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The biggest venture rounds in U.S. climate-tech in Q1

Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Startups putting steel in the ground, instead of bytes in the cloud, raised the biggest rounds in the first quarter of 2024.

Why it matters: Investors aren't shying from expensive hardware plays.

State of play: The top-raising startups include battery recycler Ascend Elements, geologic hydrogen producer Koloma, geothermal energy developer Fervo Energy, sodium battery maker Natron, and thermal battery startup

  • Lithium extraction startup Lilac, high-end strawberry grower Oishii, and underground mapping service Exodigo also made the list.
Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Context: The companies closed their raises in a quarter that saw the slowest pace of dealmaking in at least five years.

  • The amount of capital raised rebounded from 2023. But Q1 saw the volume deals fall 36% from the same period last year and drop by nearly half from the peak reached in Q1 2022.

👀 What we're watching: Investors in the space have sounded optimistic, as we've reported earlier this year. We'll be keeping a close eye on Q2 for signs of life — especially as companies race to close rounds before the height of the presidential election and all the distractions it promises to bring.

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