Bill Gates Backs Next Big Thing In Tech Award Winner ClearFlame with Second Investment From Breakthrough Energy Ventures

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a startup dedicated to reducing carbon and soot emissions by powering heavy-duty engines with clean and renewable fuels, has secured $30 million in Series B funding. 

Among those making second investments were Breakthrough Energy Ventures, led by renowned entrepreneur Bill Gates, and Mercuria Energy Group, one of the world’s largest privately held energy and commodities companies. 

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New investors include mining corporation Rio Tinto Group and WIND Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Latin America's leading mobility and energy firm Empresas Copec. The investment will enable ClearFlame to bring its innovative solution to market and accelerate the transition to renewable fuels in heavy-duty equipment. 

With patented technology that can run on a range of renewable liquid fuels, ClearFlame's engines can compete with diesel engines in power, durability and performance while reducing emissions. The company plans to penetrate the global trucking market, starting with long-haul trucks, and explore partnerships and applications for mining, agriculture and power generation sectors.

"ClearFlame has pulled together a new generation of entrepreneurs and veteran engineering talent that have unlocked a viable, cutting-edge solution," said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

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ClearFlame Technologies was established in 2018 by Stanford Ph.D. students Julie Blumreiter and BJ Johnson, who were dedicated to finding solutions to mitigate climate change and achieve carbon reduction goals. During their research, they realized that while electric powertrains have been making progress in reducing emissions, they face significant barriers for heavy-duty applications, such as long-haul trucking. They set out to find a cleaner and more efficient way to power heavy-duty engines.

In addition to its innovative technology and commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, ClearFlame has also received several accolades and recognition for its work. For example, the company was named one of the Next Big Things in Tech by Fast Company and one of the Most Promising Sustainability Startups in Transportation by top venture capitalists, according to Business Insider. The company has also been featured in publications such as Heavy Duty Trucking and Green Car Congress.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop its concept and later secured $3 million in Series Seed financing round led by Clean Energy Ventures in early 2020. In 2021, the company raised $17 million in Series A financing in a round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, with participation from Mercuria, John Deere and Clean Energy Ventures.

See Next: Thanks to changes in federal law, anyone can invest in top startups alongside VCs like Bill Gates. For example, anyone can invest in Qnetic, a startup building low-cost, long-life, grid-scale energy storage

See more on startup investing from Benzinga.

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