Clean Energy Trust has announced investments in two early-stage cleantech startups: Renewance Inc., a software platform and services (software-as-a-service, SaaS) for battery lifecycle management and stewardship, and Iris Light Technologies, Inc., a developer of silicon photonics technology.
“It is critical that cleantech innovation continues unabated during these challenging times as climate change remains an existential risk,” said Erik Birkerts, Chief Executive Officer at Clean Energy Trust. “We have worked hard to maintain our catalytic investment activity and entrepreneurial support during the current crisis, and we are delighted to welcome Iris Light Technologies and Renewance to our portfolio of impactful, cleantech startups from the Mid-Continent region of the United States.”
Chicago-based Renewance Inc. provides lifecycle management solutions to the battery energy storage and electric vehicle industries. Services include enabling clients with defect or end-of life batteries to compare, select and contract with battery recyclers on the Renewance Connect platform; turnkey recycling solutions; and several other software solutions and services to ease management of battery energy storage assets throughout the full life cycle.
Registered users of Renewance Connect can trigger a request for quote when they have DDR (damaged, defective, recalled) or end-of-life batteries and receive multiple quotes from registered, reputable waste logistics providers and recyclers, so they can compare and be assured to select and contract the most cost competitive waste logistics provider and recycler.
The investment in Renewance was made from the Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund. As part of the support Clean Energy Trust offers their portfolio, they will also provide both companies with access to resources and programs that have helped current portfolio companies raise more than $140 million of follow-on funding. Since 2014, Clean Energy Trust has invested in 33 companies in states located across the Mid-Continental region of the United States.
Iris Light Technologies, Inc.
Iris Light Technologies on-chip laser technology addresses a critical need of data centers currently consuming 2% of global electricity. With 1000x growth in bandwidth by 2030 due to the demands of Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G communications, and the Internet-of-Things, the Iris Light solution increases the bandwidth and energy-efficiency of light chips key to data center networks. Iris Light Technologies is currently participating in Chain Reaction Innovations, Argonne National Laboratory’s elite entrepreneurship program.
“When I founded Iris Light Technologies, I imagined a world where light chips revolutionized our daily lives much like electronic chips have endowed us with ubiquitous computing power, smartphones, and the Cloud,” said Chad Husko, Founder/CEO of Iris Light Technologies. “We’re excited to join Clean Energy Trust’s portfolio to scale and fundamentally change the future of silicon photonics, unlocking global access to data bandwidth, and boosting energy efficiency as we drive towards new modes of 21st-century connectivity.”
About Clean Energy Trust
Clean Energy Trust provides catalytic capital and support to early-stage startups in the Mid-Continent region of the United States working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Based in Chicago, Clean Energy Trust invests in and provides hands-on support to help environmentally sustainable entrepreneurs scale and succeed. To date, Clean Energy Trust has helped its 33 portfolio companies raise $26 of additional investment for every $1 Clean Energy Trust has invested. Clean Energy Trust’s portfolio currently employs over 500 people.
About the Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund
The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund is administered by Clean Energy Trust and makes direct investments in high-potential, early-stage, Illinois-based cleantech companies to support innovative entrepreneurship and create jobs in the cleantech sector in Illinois. The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund was seeded by grant funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and is overseen by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.