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Albotherm secures £1.6m to develop low carbon cooling for buildings and greenhouses

Albotherm secures £1.6m to develop low carbon cooling for buildings and greenhouses

Image from left to right: Dr Sian Fussell (CTO) and Molly Allington (CEO).

Albotherm Ltd, a Scale-Up member and ClimateTech spinout specialising in the development of low-carbon cooling coatings, announces today the close of its £1.6m seed investment round.

The investment was led by Green Angel Ventures and supported by Oxford Innovation Finance through its angel platform OION, Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Agritech, and Science Angels Syndicate (SAS), along with a £500k Innovate UK grant. The investment will enable Albotherm to further develop its smart coating technology within the commercial building and greenhouse sectors.

As global temperatures rise and many parts of the world are seeing their hottest summers yet, there is an ever-increasing need to find sustainable, low-carbon cooling solutions to regulate temperatures in indoor settings. This is particularly an issue in commercial buildings where there is high demand, as well as greenhouses where 25% of crop yields can be destroyed by excess heat and light, threatening the farming industry and global food security.

Energy-intensive air conditioning systems currently in place are a key contributor to global warming, accounting for 10% of global electricity usage, thus worsening the problem and creating a further need for a sustainable solution.

Albotherm has developed a reversible coating for glass surfaces, using polymer chemistry that can switch between opaque and transparent, providing shade in high temperatures and allowing sunlight through at lower temperatures. Albotherm’s proprietary technology has significant implications as a net zero approach for temperature regulation, replacing energy-intensive cooling systems, where their initial focus on commercial greenhouses has shown a 34% increase in crop yield compared to other approaches.

The company’s work in commercial greenhouses will not only increase food production but also pave the way for broader applications in the building sector, where energy-efficient cooling solutions are in high demand.

The £1.6m seed investment round led by Green Angel Ventures, represents a significant vote of confidence in Albotherm’s vision and potential to transform the cooling industry. With this substantial investment, Albotherm is poised to shape the CleanTech landscape, moving the greenhouse and built environment industry towards low-carbon cooling technologies

The all-female team, led by Molly Allington (CEO) and Dr Sian Fussell (CTO), is based on cutting-edge research from the University of Bristol.

The funding will enable Albotherm to develop its technology further, scale up manufacturing capabilities, and complete large-scale commercial pilots, allowing the company to bring its first products to the greenhouse market within the next two years.

Molly Allington, CEO of Albotherm Ltd: “We are delighted to have received investment to propel our technology development into large-scale commercial pilots. Gaining support from prominent investors such as GAV, will help us realise our vision to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system.”

Dr Sian Fussell (CTO of Albotherm): “As Albotherm continues to push the boundaries of low carbon cooling, we are thrilled to announce our recent investment. As an all-female founding team in the sustainable technology sector, we are inspired by the growing recognition and support for diverse voices and perspectives and we are thrilled to have found investors that are leading the way for this cause.”

Nick Lyth, President of Green Angel Ventures: “We have been greatly impressed by Albotherm.  The ability, dedication and determination of its two remarkable founders is both a testament to the commercial potential of the company and an inspiration for those who care about diversity in climatetech.  Their work will help make the world a better and safer place.”

About Albotherm

Albotherm’s vision is to revolutionise the cooling industry by providing a low-carbon solution to temperature regulation.

Initially focussing on the farming sector, Albotherm’s temperature-responsive materials will maximise food productivity in commercial greenhouses and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system. The technology also has wide applications in the building sector, where low-carbon cooling systems are in high demand.

Albotherm’s advanced materials use polymer chemistry to automatically switch from transparent to opaque above an engineerable trigger air temperature, reflecting solar radiation without the need for active cooling systems like air conditioning. Albotherm’s initial focus is on commercial greenhouses, where they demonstrated a 34% increase in crop yield compared to other approaches.

Albotherm is a Spin Up Science Ventures portfolio company as well as an alumni of the Sustainable accelerator programme, run by Sustainable Ventures where Albotherm is also a portfolio company.

Albotherm has previously taken part in the ICURe programme, aimed at university researchers whose research has commercial potential. They are also supported by Future Space, an innovation centre run by Oxford Innovation where Albotherm is based, as well as by SETsquared and IUK Edge programmes.

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