Startup Genome Launches the Global Startup Ecosystem Climatetech Edition

Despite the Global Decline in VC Funding, Cleantech Shows More Resilience Than Other Tech Sub-Sectors as Blue Economy Grows
Franzis Walther
on November 30, 2023

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report Climatetech Edition from Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network launched today at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report explores the potential of Cleantech and the Blue Economy, examining the current state of startup activity and associated investments in those sectors and rankings reflecting which global ecosystems are currently driving innovation.

This report is a combined edition examining both Cleantech and the Blue Economy, two tech startup sub-sectors that are closely interlinked but have unique characteristics. Cleantech refers to sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing that include advanced materials, smart grids, water treatment, efficient energy storage, and distributed energy systems. The Blue Economy is defined as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and job creation while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.

Cleantech Key Findings

  • Between H1 2020 and H1 2023 Cleantech Series A funding has increased 73% and Series B funding has increased 166%
  • In Q2 2023, Cleantech increased its share of Series A funding to 25% compared to all other tech startup sub-sectors, up from 14% in Q4 2022. Cleantech’s share of Series B funding increased from 10% to 20% over the same period.
  • Cleantech has the highest number of Series A deals from Q4 2022 to Q2 2023 compared to all sub-sectors, and the second-highest number of Series B deals (after AI & BD).
  • Despite the global decline in VC funding, Cleantech’s Series A funding has increased 15% in absolute terms between Q4 2022 and Q2 2023 — the biggest increase among all sub-sectors. Cleantech’s Series B funding has also increased 34% over this period — the biggest increase among all sub-sectors.
  • Thanks to strong investment in 2022, Europe leads all regions in terms of its share of Series A funding from H1 2020 to H1 2023.
  • Silicon Valley and London are the world’s leading Cleantech ecosystems, at #1 and #2 respectively.
  • Amsterdam has jumped from #7 in 2021 to #3, holding the highest number of Cleantech startups in Europe outside of London.
  • Singapore moved up an impressive 18 places, from #26 to #8, and is the only Asian ecosystem in the top 10.
  • Seoul made its first appearance in the Cleantech rankings, at #15.
  • Two new Chinese ecosystems also entered the Cleantech rankings: Wuxi at #19 and Hangzhou at #22.
  • In MENA, Cleantech Early-Stage Funding is up 56% in 2022 compared to 2018.

Blue Economy Key Findings

  • Europe has surpassed North America in its share of Blue Economy Series A funding.
  • In H1 2023, Series A funding in the Blue Economy increased 31% compared to H1 2021.
  • The median Blue Economy Series A deal has increased 40% from H1 2021 to H1 2023.
  • Singapore remains the world-leading startup ecosystem for the Blue Economy thanks to its high number of relevant startups and its strong university support for Blue Economy innovation.
  • North America is home to 10 of the world’s top 25 Blue Economy ecosystems, with 8 in the U.S.
  • Tel Aviv has moved from #20 to #7 thanks to large exits and early-stage funding deals.
  • iXblue’s $407 million exit helped boost Paris from #22 to #11 in the rankings.
  • Western Denmark, Helsinki, Houston, and Hong Kong have all entered the top 25 for the first time, while four countries each have two ecosystems in the top 25: Canada, Denmark, Germany and the U.K. The inclusion of Canada and Denmark on this list is notable given those countries’ smaller populations and market size.

“Entrepreneurs must lead the charge in addressing one of the world's most pressing challenges, and this report is a testament to our commitment to fostering Cleantech innovation, including new ways of approaching the Blue Economy,” shares JF Gauthier, Founder and CEO of Startup Genome.

“We need to increase the supply of innovators — from universities, labs, incubators, and garages around the world — and we need to connect them to the corporate partners and governments who can scale these innovations to have a sustainable global impact,” says Todd Allmendinger, Director of Consulting and Research, Cleantech Group

The Climatetech Edition aims to provide information for founders, investors, and policymakers interested in understanding the current landscape of both sub-sectors, encouraging further Cleantech and Blue Economy activity within the global startup ecosystem. The report includes contributed articles from our research partners Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Cleantech Group, La Zone Bleue, and Mississippi Development Authority. Read more on global trends and specific ecosystem highlights in the full report here.


Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 — a 5x growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 90 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.


A Quebec-based ocean cluster with seven different Blue Economy research centers and close to one thousand scientists working on marine issues, La Zone Bleue is a Blue Economy-focused innovation campus. La Zone Bleue builds bridges between academics, industrial actors and startup communities around the world to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to preserve the oceans.


The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is the state’s lead economic and community development agency. MDA focuses on new business recruitment, existing business expansion, workforce training, and tourism promotion.

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