The Net Zero Future50 report – CEE Edition

The Net Zero Future50 report – CEE Edition

The next generation of climate tech start-ups have the potential to help us bend the emissions curve. PwC has explored the climate tech investment landscape in Central and Eastern Europe and highlighted 50 innovators that illustrate various decarbonisation opportunities across the region.

The International Energy Agency highlights in its net zero scenarios that building new, low-emitting assets and technologies is one of four key broad sets of measures to achieve emissions reductions. Climate tech is showing strong growth as an emerging asset class globally, but the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region has only attracted less than one percent of global investments.

The CEE edition of PwC’s Net Zero Future50 report, produced in partnership with Wolves Summit, presents a first look of its kind at the state of climate tech investment in 27 countries and 8 sectors across the CEE region and features a selection of 50 climate tech start-ups.

The climate tech investment landscape in CEE

Climate tech investments in CEE are showing steady growth, with more than US$1.76 bn invested between 2013 and the first half of 2021. Investments have risen from US$10.6m in 2013 to US$398m in 2020, and to over US$502m in the first half of 2021 alone.

This rapid growth is mainly driven by the rise of megadeals (deals valued at more than USD $100m) in sectors such as Mobility and Transportation, and Industry, Manufacturing and Resource Management.

CEE Climate tech start-up funding by deal size

Investment vs emissions

The CEE region as a whole only contributes approximately 3.73% of global GHG emissions. At the same time, the region’s share of global climate tech investment is just 0.79% of the total. Given that many countries in CEE are showing positive economic growth, it is crucial to ensure more funding flows to scaling up decarbonisation technologies in the region.

Comparing climate impact against climate investments in CEE

Emissions vs investment

Climate tech investments in CEE are heavily concentrated in the Mobility and Transport sector (59.8%). Most notably, between 2013 and first half of 2021 CEE start-ups in the Food, Agriculture and Land Use sector attracted just 2.26% of total funding, and those in the Energy sector a mere 1.29%.

Breakdown of investment by sector

Funding by sector chart

Estonia and Lithuania-based start-ups have raised 74.8% of total CEE climate tech funding. Tallinn (Estonia), Vilnius (Lithuania), and Sveta Nedelja (Croatia) are the top three most active climate tech investment hubs in the region. Although Poland has the largest economy in the region, and it serves as a strategic hub for some industries, start-ups in Poland only raised 4.65% of total CEE climate tech funding.

Breakdown of investment by country

Funding by country chart

About the report

The PwC Net Zero Future50 report – CEE Edition looks at the state of climate tech in our region and features a selection of 50 climate tech start-ups.

The following CEE countries are covered in the report (27 in total): Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Climate tech is defined as technologies that are explicitly focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or addressing the impacts of global warming. The 8 sectors of focus are based on the PwC climate tech taxonomy.

The PwC Net Zero Future50 – CEE Edition start-ups were selected from an application and selection process which took place in between May and July 2022. PwC focused on analysing the size of the prize in terms of environmental and commercial impact, their maturity and their potential to scale to achieve breakthrough results.

Download the CEE edition of the Net Zero Future50 report >>