- If humanity is to limit global warming, CO2 removal must proceed rapidly.
- London-based startup Supercritical has just raised $13 million to help projects get corporate funding.
- Check out the 11-slide pitch deck that propelled the Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
London-based startup Supercritical has just raised $13 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners to support the “boom” of companies committing to investing in carbon removal.
Even with aggressive decarbonization plans that involve reducing emissions, historical emissions will remain in the atmosphere. This is where carbon removal comes in – planting trees, scavenging CO2 from the air using technology, or improving rock weathering.
“If we all reduce our emissions, move to renewable energy and electric vehicles, we still have so much carbon to remove because we’ve just driven it too long,” says Michelle You, CEO of Supercritical, which helps companies invest in carbon -Removal projects.
“We’re here to help the carbon removal industry scale by partnering with companies that want to reach net zero, because the only way to reach net zero as a company is to decarbonize and eliminate carbon Residual emissions through permanent CO2 removal.” .”
The United Nations IPCC climate panel has recognized the role of carbon removal in achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Scientists have found that by 2050, 10 gigatonnes of CO2 will have to be removed from the atmosphere every year. Around 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide were removed in 2022 – less than 0.01% of the 2050 target.
“It’s a massive and urgent scaling challenge that speaks for investing in carbon removal alongside rapid decarbonization,” added You, who previously co-founded music startup Songkick. You co-founded Supercritical 2021 with Aaron Randall, Songkick’s former Chief Technology Officer.
“The way this sector needs to scale is with ambitious buyers committing to off-take agreements,” you continued, somewhat overly critical broker.
Offtake agreements are essentially long-term contracts that obligate the purchase of credit. Supercritical recently brokered its first agreement between a client and biochar startup Carbo Culture.
“That allowed Carbo Culture to approach their bank and get project financing to build a facility. In doing so, we’re enabling the building and unlocking of really additional capacity, and that’s incredibly exciting for us,” she added.
The company will use the Series A funding to turn its offtake services into a product and make it easy for others to commit to long-term carbon removal. “For example, renewable energies were scaled back in the mid-2010s with power purchase agreements. We took inspiration from that,” they said.
It’s the same method used by the Frontier Fund, a $1 billion carbon removal pledge by big tech companies like Alphabet, Meta, and Stripe.
Supercritical also offers customers already generated carbon credits, as well as carbon accounting services and decarbonization plans. It also helps them set budgets for carbon removal.
The cash injection, with participation from RTP Global, Greencode Ventures and MMC Ventures, brings the company total proceeds of $15.5 million. Supercritical aimed to create a gender-balanced cap chart in its seed round and continued to do so throughout Serie A.
The company will use the fresh funds to expand its reach. The company is currently focused on asset-light tech companies and is looking to expand into other sectors, including developing new products for more complex supply chains.
In the long term, it should be the “plausible” option for purchasing CO2 reduction products. According to You, who pointed to purchase tracker CDR.fyi, Supercritical is already responsible for 35% of persistent purchases by carbon removal companies and counts two of the top 20 buyers worldwide among its customers. The CEO noted that there was some lag in the data.
Check out the 11-slide edited Pitch Deck Supercritical used to raise funds.