October 20, 2022
💸 Investment News 💸: RIFT
The need to switch away from gas and towards alternative and clean sources of heating is higher than ever, especially if you imagine that more than 40% of global CO2 emissions originate from energy-intensive industries. Despite the increasing pressure put on decarbonizing these energy-intensive industries (think: district heating, process industry and electricity generation), businesses are struggling due to a lack of (clean)technologies which fit their needs and do not cost a fortune.
But that’s going to change soon! Our latest addition to Rubio’s ‘Champions of Change’, RIFT is developing technology to use iron powder as a circular fuel to generate heat with no direct CO2 emissions. This circular fuel is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Iron powder is used as a medium to store energy, when this is combusted, heat is created and the residual powder, iron-oxide (aka rust), is regenerated into iron fuel which can be used to create heat again (and again and again). RIFT is developing industrial-scale boilers which will directly replace gas-fueled boilers and save thousands of tons of CO2 emissions per year.
We are not the only ones who see the potential of RIFT
We invested together with the BOM and Energietransitiefonds Rotterdam. And more good news, because Bill Gates also joined 😊 This recent announcement explains how RIFT’s founders Mark Verhagen, Lex Scheepers and Vincent Seijger were selected for the Breakthrough Energy Fellows Program. This private investment coalition (founded by Bill Gates) aims to accelerate the development of technologies that will contribute to a climate-neutral world in 2050. Through this Fellows program RIFT will receive a considerable grant to accelerate their technological development and also gets access to world-class mentoring and education.
The next breakthrough in cleantech
RIFT is currently testing a prototype of their technology at an existing district heat facility and this heat is already being used by Dutch households in the neighborhood. So, it’s early days, but nonetheless very cool for a hardware tech start-up to be live right from the start. In our opinion all ingredients are there for iron fuel to become the next breakthrough in cleantech and we are excited to support RIFT on this journey.
The People Behind RIFT
RIFT was founded by three friends from Eindhoven University of Technology, Mark Verhagen, Vincent Seijger and Lex Scheepers who worked together on iron fuel technology development in student team SOLID. This student team was part of the Metal Power Consortium and worked closely with the founding father of iron fuel, professor Philip de Goey. Mark, Vincent and Lex founded RIFT in 2021 to provide commercial access to this promising new clean fuel. Since then the team has developed the technology further and expanded with senior experts in the industry.
Why We Invested
Helmer Schukken, Managing Partner Rubio: “We invested into RIFT because they are pioneering a new technology which can become the key to decarbonising industrial heat. Even in this early stage, RIFT’s technology is already providing heat towards households through their partnership with Ennatuurlijk. This is a testament to the founding team who are working tirelessly to bring this technology to the market as soon as possible. We are happy to support them on this journey.”