Top Greentech Companies
in the UK | 2022

18 May 2022

By Lucy Wilson

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As a leading technology hub, it’s no surprise that the UK is home to some of the most innovative greentech companies in the world. From exciting seed startups to unicorn companies with billion-dollar valuations, the UK’s greentech sector is attracting growing interest from entrepreneurs and investors alike. But what is it exactly? And which fast-growing greentech companies should you be watching in 2022?

What is greentech?

Greentech, as the name suggests, refers to the use of technology to combat climate change and other pressing environmental challenges. Greentech (or cleantech) companies are focused on developing or deploying these technologies, to reduce our negative environmental impact on the world. This emphasis on innovative tech is what sets greentech companies apart from some of the UK’s other high-growth sustainable companies.

Emerging sub-sectors within greentech

Green technologies are emerging across a wide range of growth industries at the moment, from software-as-a-service (SaaS) to fintech. But some of the most common include:

Clean energy

58% of the cleantech companies that we track on Beauhurst operate in this space. Clean energy companies are developing technologies that provide an alternative to fossil fuels (such as solar, geothermal and nuclear fusion) or that reduce our energy consumption and waste.

Agritech

This could be anything from vertical farming to developing environmentally-friendly pesticides. What green agritech companies have in common is their focus on reducing negative environmental impacts in the agriculture industry, which traditionally has a high carbon footprint and substantial land, water and energy use.

Transport

A notable trend in recent years has been the rise of electric vehicles, or EVs. From electric cars and planes to the batteries that power them, we track more than 60 greentech companies in the automotive space, offering sustainable transport options to consumers and businesses that want to reduce their carbon emissions.

Circular economy

Businesses focused on circular economies aim to create closed loop systems in which waste is repurposed to create new products or applications. Not only does this reduce pollution, it also reduces the need to draw on finite resources. Innovative companies in this sector are developing next-generation recycling technologies, as well as alternatives to non-recyclable materials.

Top greentech companies in the UK

We’ve put together a list of the UK’s 14 top greentech companies, ranked in order of the amount of equity funding they’ve raised to date. All of these businesses are private companies, headquartered in the United Kingdom, that have raised substantial amounts of cleantech investment from venture capital funds and other leading investors in the high-growth ecosystem. 

Year founded:
2019

Location:
Northumberland

Equity raised:
£1.78b

01. Britishvolt

Top of the list of best-funded greentech startups in the UK, Britishvolt designs and manufactures lithium-ion batteries, primarily for use in electric vehicles. Based in Northumberland, the clean energy company has already raised an impressive £1.78b in equity investment since launching in 2019, across four rounds. 

The vast majority of Britishvolt’s funding was secured in a single deal in January 2022. The £1.70b fundraising included a sales and leaseback arrangement, provided by Tritax and abrdn, and will fund the construction of Britishvolt’s battery plant in the North East. It was also the biggest UK equity deal of Q1 2022. 

The company’s other investors include Glencore, Carbon Transition, NG Bailey and Cathexis Venture II. It has also received a £100m innovation grant from the UK Government-backed Automotive Transformation Fund.

Year founded:
2009

Location:
Bristol

Equity raised:
£259m

02. OVO Group

OVO Group is a Bristol-based greentech firm, comprising a number of clean energy companies, including OVO Energy and SSE. The scaleup supplies gas and electricity across the UK, serving almost 5m customers, and is developing intelligent grid technology to support the transition to renewable energy. 

Alongside its acquisition of SSE Energy Services (SSE’s retail arm) in January 2020, the group acquired two other companies back in 2017: US energy company VCharge and Fife-based CORGI HomePlan. OVO has also received two large innovation grants, from Low Carbon Heating Technology Fund and Sky Zero Footprint Fund.

Founded in 2009, OVO has secured £259m in investment so far, across four equity funding rounds. Its backers include Mayfair Equity Partners, Mitsubishi Corporation and angel investors.

