Climate tech startups in Southeast Asia are growing and receiving funding to address the region’s extreme weather and climate disasters. According to Southeast Asia’s Green Economy: Opportunities on the Road to Net Zero report by Bain & Company, Microsoft, and Temasek, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can reduce 90% of its carbon emissions by transitioning to clean energy and valuing the environment.
The region has the potential to seize new economic opportunities and work to decarbonise the agricultural sector, and some have already done so. We take a look at five climate tech startups that are already making an impact in Southeast Asia:
Singapore-based FlyORO is on a mission to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) accessible and available at airports everywhere. It provides a viable alternative to conventional jet fuel, offering a blend of standard oil and renewable oil (ORO). It uses last-mile blending and distribution to solve the logistics cost and carbon footprint of developing and delivering sustainable fuels. These solutions make flying greener and help ensure cleaner skies.
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Thus far, FlyORO has raised SG $500,000 from an angel investor. It charges up to US $0.10 per litre, and its modular biofuel blending technology can be deployed and integrated with the infrastructure at the airport. It also partners with airports and airlines to fix supply-chain challenges, lower costs, and comply with regulations.
Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and distributor Charged Indonesia plans to provide accessible, competitively-priced, sustainable, and practical mobility solutions to its customers. Its mission is to accelerate the adoption of EVs to combat air pollution, and it plans to build 10 million vehicles in 10 years. Currently, it is working on unveiling its 16,000 square metre facilities and research and development (R&D) labs.
Charged Indonesia recently received US$ 4.5 million in a Seed round from Declout Ventures. The company plans to begin its eMobility movement by rolling out affordable electric motorcycles to replace traditional motorcycles, which are one of Indonesia’s leading causes of carbon emissions and air pollution.
Southeast Asia faces challenges from the amount of waste generated from agricultural activities, and WasteX seeks to provide solutions. It helps farmers, mills, and factories use biomass, boost productivity, and improve operations to reduce carbon emissions. It also enables farms to generate additional income and uses money from waste reclamation products to support the industrial sector’s move away from carbon-generating operations.
In August, WasteX raised US$ 525,000 in a Pre Seed round from Wavemaker Impact, the first venture capital (VC) climate tech startup funder in Southeast Asia. WasteX plans to use the money to conduct waste valorisation—the reclamation of waste—to convert biomass into high-value products that can benefit smallholders and large companies.
Indonesia’s SWAP Energy is a network of battery-swapping stations for electric motorcycle riders. It replaces your battery for you with a fully charged battery, eliminating the hassle and challenge of waiting for it to charge. Its mission is to build city-based charging stations for electric motorcycles, to give Indonesia’s transportation sector a sustainable future.
SWAP Energy closed the Pre-A funding round for an undisclosed amount. Its investors include Kejora-SBI Orbit, Baramulti Group, New Energy Nexus Indonesia, Sinar Mas Group affiliate Living Lab Ventures, Yifang, Raksasa Capital, and other strategic partners. SWAP Energy plans to use the money to add 1,100 battery-swapping stations across Indonesia to the 400 already built.
Carbon-management solutions company Zuno Carbon provides end-to-end tools that enable organisations to collect activity data, measure, offset, and reduce emissions by changing their value chains. Zuno’s AI capabilities ensure that companies can track their emissions in real-time, forecast emissions, and provide cost-effective solutions to improve an organisation’s sustainability. Moreover, its Veridis platform will streamline compliance and disclosure reporting on greenhouse gas production.
In June, Zuno Carbon raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre Seed funding round from SEEDS Capital and Blue InCube Ventures. It will use the money for its marketing, grow its team members, and accelerate its product development, initially targeting the energy, manufacturing, and real estate sectors due to their high emissions.
The global and regional transition to renewable clean energy means we can expect to see more climate tech startups in Southeast Asia. Investors are pumping money into the ASEAN startups as part of the recent push to invest in businesses that meet environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) goals. Ecosystem-wide innovation may accelerate the adoption and use of climate technology to reduce carbon footprints.
Governments should also do more to support or fund small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are switching to clean energy. Bain’s report says there must be regional collaboration to address climate change. For example, there can be cross-border carbon trading systems in place to help reduce carbon emissions.
Ultimately, emerging climate tech startups may hold the secret to addressing environmental challenges once and for all.