Hello Sifted reader,
Steve Wozniak, of Apple-founding fame, is back on the entrepreneurial horse — this time, it's climate tech he's interested in. His crypto-enabled platform Efforce wants to let users trade megawatts of saved energy in the same way that CO2 can be traded as carbon credits, but on the blockchain. Not everyone is convinced of its environmental benefits.
Sticking with crypto, cryptocurrency payments platform Ramp has raised a $70m Series B round — and it won't be dismayed by the sector's current chaos, as it plans to use the investment to make crypto payments more accessible.
Also today, scroll for the future of work, smart city and Polish deeptech startups VCs think you need to have on your radar.
From the Sifted newsroom:
👀 Steve Wozniak's new crypto-climate combo.
Fifty years after cofounding Apple, the entrepreneur is back in business mode — and this time, he's got climate tech in his sights. In 2018, he quietly cofounded Efforce, a crypto-enabled energy efficiency platform.
The team's headcount has since grown to 40, and it's one of a wave of companies in the last few years that have tried to encourage planet-friendly behaviour with the tools of digital currencies.
Freya Pratty looks at the problems with this so-called solution — and explores why, exactly, this tech VIP is interested in the niche industry.
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🇺🇦 Ukraine's tech nerds march on. Even amid the ongoing war, tech-savvy innovators in Ukraine are determined to get on with daily life. Daniel Korski headed to the country to speak to the minds behind the nation's tech scene, and to find out why it "feels like a war not just against a country, but against Ukraine’s efforts to modernise."
🍄 The numbers behind the shroom boom. Our latest Sifted Pro Report looks at the wild world of startup psychedelia — but what's driving this new corner of healthtech, and what does the market look like right now?
👊 The Startup Wise Guys spin-off. The Lithuanian branch of the Estonian accelerator has broken off to form its own competitor VC firm, FIRSTPICK. With €15m of a target raise of €20m secured, it's looking to back the brightest Baltic minds at the earliest stages.
🤝 Silicon Valley Bank takes stake in Founders Forum Group. The OG startup banking giant has taken a “part-ownership” stake in Brent Hoberman's tech empire and will become a leading partner of Founders Forum's flagship events — but everyone is keeping schtum on the sums involved.
🔐 What crypto crash? Judging by cryptocurrency payments startup Ramp's Series B round of $70m, there are some survivors amid the industry's current chaos. The startup will use the cash to make crypto payments more accessible through local payment methods.
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