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The UK-based wind propulsion specialist GT Green Technologies has closed a £1.25 million (about $1.58 million) seed equity round to support the commercialization of its AIrWing wind propulsion system.

The funding round was led by OnePlanetCapital, an early-stage venture capital focused on businesses that impact climate change.

Alongside OnePlanetCapital, GT Green Technologies received strategic investments from Carisbrooke Shipping, plus financial backing from several notable climate-focused parties, alongside a retail tranche with over 500 investors undertaken on crowdfunding platform, Seedrs.

The broad interest in the round reflects the growing interest in wind-assisted propulsion (WAP) for commercial shipping and the early positive results the company has been able to demonstrate through testing and simulation, GT Green Technologies said.

This seed funding, in combination with a recent £3.7 million CMDC4 grant from the UK Department for Transport, will fund the manufacture, installation and testing of the first AirWing20 unit later this year.

It will also facilitate the commercial rollout of both the 20-meter unit and future 30-meter and 40-meter product iterations.

“Closing this seed round enables us to accelerate execution of our exciting strategy. We are thrilled to have attracted a leading climate focused VC, alongside a consortium of high quality strategic and financial investors. The appeal of the round is evidence of the strength of our proposition and reflects our potential to make significant positive environmental change,” Will O’Malley, CFO at GT Green Technologies, commented.

“GT Green Technologies is one of the most exciting investments we have made in the greentech space. The opportunity set for the company is enormous as the shipping industry reacts to new regulations, with the company’s WAP technology a potential game-changer in the sector,” Anthony Chant, director of OnePlanetCapital, said.

Carisbrooke Shipping to prototype the AirWing concept
Later this year, shipping company Carisbrooke Shipping is set to install a 20-meter AirWing unit on one of its UK-registered vessels. The technology boasting patent-pending airflow manipulation, promises to maximize thrust output while maintaining a compact and lightweight profile. 

With oversight of the technical management of a global fleet comprising 27 vessels, Carisbrooke Shipping is said to be strategically positioned as the trailblazer for integrating AirWing technology. The utilization of the technology promises to lower fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30%.