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Exclusive: Israeli heat engine maker Luminescent snags $7M

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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Luminescent Power, a Tel Aviv-based startup that makes sustainable heat engines, raised $7 million in seed funding, the company exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: Luminescent's raise is a sign investors are getting more comfortable with the economics of backing climate companies with more technical, complex technology.

Details: Grove Ventures led the all-equity round, and Lior Handelsman, the SolarEdge co-founder, will join Luminescent's board. European climate-tech fund Extantia Capital also participated in the round. Luminescent CEO Doron Tamir declined to share the round's valuation.

How it works: Luminescent's heat engine runs entirely on liquids that have a higher thermal energy density than traditional engines.

  • The hot liquid flows through a nozzle that injects pressurized nitrogen into the mix, which expands isothermally in a process that roughly doubles the engine's efficiency while decreasing the machines physical size, Tamir says.
  • The commercial product rollout is set for 2023.

Zoom out: This is Extantia's second deep-tech climate investment out of Israel this month. It also led a $10 million Series A for RepAir Carbon, a DAC startup, on December 5.

  • The Israel startup scene has been historically known as a cybersecurity, enterprise tech and AI powerhouse with companies like Check Point, DocuSign and Monday.com.
  • The country's reputation as a tech leader could help boost its climate tech founders to the global stage even as the region itself grapples with the impacts of climate change.
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