Breakthrough for an Alternative to Crude Oil & Palm Oil

OLIPI Receives €1.8 Million Seed Funding for Further Development of CO2-Neutral Climate Oil


from left Erich Müller, Dr. Philipp Arbter, Dr. Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer, Maximilian Webers, Maëlle Grimault, Dr. Jan Herzog and Arjun Krishnakumar

The conclusion of the Seed funding round marks a significant success for the Hamburg-based deep-tech startup COLIPI GmbH as it embarks on the year 2024. Investors include the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg (IFH), Nidobirds Ventures GmbH, and Stefan De Loecker. With this, COLIPI moves a significant step closer to its vision of “Fermenting Renewable Carbon For Generational Life Quality”.

“Laboratory experiments provide compelling evidence that our gas fermentation process represents a breakthrough in bioprocesses, offering significant potential to produce biomaterials, including oils, on a large scale at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact. Climate Oil aims to emerge as a carbon-neutral alternative to palm and crude oil, facilitating industries in meeting climate goals more effortlessly by reducing GHG Scope 3 emissions and safeguarding the environment. Our ongoing communication with Stefan De Loecker, HTGF, Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg, and Nidobirds, partially dating back to 2021, has been instrumental, and we are thrilled to have identified them as the ideal partners for our upcoming endeavors”, Maximilian Webers, Co-Founder & CEO of COLIPI.

The start-up founded in 2022, a spin-off from the Technical University of Hamburg, supported by the EXIST Research Transfer Program (German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action) and the InnoRampUp Program (IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH), is revolutionizing the way oil is produced.

COLIPI is, in a sense, a brewery for oils. Carbon is sourced or filtered from the air rather than pumped from the ground. CO2-containing industrial emissions and organic by-products, for example, from the agricultural industry, are converted by microorganisms through fermentations into valuable biomaterials like Climate Oil. The oil is more sustainable than crude oil and palm oil, considering the CO2 footprint and its impact on biodiversity. It is enabled by a patented bioprocess, a combination of a specially designed gas fermentation bioreactor and the world’s fastest CO2-consuming bacteria.

Industrial partners offering products such as cosmetics based on Climate Oil will be able to significantly reduce their corporate CO2 footprint. The founders, Philipp Arbeiter, Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer, and Maximilian Webers, aim to produce many millions of tons of Climate Oil annually by 2039, avoiding multiples of that amount in CO2 emissions. This will be an active contribution to climate protection and, consequently, humanity’s well-being. The recently completed Seed financing is another milestone for the young company. The capital will be utilized to expand the team, test the market with products manufactured by partners, and scale the technology.

"The founders of COLIPI, with their high technical expertise in biotechnology and truly innovative approaches to sustainable solutions for a significant challenge, serve as a prime example of the potential of the bioeconomy", Dr. Nik Raupp, Senior Investment Manager at HTGF.

"I look forward to future collaboration with the team at COLIPI. This technology has the potential to replace a mass-produced product at an acceptable price, thereby making a real impact", Dörte Bunge, Principal at Innovationsstarter Fonds.

"Technology transfer from universities occurs not only through direct industry collaborations, publications, patents, and graduates but also via startups. Technological solutions, such as those developed by COLIPI, are essential to mitigate climate change. We are pleased that, as a founding university, we have been able to lead a series of successful startups in green technologies through our startup hub, Startup Port @ TUHH. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to COLIPI on this additional funding and are happy to accompany them on their continued journey!", Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Timm-Giel, President at TU Hamburg.

"The innovation from COLIPI can make a significant contribution to climate protection, especially because the economic viability of the technology is attractive. This issue has been close to my heart for years, and the enthusiasm of the COLIPI team is contagious", Stefan De Loecker.

"COLIPI aligns perfectly with our value investing philosophy. For us, the quality of the founding team always takes precedence, and this team has convinced us", Nicholas Keuper, Managing Director at Nidobirds Ventures.

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