Company Update - May 12, 2023

Airthium’s Raise Moves in the Right Direction

I didn’t think I would be writing an update about Airthium just nine months after writing a Deal to Watch report about the company. But the news is too good to wait.

Airthium — a French startup building a high temperature heat pump — is extending its round until April 2024. It has made great progress from a business standpoint since it opened its round in July 2022, and most importantly, it lowered its valuation from $55 million to $20 million. Both current and new investors in this round will benefit from this lower price. Because Airthium is finally raising at a fair price, it makes the investment opportunity even more attractive than it was last year.

Little by Little

Airthium’s product can both decarbonize heat-intensive manufacturing processes and facilitate long duration energy storage by transforming electricity in heat and storing it in molten salt containers on renewable energy farms. It is a high-risk, high-reward investment opportunity. As with any new technology, there is significant risk that Airthium could fail — whether from technical or financial hardship. But if Airthium’s technology is as much of a breakthrough as the company envisions it to be, it could bring large returns to investors while also helping to mitigate climate change.

With such a complicated startup, every step forward is a win. As the saying goes, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. And Airthium is making good progress.

It signed a memorandum of understanding — a nonbinding agreement that states both parties’ intention to collaborate — with McCain, a large Canadian food company with more than $8 billion in revenue. Per the agreement, Airthium and McCain will install a 100-kilowatt heat pump pilot at its Bethune plant in northern France in late 2024.

Airthium is also targeting the American market. It signed a letter of intent with Cemvita, an industrial biotech company based in Texas.

This achievement shows that Airthium has made technical improvements since we talked back in September for Andrei Klochko’s Founder Profile. It also demonstrates that there is a product-market fit in the food and biotech sectors.

The company is preparing itself to find clients and released a calculator to help future partners understand the applications and benefits of Airthium’s technology.

I’m glad to see that Airthium is starting to work on its product’s commercialization. The company can only succeed if it makes financial sense for its clients. The company’s raise is moving in the right direction, so investors can finally jump aboard at a fair price.

About: Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Léa is passionate about impact investing and sustainability. Prior to KingsCrowd, she worked for Stanford’s accelerator, StartX, helping to select the most promising entrepreneurs. She also led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. In her free-time, she volunteers to help entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Brazil and Colombia. Léa holds a degree in Anthropology from France and is currently enrolled in the UC Davis MBA program.

View more articles by Léa

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