London-based climate tech startup CUR8 has raised $6.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Google Ventures (GV) to scale up and further develop its carbon removal credit platform. The funds will help grow its team, increase capacity and serve more clients and suppliers. CUR8 focuses on accelerating the carbon removal industry by building a platform for removals portfolios of the highest quality.
Dr. Gabrielle Walker, a climate scientist, asserts the important role of carbon removals in net zero goals. She says: “I’ve been working in climate science for 30 years and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic about the 2050 net-zero deadlines. Carbon removal, along with decarbonisation at scale, has the potential to help us reach these goals, but only if we have the right tools to scale this market to 10 billion tonnes a year by 2050.”
CUR8 aims to facilitate 1 billion tonnes of carbon removals annually by 2050. The company is building the tools to professionalise the industry through its innovative platform. CUR8 buys carbon credits from trusted removals suppliers and creates high-quality CO2 removals portfolios through trusted methods and strategies. Buyers can trust CUR8 carbon removal credits that have these features:
– Permanence: carbon credits cannot be reversed or undone
– Additionality: carbon credits represent real and additional emissions reductions beyond business as usual
– Verification: carbon credits are verified and certified by independent third parties
– Traceability: carbon credits are traceable through all stages of the supply chain
CUR8 hopes to lower the carbon credit price over time to make it affordable as the sector grows and develops. Currently, the industry set price for each carbon removal credit is at about £150 or $180 per unit. The climate tech’s platform has been selling carbon removal credits to royal events such as The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant and The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II. It also does the same for big public events like the British Summer Time and All Points East. CUR8 platform’s removals are from these portfolio: 1PointFive’s direct air capture, UNDO’s enhanced rock weathering, and Loam Bio’s durable soil carbon.
CUR8 seeks to enable 10% (1 billion) of all global carbon removals over the next two decades and more. The climate startup will do that by developing critical CO2 removal infrastructure. CUR8’s scientific experts track over 100 data points across impact, integrity and scalability in performing in-house supplier due diligence. This is crucial to reduce buyers’ risk and help companies understand the quality of their carbon credit investments. The company is also tracking the progress of carbon sequestration of their partners so buyers can invest in carbon credit contracts over several years. They can then use it to inform their net zero goals and their ESG (environmental, social and governance) plans.
Apart from GV, another investor joining the round is CapitaIT. It’s a (pre)seed fund investing in climate tech and the future of work. The carbon removal industry has a lot of potential to grow as more companies commit to net zero targets. But it’s still in its infancy and has to deal with challenges such as high prices and lack of supply. All these prevented companies from investing in carbon removals as an option for reducing and offsetting their footprint. And this is where CUR8 can help fill in the gap between high-quality carbon removal credit suppliers and buyers.
CUR8 was founded very recently in 2022 by a team of expert executives: serial fintech entrepreneur and former lead of Google for Startups UK Marta Krupinska, removals expert and climate scientist Dr. Gabrielle Walker, and net zero expert and former UK Ministry of Defense advisor Mark Stevenson. Other team members were former workers at the World Bank and Microsoft. In 2022, the UK government has invested £54 million into various projects that develop CO2 removal technologies. In the U.S., the Department of Energy has been pouring billions of dollars into supporting different carbon removal initiatives. CUR8 plans to create financial tools that ramp up the sector and allow new carbon removal technologies to develop, ensuring that the sector will have a key part in fighting the climate crisis.