Investment Quebec will contribute 30 million to the 75 million funds raised by the Montreal company.
The sky is clearing for Deep Sky. The Montreal company, which has an ambitious goal of eliminating billions of tons of atmospheric carbon, has given itself a bit more leeway: it has raised a total of $75 million in Series A financing, including 30 million provided by Investment Québec.
The financing involves the conversion of a convertible note from its seed round of 17.7 million and 57.5 million into new capital.
The round was jointly led by BrightSpark Ventures and Whitecap Venture Partners, with contributions from OMERS Ventures and Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Climate Technologies Fund, along with Investment Québec.
“This is certainly one of the largest rounds of financing for a start-up company in Canada,” commented Frédéric Lalonde, co-founder and chairman of the board of Deep Sky.
The Quebec government committed 30 million to the very early-stage company. I think this sends a very important signal that private actors in Quebec and Canada understand the importance of the issue, not just the government.
Frédéric Lalonde, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Deep Sky
At 9 a.m. today, the announcement was made in the presence of Quebec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy (MEIE) Pierre Fitzgibbon and his colleague Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change.
“It’s not just a question of capital,” asserts Frédéric Lalonde.
“MEIE is the ministry with jurisdiction over energy and geology. We have to understand that we have an integral partnership here, which will allow us to go ahead with the implementation. This will completely change the situation. No other company in the world has government support, which I think will be the key to our success. . »
Bringing together the best technologies
The rain of dollars on Deep Sky will allow the installation of the first phase of its pilot plant in 2024, “which aims to find all the best atmospheric and ocean carbon capture technologies,” the founder explained.
“We have at least 15 companies with whom contracts will be signed. »
The Montreal company has just partnered with Californian company Aquatic to set up a pilot installation in 2024 to capture CO.2 Binds in the atmosphere and ocean.
In August, a much younger Quebec company, Extera Solutions Carbon, was awarded a contract for a project to sequester a few hundred tons of carbon in mining residues in the Thetford Mines area.
“What’s important is not the number of tons we catch at the beginning,” argued Frédéric Lalonde.
While climate decarbonization requires billions of tons, “a site capturing 3,000 tons is completely insignificant on the scale of the problem. But because we constantly operate all the best technologies on the planet, we develop an intimate understanding of the technologies that work and can be brought to perfection. And it allows to speed up the movement from the processing site from a few thousand tons to several million tons. »
Founded in September 2022, Deep Sky now has around twenty employees, including a good proportion of scientific professionals.
The increasingly elaborate forward-looking illustrations that adorn its website are also evidence of the company’s growing ambitions. Real futuristic cities dedicated to decarbonization are now out there.
They came from the imagination of creative director Karl Robichaud, a childhood friend of Frédéric Lalonde, with whom he founded a web advertising agency in the mid-90s.
“It’s a bit romantic, but there’s an important point,” he said.
Deep Sky has had trouble discussing its projects openly without falling into apocalyptic predictions or vague technicalities.
“There is a social acceptability issue because people think we are preparing to set up a refinery in their backyard. Although it is not at all. »
In addition to the design of its products, Apple has taken care of the architecture of its stores and its headquarters, he gives as an example.
“Americans understood this a long time ago. If things look like technological progress and a glimpse of the future, people are excited about it. If they look retro or industrial, people are suspicious. And with good reason. »