Climate-tech startup Newtrace raises $5.6 million in funding from Sequoia, others

Climate-tech startup Newtrace raises $5.6 million in funding from Sequoia, others

Climate-tech startup Newtrace announced a $5.65 million seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and Aavishkaar Capital on Wednesday.

Other investors included Urban Ladder founder Ashish Goel, IKP Knowledge Park, and Speciale Invest and Micelio Fund, as well as returning investors Speciale Invest and Micelio Fund.

According to the company, the funds will be used to expand Newtrace’s electrolyzer manufacturing and deployment capabilities in India and abroad.

“We are overjoyed to have received this round of funding, which will allow us to scale our operations and meet the growing demand for our innovative electrolyzers,” said Prasanta Sarkar, CEO and co-founder of Newtrace.

The startup’s patent-pending electrolyzer technology is intended to produce ultrapure hydrogen. It claims that by combining fluid engineering technology with an enhanced electrocatalyst that does not use rare earth metals, it can reduce overall production costs by up to 60%.

Hydrogen gas is collected and used for a variety of industrial purposes. According to the statement, Newtrace’s electrolyzers are a lucrative option for quick deployment and integration across industries due to the use of advanced manufacturing and a real-time analytics platform.

Newtrace, which will be launched in 2021, intends to use its electrolyzers in industries such as refineries, fertilizers, chemicals, steel and cement, and transportation. It also intends to broaden its solution to include technology for the long-term storage and conversion of green hydrogen and ammonia.

“Every year, the world produces 94 million tonnes of hydrogen through methods that rely on fossil fuels, which results in over 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions,” the press release said.

“In contrast, green hydrogen production makes use of renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.” 

According to the company, investments in hydrogen technology deployment are expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2030 in order to achieve net zero emissions, representing a massive market opportunity for electrolyzers.

“The threat of climate change looms large and there is an urgent need to make concentrated efforts towards de-carbonization,” said Anurag Agrawal, partner, Aavishkaar Capital.

“Production of cost-effective and sustainable hydrogen has been identified as an enabler in the energy transition of hard-to-abate industries and we see Newtrace as a critical player in shaping India’s emerging Green Hydrogen story.”

Sarkar, the founder of Newtrace, is a two-time Marie Curie fellow with a doctorate in fluid mechanics and energy engineering from the University Grenoble Alpes in France. He is an aerospace engineer turned entrepreneur with experience in product development, multiphase flows, and computational mechanics.

Rochan Sinha, Sarkar’s co-founder, is a material scientist with a doctorate in applied physics from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. He has been working on technologies and materials for renewable energy conversion and storage, with a focus on solid-state batteries, electrolyzers, and solar fuel devices.