The CO2 removing registry lands one of many greatest seed rounds for local weather software program ever

The startup investment climate has been a bit grim lately. And despite growing signs of impending catastrophe, funding for climate technology has also suffered Risk funding down 40% in the first half of 2023. However, there are a few rays of hope on the horizon.

With less money available, it’s perhaps understandable that investors (even the environmentally conscious ones) would want to support founders with a proven track record. One of them is Eamon Jubbawy.

As co-founder of successful AI-powered ID verification startup Onfido, Jubbawy has now turned his attention to combating climate change by boosting confidence in the burgeoning carbon removal industry.

Jubbawy’s latest venture is Isometric, a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) verification platform, which has just raised $25 million. Supported by Lowercarbon Capital and plural, which is investment one of the largest seed rounds ever for a climate software company.

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“When I encountered the need for an isometric carbon removal method, I dropped everything,” Jubbawy told TNW. “I understood that I had to put my heart and soul into running it as a founder and CEO, throwing a lot of money at it and just getting to 100% as soon as possible – and building something meaningful.”

Jubbawy is a veteran technology entrepreneur who founded several startups before turning to climate. Photo credit: Isometric

Funds raised will go toward expanding the team and building an independent, transparent registry for permanent carbon removal and a free CDR science platform that will report verification results from a partner network. The former will go online later this year, while the latter will started this morning.

Jubbawy decided to focus on CO2 removal after quickly becoming disillusioned with traditional offsetting measures. Ismetric’s platform is built on the four key components he believes carbon markets lack: scientific rigor, transparency, collaboration and collaborative mindset, and incentive alignment related to the structure of the business model.

The team consists of scientists led by dr Elizabeth Troein (formerly ARPA-E, MIT, Columbia and Princeton), but also engineers from companies such as Amazon, Shopify, Wise, Palantir and Meta, who “bring a UX approach from the technology sector to the climate industry.”

Carbon Offset vs. Carbon Removal

The criticism leveled against carbon offsetting is, given the scope of this article, too vast an issue to adequately address. However, a brief explanation of the difference between carbon offsetting and carbon removal may be appropriate.

To put it simply, offsets are intended to compensate for emissions by investing in projects that have a positive effect on the climate, such as renewable energies or reforestation.

Carbon removal, on the other hand, is about the actual extraction and long-term storage of carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere. Scientists are convinced that they are absolutely necessary if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.dedicated warming.”

There are several carbon capture and storage technologies, including direct air capture (DAC), enhanced weathering, and ocean fertilization. In fact, there are already several startups work hard in space.

But if they can demonstrate to investors and buyers of CDR loans (currently around 10 times the price of offsets) that they’re delivering on their promise, solid monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) is absolutely essential. And that’s where isometric comes in.

The income is not dependent on providers of CO2 certificates

The register will only show post-verified delivered tons and allow the public to see the evidence and calculations behind each credit. This is great for transparency and to counteract greenwashing, but how is the company actually supposed to make money?

Unlike most carbon certificate registries or brokers who derive their revenue from the supplier of the certificates, Ismetric charges CDR ton buyers a single flat fee per take-off or purchase. This covers all costs associated with developing protocols, verifying distances and issuing credits.

“I think a lot of the criticism of the traditional carbon market players and registries stems from the fact that there are some fundamental conflicts in the business model,” Jubbawy said. “If you’re a verification or registry service provider and you’re being paid by the suppliers who give you the job of saying how good they are and evaluating the result of their work, then that’s just an obvious conflict.”

Ismetric’s science platform is now available free of charge. As Jubbawy explained, the key is to encourage collaboration and input to suppliers on carbon removal at an early stage. Suppliers associated to date include Charm Industrial, a bio-oil sequestration start-up that recently made over $50M in CO2 removal sales to JP Morgan, Stripe, Shopify , Meta, Alphabet, McKinsey and others announced.

Following the funding round, Lowercarbon Capital’s Ryan Orbuch has joined the Ismetric Board of Directors. The VC fund’s mission statement is to “support kickas companies that make real money from carbon reduction.”2 emissions, sucking carbon out of the sky and buying us time to de-f*** the planet.” Sounds like an attitude we can support.

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