Year founded:
2019

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£238m

03. Volta Trucks

Sustainability-focused technology company Volta Trucks develops and manufactures electric trucks for urban logistics. Its vehicles offer a green alternative to traditional commercial transport options, without the carbon emissions or noise pollution. 

Based out of Stockholm, but with a significant presence in London, the Swedish-British EV startup secured £191m worth of equity investment in February 2022. It plans to use this funding to develop a fleet of prototype Volta Zero trucks. 

Altogether, Volta Trucks has raised £238m, across three funding rounds. It has numerous international investors, including UK investment firm B-FLEXION, US funds Luxor Capital and Proterra, Kuwait-based Agility Logistics, and Swedish holding company Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström.

Year founded:
2016

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£228m

04. Zenobe

Zenobe operates a range of energy storage facilities and charging points for electric vehicles. The London-based greentech company is working to fight climate change by making zero-carbon power more accessible through innovative battery storage solutions.

Founded in 2016, it has raised five rounds of equity funding, amounting to £228m in total investment. Zenobe’s backers include Infracapital, alongside Japanese funds Jera and TEPCO, among others. The company’s latest raise was a £490k unannounced round in February 2022, with undisclosed investors. 

Year founded:
2009

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£152m

05. Carbon Clean

Founded in 2009, Carbon Clean develops carbon capture solutions for hard-to-abate industries such as cement, steel, refineries and energy from waste. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in India, Spain and the US, the greentech company is supporting the global transition towards net zero emissions. According to its website, Carbon Clean has already removed over 1.5m metric tonnes of carbon, at 44 sites across the world.

The carbon capture firm has secured £152m in equity investment so far, across six funding rounds. The latest of these was a massive £112m ($150m) deal, announced in February 2022, with the likes of AXA IM Alts, Chevron, Samsung Ventures, Marubeni Corporation and TC Energy. On top of this, Carbon Clean has also raised innovation grants from both the US Department of Energy and the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Year founded:
2020

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£150m

06. Flexion Energy

Flexion Energy is a London-based cleantech startup that develops and operates energy storage technologies and infrastructure. Its primary focus is large-scale batteries servicing the UK’s electricity grid. 

The greentech company has raised just one equity investment to date, in a deal worth £150m. Secured in July 2021, all funding for the round came from specialist investment fund GLIL Infrastructure and is being used to construct Flexion Energy’s pipeline and storage systems.

Year founded:
2009

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£143m

07. Estover Energy

Estover Energy develops, finances and operates sustainable power infrastructure projects, such as power plants. It uses numerous clean technology solutions, such as renewable electricity and steam, as well as electric vehicle charging. In doing so, the London-based greentech venture enables customers to switch away from fossil fuels, whilst better understanding their carbon footprint. 

Since being founded in 2009, Estover has been involved with more than £200m worth of power projects, retaining an equity stake in each. The company has secured seven rounds of equity funding so far, amounting to £143m worth of investment. Investors include Barclays Corporate Banking and Green Investment Group. 

Estover also spun-out Vescor—another Beauhurst-tracked company—in July 2018, which now develops technologies to improve supply chain and energy efficiency within the agricultural sector.

Year founded:
2015

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£124m

08. Plastic Energy

Founded in 2015, Plastic Energy is a chemical plastic recycling firm. The greentech company uses end-of-life plastics to produce feedstock for new products, creating a circular economy to address the world’s major plastic pollution problem. Whilst headquartered in London, it operates two industrial plants in Almeria and Seville (Spain).

Plastic Energy has secured at least £124m worth of equity fundraisings to date, across two rounds. The innovative cleantech is backed by US fund Sealed Air, as well as UK and European funds Axens, LetterOne and M&G Investments.

Year founded:
2009

Location:
Oxfordshire

Equity raised:
£123m

09. Tokamak Energy

Tokamak Energy aims to advance the development of clean energy production through the process of fusion, using devices that combine plasma in a magnetic field with superconductors. It is developing a commercial fusion power plant and has teamed up with CERN to create large-scale HTS (high-temperature superconducting) magnets—for fusion power modules, particle accelerators and aerospace applications.

