The News: Amazon announced investments in two sustainable tech companies as part of the latest round of funding from The Climate Pledge Fund. Hippo Harvest, located in California, is a sustainable agriculture company that uses plant science, machine learning, and robotics to reduce emissions typically caused from growing lettuce and other leafy greens. Amogy, the second investment recipient, is focused on developing an ammonia-to-power system that will ultimately be used to power heavy-duty transportation. Read the full press release here.
Amazon Announces Investments in Two Sustainable Companies as Part of The Climate Pledge Fund
Analyst Take: The Climate Pledge Fund, established in 2020, is a $2 Billion corporate venture capital fund dedicated to funding companies that can help Amazon meet its goals set forth in The Climate Pledge, according to Amazon’s website. Since its inception, The Climate Pledge Fund has been backing promising green tech startups that are focused on developing sustainable technologies. Hippo Harvest and Amogy are just the latest start-ups in a long list of companies that include Rivian, Pachama, and Ion Energy to name a few.
A Little Background on Hippo Harvest and Amogy
Hippo Harvest and Amogy are great additions to the list of companies funded by The Climate Pledge Fund. Each is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the carbon footprint in industries that contribute to a large percentage of carbon emissions worldwide. Their technologies have promising implications for the future.
Hippo Harvest is the first agricultural company to receive an investment from The Climate Pledge Fund. Its technologies are working to grow leafy greens in greenhouse environments that eliminate the waste and emissions from traditional farming methods. The pilot farm system uses a direct-to-root fertilizer and system that requires 95% less water than traditional farming. Robotics and other technologies like data collection, make it easier to monitor plants and eliminates waste. The best part? Due to the controlled environment, the greenhouses can be built almost anywhere, which would eliminate the emissions from transportation and increase the shelf life of fresh vegetables.
This investment makes sense for Amazon as a grocery retailer. Eventually these produce products will likely be sold in Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh stores and potentially pay big dividends to the company.
Amogy is focused on developing ammonia-to-power systems that are emission-free from the start and will eventually be used to power heavy-duty transportation like marine transportation. Scientists have been working for years to tap into the power of ammonia. The energy-dense compound can be broken apart and then converted to hydrogen power without any emissions at all. Amogy is dedicated to commercializing this technology to power transportation like shipping vessels and other heavy-duty transportation methods, which has traditionally been one of the hardest sectors to eliminate fossil fuels. This could have huge implications for long-haul trucking, aviation, and marine transportation.
Amazon’s Plan to Fund Visionary Companies
In September, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said that it will take everyone, not just Amazon, to fight climate change. And he’s right. But it’s promising to see Amazon take a huge monetary stand in the fight. I know these two companies, and the others on the list, are only the beginning for The Climate Pledge Fund. I look forward to seeing what other visionary companies get funded next.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
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Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”