Climate VC Fund was proud this month to announce the successful $4m funding round for Hot Lime Labs, the pioneering New Zealand agri-tech firm revolutionising CO2 capture. The capital raise sparked significant interest from international investors and the New Zealand tech, angel investor, and venture capital community, including significant investment from the Climate Venture Capital Fund.
We couldn’t be happier with the stake. Hot Lime Labs is an outstanding example of how the agricultural sector can innovate for a low-emissions future. Its mission aligns with our commitment to supporting high-growth companies that deliver substantial emissions reductions.
The innovative CO2 capture technology developed by Hot Lime Labs utilises patented limestone pellets and state-of-the-art engineering processes to make use of CO2 from carbon-neutral waste wood and other low-value biomass. This technology allows high-tech greenhouse growers to reduce their fossil fuel use while increasing their plant growth to grow food with a lower carbon footprint.
Early signs of success
The company’s origins trace back to 2017 when founder and CTO, Dr Vlatko Materic, connected technology initially developed at Callaghan Innovation with the significant demand for clean CO2 from the greenhouse industry. Since securing its first private investment later that year, Hot Lime Labs has grown from strength to strength, leading to the successful commissioning and trials of the pilot plant with a top New Zealand commercial grower. Deployment of the first commercial scale system is nearing completion at a site near Taupo.
The rapid growth of protected horticulture such as greenhouses, along with recent CO2 supply issues in New Zealand, underscores the need for resilient non-fossil fuel sources of CO2. Hot Lime Labs has already attracted significant demand for its innovative solution from horticulture clients across New Zealand.
With the fresh influx of funds, Hot Lime Labs is poised to scale its operations to meet growing domestic demand and extend its reach into international markets. This capital will be used to support the rapid growth of the company. It will help the company make significant strides in the fight against climate change, by ensuring a more sustainable and efficient greenhouse horticulture industry.
How it works
Using world-leading CO2 capture technology, Hot Lime Labs produces clean and sustainable CO2 from waste wood and soon, other biomass. Its technology uses patented limestone pellets combined with novel engineering to produce clean CO2, a key plant nutrient used in high-tech hydroponic greenhouses. This allows growers to reduce their carbon footprint while being more cost-effective, providing a green alternative to the traditional fossil-based sources of CO2 (natural gas and liquid CO2), as well as giving access to those growers who can’t currently get CO2. The company’s vision is to help transition 50% of the global greenhouse industry to renewable energy in the next 30 years, reducing fossil CO2 emissions.
Read more about Hot Lime Labs at their website.
Read NBR’s excellent coverage of the funding round
Read our press release here.