Albotherm, a University of Bristol spin-out company developing passive cooling technologies to reduce energy usage in agriculture and the buildings sector, has announced the completion of a £370k seed funding round.
The funding will support the development of Albotherm’s Variable Shading System, a temperature responsive glass coating to reflect sunlight and reduce the energy required to cool agricultural, domestic, and commercial buildings, which is expected to account for 13% of global energy by 2050.
Albotherm’s coatings transition reversibly from clear to white at tunable temperatures to prevent excess solar gains in hot weather. This helps to regulate the temperature of surfaces and structures without the need for energy input.
The funding round was led by Sustainable Ventures as part of their Sustainable Accelerator programme. Sustainable Ventures provides early stage investment opportunities and support to sustainability focussed start-ups with high growth potential. Albotherm is also part of the Spin Up Science Ventures (SUSV) acceleration program which helps academic founding teams to launch business based on scientific discoveries.
This investment follows the award of a £210k grant from Innovate UK in 2020. The company was supported in its grant application by Innovate UK EDGE, who not only provided support to their bid but also provided advice on their Intellectual Property strategy, their product development processes and their business leadership model.
Albotherm is a tech company led by two female founders, Molly Allington (CEO) and Sian Fussell (CTO). The pair met when they were both researchers at the University of Bristol. It was there that they discovered a shared passion for using science as a force for good.
Sian Fussell CTO and Co-founder said: “When I started my PhD as part of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, I became aware of the work being done on this fascinating new technology. I wanted to understand how we could utilise this technology’s potential to combat climate change. It is very exciting to see Albotherm gain the opportunity to bring this technology to the market.”
Molly Allington CEO and Co-founder said: “Two of the biggest climate challenges facing us today are securing food supply and lowering carbon emissions. Albotherm is combating these issues using our passive cooling technology to improve crop yields and cool buildings without energy input. We are particularly excited to be working with Sustainable Ventures, Spin Up Science, and our experienced angel investors whose vision for a more environmentally conscious future closely aligns with our own.”