tommi Nyman’s group at the Finnish national laboratories (VTT). What makes it special?

It’s a pill-shaped fission-powered water boiler the size of a minibus standing on its head. Instead of generating electricity, it just radiates heat, which transfers to water at 100% efficiency replacing the fossil-burning boilers European countries use for district heating.

About 50% of all energy consumed by EU households goes to heating! 60 million Europeans heat their homes with district heating, but 75% of district heat is generated by burning fossil fuels. All these over 2500 dirty plants need to be replaced with a zero carbon alternative.

The 50-megawatt heat output of one LDR-50 is enough to heat a small city. A bigger plant can have many. There are no turbines, steam or even pumps in the reactor. It does not rely on electricity or any mechanical moving parts, which could fail.

Later, a desalination-specific LDR-50 will produce fresh water in areas of the world suffering from water shortage. Another model will produce steam for industry. This reactor design is ready to be mass produced.

Plants are compact, safe, and can be located close to cities. We are working to bring the first zero-carbon Steady cities up, and staying warm year-round without emissions by 2030. If you’re excited to learn more or join the team, head to

More on the Steady Energy launch here: