COLIPI, a company founded at Hamburg University of Technology (TU Hamburg), is developing “Climate Oil”, a climate-neutral alternative to palm oil and crude oil. The startup has now successfully completed seed financing totalling 1.8 million euros, which will be supplemented by funding of 4.3 million euros to test the innovative technology on the market and scale it up to pilot scale. COLIPI received significant support for its business development from the Startup Port and Startup Port @TUHH.
The year 2024 starts with a significant milestone for COLIPI, as it successfully completed its initial capital round. The backers include renowned institutions and personalities such as High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg (IFH), Nidobirds Ventures GmbH and Stefan De Loecker. With this funding, the startup is taking a significant step forward towards its ambitious goal of utilising sustainable carbon through fermentation to improve the quality of life of future generations.
Support from Startup Port and renowned investors
The Startup Port or Startup Port @TUHH played a central role in the development of companies founded at TU Hamburg in 2022: With its focus on promoting start-ups from science, the network not only provided financial resources: The founders were supported by the EXIST research transfer programme (Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection) and the InnoRampUp programme (IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH). The Startup Port also made a significant contribution to the development of COLIPI by providing mentoring, advice and access to a broad industry network.
Innovative technology to combat climate change
“Technology transfer from universities takes place via start-ups in addition to direct industrial collaborations, publications, patents and graduates. Technological solutions such as those developed by COLIPI are needed to mitigate climate change. We are delighted that, as a founding university, we have been able to launch a number of successful start-ups in green technologies with our Startup Port @TUHH. We warmly congratulate COLIPI on this further funding and are happy to accompany them on their further path,” said a delighted Prof Dr Andreas Timm-Giel, President of TU Hamburg.
“Oil brewery” – a new approach to CO2 reduction
In a way, COLIPI functions as a kind of “oil brewery” in which carbon is not extracted from the ground, but is instead extracted or filtered directly from the atmosphere. Instead of relying on fossil sources, the company utilises CO2-rich waste gases from industry and organic residues, for example from agriculture, which are converted into high-quality biomaterials such as climate oil by special microorganisms in a fermentation process. Compared to conventional crude oil or palm oil, this method is considered more sustainable, particularly in terms of its carbon footprint and impact on biodiversity. This innovative approach is made possible by a patented biotechnological process that combines a specially developed gas fermentation bioreactor with the world’s most efficient CO2-processing bacteria.
Future plans and visions of COLIPI
“We strongly believe that our gas fermentation process is a milestone for bioprocesses, with the huge potential to produce biomaterials such as oils on a massive scale at favourable prices and without environmental impact. Climate Oil aims to become a climate-neutral alternative to palm oil and crude oil, helping the industry to achieve climate targets more easily by reducing GHG Scope 3 and protecting the environment,” says Maximilian Webers, Co-Founder & CEO of COLIPI.
The ground-breaking innovation Climate Oil offers industry partners who manufacture cosmetic products on this basis, for example, a revolutionary opportunity to drastically reduce their ecological footprint. The visionaries behind the project, Philipp Arbeiter, Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer and Maximilian Webers, have set themselves the ambitious goal of producing millions of tonnes of Climate Oil every year by 2039, thereby saving many times more CO2 emissions. This commitment is a proactive contribution to environmental protection and serves the good of mankind.
Importance of the funding structure for sustainable innovations
The recently successfully completed seed financing marks a decisive step for the up-and-coming company. The investments are being channelled into expanding the team, market testing with cooperation products and further technological development. This success emphasises the importance of cross-institutional start-up support structures such as the Startup Port, which play an indispensable role in promoting sustainable and innovative solutions.
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