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17 Growing Environmental Startups (2023)

by Josh Howarth
March 29, 2023

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Amid ongoing concerns about carbon emissions, climate change, and what the future of our planet is going to look like, protecting our environment is more and more essential every day.

A number of impressive environmental startups have sprung up in an effort to help. In fact, the environmental and sustainability market is expected to reach $60.7 billion by 2027 at an impressive CAGR of 27.8%.

The startups on our list are attempting to solve tricky (and lucrative) problems ranging from effective recycling to tracking and limiting carbon emissions.

Read below for our list of innovators that are helping clean up and preserve our planet for future generations.

1. SINAI Technologies

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5-year search growth: -5% 

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $36M (Series A)

What they do: SF-based SINAI has built what they call “one of the planet’s leading decarbonization platforms”, a comprehensive software program that lets major enterprise brands like Siemens, Natura, ArcelorMittal, and others track their emissions.

Branching out from their core emission product, they’ve built a suite of modules that help companies analyze, price, and reduce their emissions.

2. Lasso Loop

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5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Mateo, California

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Lasso has crafted an innovative at-home recycling solution that greatly increases the amount of material that actually gets recycled. According to Lasso, only 20% of materials recycled from a normal house are recycled. They report that this low level of efficiency is due to the fact that the current recycling system has been the same since 1981.

An easy-to-use app provided by Lasso tracks storage levels and schedules a pickup with Lasso drivers when the recycling is ready to be processed.

3. EcoCart

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5-year search growth: 233%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $17.5M (Series A)

What they do: EcoCart’s carbon emissions software integrates with e-commerce storefronts for retailers like Walmart, Cuts Clothing, APL, and others so that customers can select to have a carbon-neutral checkout experience.

It starts with EcoCart’s unique algorithm that calculates carbon footprint for shipping, allows customers to select carbon-neutral shipping options, and then tracks results for a retailer.

The net outcome (according to the startup’s internal data) is a 10% higher AOV, 15% higher repurchase rate, and 14% higher cart conversion.

4. Algenesis

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5-year search growth: 3100%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $4.4M (Seed)

What they do: True to its name, Algenesis has developed a patented plastic material derived from algae and other plants.

Attempting to be part of the solution to the massive issue around plastic waste (18 billion pounds of plastic flow into the ocean each year, and 532 billion pounds of landfill plastic are incinerated each year), Algenesis’ uses range from the foam used in flip-flops to foam surfboards.

5. ECOdrive

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5-year search growth: 54%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 1997

Location: Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: ECOdrive integrates with fleets of larger vehicles like trucks and vans, and works by syncing with the electronic gas pedal. This allows fleets to optimize the power and energy they use when driving, and conserve energy whenever possible.

The European startup has been operating since 1997 and has acquired a large assortment of customers from across the continent.

6. Treeapp

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5-year search growth: -16%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: Undisclosed (Pre-Seed)

What they do: Treeapp gives everyone a way to support tree restoration efforts with their smartphone app. A user simply answers a few questions from sponsors and a tree is then planted in their name.

Over 1 million trees in over 12 countries have been planted so far.

7. Planet Cents

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Clearlake, California

Funding: Undisclosed (Seed)

What they do: Planet Cents plans to launch the world’s largest sustainable products and services marketplace in existence. Based on the fact that 66% of consumers prefer responsible brands, Planet Cents is narrowing in on a massive gap in the marketplace for an e-commerce hub for all things sustainable.

8. Aurora Solar

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5-year search growth: 109%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $523.5M (Series D)

What they do: Aurora is a leader in the solar space with over 10 million solar roofs constructed through their software in their 9-year history. They provide tools that allow solar companies to sell solar projects and proposals in a far quicker and more accurate fashion than with existing approaches.

9. Bottle+

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5-year search growth: 18%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2022

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Funding: $110K (Seed)

What they do: Bottle+ is capitalizing on the popularity of well-known portable water bottle brands like Swell and others, but with a twist. Their bottle allows anyone to make sparkling water on the go with the touch of a button.

Bottle+ has crushed its initial crowdfunding goal of $25,000 and currently has a list for pre-orders.

10. Biome Makers

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5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Sacramento, California

Funding: $25M (Grant)

What they do: Sacramento startup Biome Makers is tackling the enormous problem of sustainable farming. Their proprietary BeCrop technology improves soil health by using the power of microbial networks. Biome’s database contains a staggering 14 million microorganisms.

Over 8,000 farmers have used Biome Makers, and the startup has over 200 industry collaborations with leaders like Bayer and Valegro.

11. 31 Bits

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5-year search growth: 31%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2008

Location: Costa Mesa, California

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: 31 Bits is a socially conscious jewelry company that sources, and creates jewelry largely from Uganda.

The founders of 31 Bits (a group of women fresh from graduating college) were changed after a trip to Uganda and seeing the breathtaking craftsmanship and talent of women that have gone through tons of trials and tribulations.

Today, their jewelry is found in hundreds of retail stores and has support from celebrities like Jessica Alba, Candace Bure, and Sophia Bush.

12. Hempitecture

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: Ketchum, Idaho

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Idaho startup Hempitecture is using help fibers to manufacture innovative materials that can be used for clothing and even home construction.

13. AMP Robotics

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5-year search growth: -10%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Louisville, Colorado

Funding: $167.1M (Series C)

What they do: AMP helps governments, businesses, and NGOs recycle items that are commonly missed by humans, and also provides greater quantities of post-consumer recycled materials for post-process use.

Using AI automation, AMP identifies and recovers recyclables that are typically missed or incorrectly categorized with precision and speed.

14. Tirtyl

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5-year search growth: 900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2020

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Minimizing waste is at the center of Tirtyl's ethos. The Queensland-based household goods wholesaler creates zero-waste personal care products that are both cruelty-free and non-toxic.

These products include hand soaps, laundry detergent sheets, and dishwasher tablets.

15. Azure Construction

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5-year search growth: 800%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Los Angeles, California

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Azure uses recycled materials, state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, and a modular construction process to create sleek ADUs and backyard studios for residential properties.

Customers can select from smaller studios that can be turned into anything from a meditation room to a painting space, or larger units that can fit beds and bathrooms.

16. Grow a Wish

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5-year search growth: 118%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Netherlands

Funding: Undisclosed

What they do: Entrepreneur Fabiënne Overbeek started Grow a Wish in 2019 to solve the problem of constantly throwing out birthday cards and wasting enormous amounts of paper.

The solution? Seed paper. Grow a Wish cards are made in a specialized factory in South Africa, providing valuable jobs to a population where unemployment can reach as high as 40%.

17. Coral Vita

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5-year search growth: 80%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $2M (Seed)

What they do: Coral Vita is aiming to restore our precious coral reefs by cultivating a diverse, robust ecosystem of corals and planting them into decaying reefs. Coral reefs support 25% of all marine life and generate $30 billion annually for fishermen, tourism agencies, and many others. They’re essential but dying due to pollution and human activity.

Coral Vita hopes that by planting coral and restoring vital ecosystems to full health, future generations will be able to enjoy the numerous benefits of coral reefs.

Conclusion

As climate discussions become more and more urgent, these featured startups will play a part in shaping the evolution of green commerce for years to come.

Keep your eye out on these promising environmental innovators as they continue to grow, scale, and transform everything from energy to recycling, and even the planet itself.