Supercritical, the vetted carbon removal marketplace helping businesses reach net zero, has raised more than £10 million in Series A funding.
Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, the round includes funding from RTP Global, Greencode Ventures, MMC Ventures and others.
Supercritical aims to accelerate the urgent scaling of carbon removal technologies by aggregating business demand and innovating with new purchase models. It will use the funding to grow its team and expand its product offering.
Supercritical’s marketplace allows corporations to purchase fully qualified carbon removal credits that allow them to reach net zero.
However, carbon dioxide removal capacity is nowhere near the level it needs to be: across the whole of 2022, around 600,000 tonnes of CDR were purchased – less than 0.01% of the 10 gigatonnes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says will need to be available annually by 2050.
The CDR market is rapidly evolving: at the beginning of 2020, just 237 tonnes of CDR offsets had been sold in total, while earlier this year individual companies made million tonne CDR purchases for the first time. However, growth needs to accelerate even more rapidly in the years ahead to avoid climate calamity.
Supercritical claims to be the only marketplace focusing on high-quality, vetted, durable CDR projects. These include engineered solutions such as biochar, direct air capture and enhanced weathering in addition to nature-based solutions such as afforestation.
All CDR projects on the marketplace must pass through Supercritical’s vetting process, with only 6% making the cut.
By aggregating demand from corporate buyers, Supercritical is acting as a market maker, helping CDR projects scale. It is also spearheading innovative new purchase agreements to jump-start accelerated CDR capacity growth. In May, Supercritical brokered a long-term offtake agreement for biochar provider Carbo Culture, enabling the pre-purchase of thousands of tonnes of biochar and allowing Carbo Culture to develop C1, a new facility that converts carbon-containing biomass into biochar at a commercial scale for the first time.
For businesses, Supercritical measures, reduces and, using these CDR methods, removes carbon emissions, helping businesses to reach net zero. Supercritical is already one of the world’s largest carbon removal marketplaces, with 35% of corporate purchases taking place through the platform and two of the world’s top 20 CDR buyers buying through the platform.
Supercritical works with some of the most ambitious businesses when it comes to carbon commitments, including business banking platform Tide, who working with Supercritical, this year became the first fintech to remove 100% of their emissions.
“Carbon removal – in parallel with aggressive decarbonization – is required to stay below 1.5C of warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said co-founder and CEO Michelle You.
“We’re proud to work with businesses that are taking a leading role in building sustainability programs that centre around both reducing emissions and removing with durable carbon removal, the only type of offset that counts towards net zero. As the only marketplace exclusively focusing on high quality carbon removal, it’s our mission to act as a trusted partner to businesses serious about net zero.
“Since our launch two years ago, we’ve been astonished by the rapid growth in demand for our portfolio of durable carbon removal offsets. With this funding, we are excited to enter a new chapter and play a meaningful role as a market maker for promising carbon removal projects, aggregating demand to support them as they scale.
“We have a vanishingly tiny window to start the acceleration curve towards the 10 billion tonne annual CDR capacity required by 2050, and we are proud to play an early market leading role in helping this industry scale.”