Seed round for OMC°C: BMH and Companisto invest in urban greening

Photo: Compa­ni­sta foun­ders Nicola Statt­mann and Carlotta Ludig (l.t.r.)
19. May 2023

Wiesbaden/Berlin — BMH Betei­­li­­gungs-Mana­ge­­men­t­­ge­­sel­l­­schaft Hessen mbH and Compa­nisto GmbH have jointly inves­ted in Office for Micro Climate Culti­va­tion GmbH (OMC°C). The Fran­k­­furt-based startup is deve­lo­ping a flexi­ble and loca­­tion-inde­­pen­­dent product system that uses free-stan­­ding verti­cal green spaces to improve climate resi­li­ence and air quality in urban centers. OMC°C will use the new finan­cial resour­ces to further deve­lop its product and service, prepare for market entry and further expand its team.

The company OMC°C was foun­ded by Nicola Statt­mann and Carlotta Ludig at the end of 2021 with the aim of coun­ter­ac­ting the incre­asing heating of urban centers on a large scale and in a timely manner. Their inno­va­tive “Climate Farming System” gree­ning system uses annual clim­bing plants that grow more than seven meters in height each year on free-stan­­ding modu­les in a very short time. The resul­ting “plant sails” have a stan­dard size of 18 square meters and are capa­ble of cooling their surroun­dings by up to 2.5°C. Each module has six plant sails and gene­ra­tes 270 cubic meters of fresh air per day with its total sail area of 108 square meters. In addi­tion, one module can store around 0.5 tons of CO2 per year. The modu­les, which can be comple­ted in series, consist of a light­weight support struc­ture, substrate contai­ners, biode­gra­da­ble, hurri­­cane-proof tendril nets and an auto­ma­ted irri­ga­tion system. They can be freely posi­tio­ned and cast shade where it is needed. Unlike trees, the modu­les do not require any earth space, as they are secu­red above ground with compa­ra­tively narrow screw foun­da­ti­ons or precast foun­da­tion elements.

The Climate Farming system is thus — in contrast to estab­lished gree­ning solu­ti­ons, espe­ci­ally facade and roof gree­ning — almost infi­ni­tely scalable and signi­fi­cantly more cost-effi­ci­ent. OMC°C also offers its custo­mers a one-stop solu­tion: in addi­tion to provi­ding the modu­les, the startup supports them with expert advice as well as with site plan­ning and then takes over all the neces­sary services — from sowing the seeds in the spring to coll­ec­ting the over­grown nets in the fall — as part of a green-as-a-service model. The Climate Farming system is prima­rily aimed at cities and muni­ci­pa­li­ties as well as compa­nies, espe­ci­ally from the real estate indus­try, which, for exam­ple, want to reduce energy consump­tion. want or need to reduce their carbon foot­print, lower air condi­tio­ning costs, or comply with new regulations.

OMC°C has alre­ady recei­ved seve­ral awards for its inno­va­tive system, inclu­ding third place at the Frank­furt Foun­ders’ Prize 2022, as well as various grants, inclu­ding from Hessen-Ideen, Frank­furt frischt auf and push! The project is also supported by, among others, the Frank­furt Econo­mic Deve­lo­p­ment Corpo­ra­tion, the German Weather Service and the Sencken­berg Society for Nature Rese­arch. The previous mile­sto­nes of deve­lo­ping the stand struc­ture and rank net, test­ing the irri­ga­tion system and substra­tes will now be follo­wed by the test­ing of a first proto­type in the summer of 2023 in a real labo­ra­tory in Frankfurt.

“We are on track to reach produc­tion readi­ness in the third quar­ter of 2023 and to move forward with the produc­tion setup. We plan to launch the product in Octo­ber of this year,” said Nicola Statt­mann and Carlotta Ludig, foun­ders of OMC°C. “We’re exci­ted to now be able to work with our new part­ners to make down­towns in parti­cu­lar gree­ner and more livable.”

“Espe­ci­ally for metro­po­li­tan areas, we have never needed inno­va­tive solu­ti­ons in the areas of climate protec­tion, climate resi­li­ence and urban biodi­ver­sity so urgen­tly. We are firmly convin­ced that OMC°C’s gree­ning system is one of the tech­no­lo­gies that will sustain­ably combine econo­mic and social added value,” says Jürgen ten Elsen, respon­si­ble invest­ment mana­ger at BMH, which mana­ges the Hessen Kapi­tal III (EFRE) GmbH fund, among others.

“The forward-looking busi­ness model as well as the strong and comple­men­tary network of OMC°C convin­ced us alre­ady at the first cont­act. In the further due dili­gence, we were convin­ced not only by the team, but also by the content of the offer: In our opinion, the gree­ning of urban infra­struc­tures carries not only imme­diate local bene­fits, but also a soci­ally rele­vant added value for an incre­asing aware­ness of climate protec­tion. The concept convin­ced not only Compa­nisto, but also the Compa­nists, who inves­ted in OMC°C with capi­tal and exper­tise,” adds Chris­toph Schwei­zer, Part­ner and Head of Invest­ment at Companisto.

About BMH

BMH Betei­­li­­gungs-Mana­ge­­men­t­­ge­­sel­l­­schaft Hessen mbH, based in Wies­ba­den, was foun­ded in 2001 and is a wholly owned subsi­diary of Landes­bank Hessen-Thürin­­gen Giro­zen­trale (Helaba). Through Wirt­­schafts- und Infra­struk­tur­bank Hessen (WIBank), BMH is actively invol­ved in the econo­mic deve­lo­p­ment acti­vi­ties of the State of Hesse. As a medium-sized invest­ment and venture capi­tal company, BMH bund­les public invest­ment inte­rests and finan­cing instru­ments for early-stage, growth and medium-sized compa­nies in Hesse. BMH curr­ently mana­ges seven invest­ment funds with a total inves­ted invest­ment volume of around 125 million euros. Since its foun­da­tion, BMH has inves­ted in a total of more than 500 compa­nies. The main areas of invest­ment include the soft­ware & IT, life scien­ces, mecha­ni­cal and plant engi­nee­ring, indus­trial goods, profes­sio­nal services and e‑commerce sectors.

About Compa­nisto

Compa­nisto is the market-leading private inves­tor network in the D‑A‑CH region and has been a leading venture capi­ta­list for startup invest­ments for seven years in a row. To date, around €191.1 million has been commit­ted via Compa­nisto in over 277 finan­cing rounds. Since 2018, Compa­nisto has expan­ded its network of curr­ently 138,000 private inves­tors with a digi­tally orga­ni­zed Busi­ness Angel Club. Around 2,000 busi­ness angels invest in the equity of compa­nies via Compa­nisto with invest­ments start­ing at EUR 10,000. The invest­ment process and invest­ment manage­ment were fully digitized.


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