Category Archives: GreenTech

Testing times for second wave scooter startups

Investors are still pouring millions into scooter startups, albeit sometimes at flat valuations. At the same time a little cash is flowing the other way, in cases where cities have realized the importance of prioritizing the needs of the local environment and its citizens, over and above the ambitions of VCs for a swift and lucrative exit. Scooter startups affected by such regulatory bumps in the road are, unsurprisingly, rather less keen to shout about this sort of policy friction and the negative cash and ride flow it generates. […]

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FloWater just raised $15 million to put bottled water out of business

FloWater, an eight-year-old, Burlingame, Calif.-based company whose reusable water bottle refilling stations produce purified water, has raised $15 million in its first major round of funding. Bluewater, a Swedish company that sells water purifiers, among other things, led the round. FloWater caters to schools, colleges, fitness centers, hotels and offices, and, in the words of CEO Rich Razgaitis, set out to address four environmental concerns from the outset: obesity in the U.S., which has been tied in part to the rise of sugary, carbonated beverages; the nearly 40 […]

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A new solar technology could be the next big boost for renewable energy

Across the globe, a clutch of companies from Oxford, England to Redwood City, Calif. are working to commercialize a new solar technology that could further boost the adoption of renewable energy generation. Earlier this year, Oxford PV, a startup working in tandem with Oxford University, received $3 million from the U.K. government to develop the technology, which uses a new kind of material to make solar cells. Two days ago, in the U.S., a company called Swift Solar raised $7 million to bring the same technology to market, according […]

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Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits can be a soul-crushing undertaking that’ll have you running around the city, filling out useless forms, and waiting in motionless lines under fluorescent lights at City Hall wondering whether you should have just moved back in with your parents. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of […]

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Cove.Tool wants to solve climate change one efficient building at a time

As the fight against climate change heats up, Cove.Tool is looking to help tackle carbon emissions one building at a time. The Atlanta-based startup provides an automated big-data platform that helps architects, engineers and contractors identify the most cost-effective ways to make buildings compliant with energy efficiency requirements. After raising an initial round earlier this year, the company completed the final close of a $750,000 seed round. Since the initial announcement of the round earlier this month, Urban Us, the early-stage fund focused on companies transforming city […]

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Agtech startup Imago AI is using computer vision to boost crop yields

Presenting onstage today in the 2018 TC Disrupt Berlin Battlefield is Indian agtech startup Imago AI, which is applying AI to help feed the world’s growing population by increasing crop yields and reducing food waste. As startup missions go, it’s an impressively ambitious one. The team, which is based out of Gurgaon near New Delhi, is using computer vision and machine learning technology to fully automate the laborious task of measuring crop output and quality — speeding up what can be a very manual and time-consuming process […]

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That night, a forest flew: DroneSeed is planting trees from the air

Wildfires are consuming our forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based startup that aims to combat this growing problem with a modern toolkit that scales: drones, artificial intelligence and biological engineering. And it’s even more complicated than it sounds. Trees in decline A bit of background first. The problem of disappearing forests is […]

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Tap, a new startup from Sam Rosen, wants to be the Google of drinking water

MakeSpace founder and former CEO Samuel Rosen is ready to launch his next venture, and it has little or nothing to do with the on-demand economy. This time, Rosen is setting his sights on the world of water. Tap aims to be the world’s first public index and global search engine for drinking water. Plastic water bottles are, in many ways, the scourge of the planet. More than 90 percent of the environmental impact of plastic water bottles happens during manufacture, and the Guardian reported that more […]

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Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm

For the last two and a half years, Iron Ox has been working on perfecting its agricultural robots to tend its indoor farms. After first testing its systems on a small scale, the company is opening its first fully autonomous production farm, with plans to start selling its produce soon. The farm is currently growing a number of leafy greens, including romaine, butterhead and kale, in addition to basil, cilantro and chives.  The robots that are tending these plants are Angus, a 1000-pound machine that can lift and […]

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Uber fires up its own traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars

If the whole map is red and it’s a short ride, maybe you’d prefer taking an Uber JUMP Bike instead of an UberX. Or at least if you do end up stuck bumper-to-bumper, the warning could make you less likely to get mad mid-ride and take it out on the driver’s rating. This week TechCrunch spotted Uber overlaying blue, yellow, and red traffic condition bars on your route map before you hail. Responding to TechCrunch’s inquiry, Uber confirmed that traffic estimates have been quietly testing for riders on […]

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