Having hit six of our eight high-growth tracking triggers, Oxfordshire-based Tokamak has very ambitious growth plans. Having spun-out of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, it went on to attend the Royal Academy of Engineering’s SME Leaders Programme accelerator in 2019. The greentech scaleup was also named on SyndicateRoom’s list of Britain’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies for three consecutive years, from 2017 to 2019. 

Overall, Tokamak also secured an impressive 10 rounds of equity funding for its cutting-edge fusion technology, totalling £123m, alongside £11.4m worth of innovation grants. Investors include Legal & General, Oxford Innovation Finance and Midven.

Year founded:
2010

Location:
London

Equity raised:
£111m

10. BBOXX

BBOXX is a spinout company from Imperial College London. The clean energy provider sells and installs decentralised networks, such as off-grid solar panel systems, to communities with non-existent or unreliable electricity supplies. In doing so, BBOXX aims to tackle energy poverty, improving access to high-quality and cost-effective renewable energy. It has a strong presence in Kenya, Rwanda, Togo and DRC, with nine offices around the world.

The greentech company has secured nine equity funding rounds so far, amounting to £111m in investment. It has also been named on the Startups 100 ranking of the UK’s most impressive startups (twice), the Mishcon The Leap list of fast-growth companies, and Fast Track’s Tech Track 100 (four times). BBOXX investors include Ceniarth, Engie New Ventures and Synergy Growth.

Year founded:
2010

Location:
Oxfordshire

Equity raised:
£108m

11. Oxford Photovoltaics

Oxford Photovoltaics develops solid-state dye sensitised solar cells (perovskite cells) that can be printed on glass surfaces, such as windows. The greentech scaleup spun-out of the University of Oxford in 2010, and has seen numerous successes since then. It was named on the Top 100 list of Britain’s Fastest-Growing Businesses in 2017, and has received £2.29m worth of funding via 10 innovation grants. 

To date, Oxford Photovoltaics has secured 12 rounds of equity investment, worth £108m in total. The latest of these was a £34.0m round in July 2019, which saw participation from Legal & General and Meyer Burger. It was secured at a pre-money valuation of £127m. The cleantech company also includes Oxford University Innovation, Equinor and Parkwalk among its long list of investors.

Year founded:
2011

Location:
Oxfordshire

Equity raised:
£86.2m

12. First Light Fusion

Also a University of Oxford spinout, First Light Fusion is a fast-growing greentech company that’s researching nuclear fusion. Having spun-out of the university in 2011, First Light Fusion has gone on to secure £86.2m worth of equity investment, across eight rounds. It also received a £5k Innovate UK grant in 2015. 

First Light Fusion’s numerous investors include the likes of Invesco, IP Group, Oxford Science Enterprises and Parkwalk. The cleantech’s latest fundraising was a £33.3m round that was completed in February 2022, to support the development of First Light’s new experiment and continued development of its commercial fusion energy power plant.

Year founded:
2014

Location:
Berkshire

Equity raised:
£84.8m

13. CNG Fuels

CNG Fuels operates biogas refuelling facilities for HGVs and provides renewable biomethane (Bio-CNG) sourced from waste products. The clean energy company is currently rolling out its network of refuelling facilities across the UK, aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial fleets.

Founded in 2014 and based in Berkshire, CNG Fuels has secured £84.8m in equity fundraisings to date. This investment was raised across five funding rounds, with participation from John Laing Environmental Assets, among others. On top of this, in 2017, CNG received an additional £924k via an Innovate UK grant.

Year founded:
2019

Location:
West Sussex

Equity raised:
£71.0m

14. Storegga

Storegga develops renewable energy technology solutions, specialising in carbon reduction infrastructure. The West Sussex-based greentech company is working on a wide range of net zero projects, including carbon capture and carbon transport solutions. 

With two equity rounds under its belt, Storegga has raised a total of £71.0m in investment so far, from backers including Macquarie Group and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. It also acquired Aberdeen-based consultancy firm Pale Blue Dot Energy in September 2020.

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