Global Climate Tech 1000. 2021 Stats and 2022 Applications Open

Benchmarking the 2021 Global Climate Tech 1000 as we open Applications for 2022

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Every year, HolonIQ’s Climate Intelligence Unit identifies the top 1000 Climate Tech startups around the world. The top 1000 startups are built region by region from over 10,000 nominations, applications and screens to ensure the cohort is diverse, truly global and to shine a light on the inspiring innovation happening around the world.

Applications for the 2022 Global Climate Tech 1000 are now open and close 31 July 2022. Each regional list will be announced at our Global Summits Sep-Nov 2022. Please also check our 30 individual maps for the 2021 Global Climate Tech 1000, Global Digital Health 1000 and Global EdTech 1000.

Every year, HolonIQ’s Climate Intelligence Unit identifies the top 1000 Climate Tech startups around the world. The top 1000 startups are built region by region from over 10,000 nominations, applications and screens to ensure the cohort is diverse, truly global and to shine a light on the inspiring innovation happening around the world.

Each regional list is focused on identifying young, fast growing and innovative climate and sustainability start-ups. To be eligible, startups are generally less than 10 years old (though there are some exceptions), are either headquartered in the region, or predominately focused on the market (e.g. > 80% revenue/customers), are pre exit (not acquired or listed) and not a subsidiary of a larger company or controlled by an investor group (e.g. via private equity buyout or controlling investment).

The HolonIQ Climate Intelligence Unit and select market experts assess each organization based on HolonIQ’s startup scoring rubric, which covers the following dimensions:

Market. The quality and relative attractiveness of the specific market in which the company competes.

Product. The quality and uniqueness of the product itself.

Team. The expertise and diversity of the team.

Capital. The financial health of the company and its ability to generate or secure sufficient financial resources.

Momentum. Positive changes in the size, velocity and impact of the company over time.

Energy startups makes up one third of the 1000, Environmental startups make up one half and the remainder are from mobility and infrastructure.

At each of our regional summits we will announce and shine a light on the most promising startups operating in the region. By the end of the summits, we start to see the full and diverse global picture of innovation and technology. The chart below shows the total global cohort of 1000 startups segmented by their ‘sub-sector’, taken from HolonIQ’s Open Source Taxonomy, the Global Climate Landscape.

Nearly one in three of the Global Climate Tech 1000 are focused on energy, from renewables, alternative resources and storage/distribution. The largest representation comes from environmental categories from the biosphere, food system, circular economy, carbon markets and IoT/data applications. The remainder represents the built environment and mobility.

Different regions of the world have different areas of focus, demand or specialization in education innovation and technology, driving variation in the regional composition by sub-sector.

While we see clear sub-sector trends that run across regions around the world, we also see outliers and over or underweight sub-sector focus compared to the global weighted average.

The Middle East and North Africa is perhaps the largest outlier with 54% of the MENA 50 focused on the food system, more than double the global weighted average. Regions such as Latin America and the Caribbean and Southeast Asia all have very high food system exposure, while other regions are more renewable focused such as Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, Australia-New Zealand and Europe.

Globally, 8% of the Global Climate Tech 1000 were founded through the pandemic, and 51% founded in the four years prior. This leaves just over 40% who were formed prior to 2015.

By analyzing the founding year of the Global EdTech 1000, we can also see trends in company formation, biased of course by the fact that we are looking at the most promising startups region by region.

Interesting outliers include the Southeast Asia, with 14% of the 2021 cohort founded during COVID and a whopping 68% founded in the prior four years. At the other end of the spectrum Europe and Sub Saharan Africa have more than 50% of the cohort founded prior to 2015, with East Asia and Nordic Baltic not far behind with older cohorts than the global weighted average.

Founding year patterns in the 1000 together with sub-sectors hint at category formation and growth over time. Food Systems formation has been accelerating in the cohort over time but still represents 24% in 2021. Renewables and energy storage formation has been in decline strong over the prior decade.

The two charts below show the trend in the founding year, or company formation, for the Global Climate Tech 1000. Left to right in both charts we see the composition of the startups founded in that range. On the left we see the formation composition by sub-sector and on the right we see the formation composition by macro-region categories.

On the left we are seeing some slight compression in renewables and storage. On the right, we see Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) shrinking in relative formation share, with steady representative growth from Asia Pacific (APAC) and strong growth and representation of immediately pre and through COVID representation from the Americas (North and South).

HolonIQ's Climate Intelligence Unit rates thousands of organizations from startups to listed companies, powering annual assessments such as the Global Climate Tech 1000 and HolonIQ-powered Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) listed around the world, enabling investors to be thematically selective about where they invest.

HolonIQ’s Intelligence Platform powers decisions that matter at the world’s largest and leading institutions, technology platforms, companies and investors. But one of our most demanding platform power users is our own Intelligence Unit. Our engineering team builds software and tools that power our customers and our own Intelligence Unit to make tens of thousands of machine-learning powered and human-driven quantitative and qualitative assessments, applying the scientific method to impact intelligence and investing.

The screenshot below shows a sample ratings cohort of companies that have been assessed on multiple dimensions and are being evaluated by an analyst. We build tools that help analysts leverage technology, data science, and human evaluation to power decisions that matter. Our intelligence unit applies those tools, along with a rigorous, scientific mindset, to in this case, identify the most promising Climate Tech startups around the world.

30 Regional Impact Maps

Explore each of the 30 individual impact maps for the 2021 Global Climate Tech 1000, Global Digital Health 1000 and Global EdTech 1000.

Where is this data coming from?

HolonIQ is the world's leading impact intelligence platform. We support governments, institutions, firms and investors, with data insights to power decisions that matter. If you are not already a client, request a demo to learn more about our platform.
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