22nd Jun 2023

Supercritical's carbon removal marketplace raises $13m Series A

Supercritical has raised a $13m Series A, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with support from Greencode, RTP, and MMC Ventures.

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, expand its product offering, and acquire additional customers.

Corporates want to reduce their carbon emissions, but most businesses will never be able to achieve full net zero purely through decarbonisation efforts and require carbon removal to do so. Unlike traditional emissions avoidance offsets that, until today, were the focus of sustainability programs, Supercritical's marketplace allows corporations to purchase fully qualified carbon removal credits, as set out in the industry standard Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), that allow them to reach net zero.

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's co-founders Michelle You and Aaron Randall
Supercritical's co-founders Michelle You and Aaron Randall

Supercritical is at the vanguard of efforts to urgently scale the CDR market. It is the only marketplace focusing on high-quality, vetted, durable CDR projects. These include engineered solutions such as biochar, direct air capture (DAC) 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.

“We have a vanishingly tiny window to start the acceleration curve towards the 10 billion tonne annual CDR capacity required by 2050. 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.” Michelle You, Co-founder and CEO, Supercritical

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.

Looking forward, Supercritical plans to accelerate hiring, evolve its product offering to continue supporting the CDR market's scaling, and acquire additional customers. The round will be the second raise conducted by Supercritical with a gender-balanced cap table.

Read more about the funding round in TechCrunch.

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