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Press Release

Supercritical raises $13m Series A led by Lightspeed Venture Partners to supercharge scaling of carbon removal in face of massive capacity shortfall

Published by Todd Bush on June 22, 2023

  • Supercritical, today responsible for 35% of corporate carbon removal purchases and counts two of the world's top 20 CDR buyers among its customers
  • Carbon removal market today at 0.01% of capacity IPCC says will be needed by 2050; Supercritical is supporting urgent accelerated scaling of CDR technologies
  • The funding, the second Supercritical raise to feature a gender-balanced cap table, will be used to fuel new chapter of growth

LONDON, June 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Supercritical, the vetted carbon removal marketplace helping businesses reach net zero, today announces it has raised $13m 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, 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.

However, CDR capacity is nowhere near the level it needs to be. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that to keep global average temperature rises below 1.5C, CDR at scale will be essential. Across the whole of 2022, around 600,000 tonnes of CDR were purchased - less than 0.01% of the 10 gigatonnes the IPCC 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 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. 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 leading business banking platform Tide, who working with Supercritical, this year became the first fintech to remove 100% of their emissions; and leading algorithmic trading firm XTX Markets who, in partnership with Supercritical, have become one of the top 10 purchasers of CDR globally. Other notable customers include Veriff, Multiverse and IMC.

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.

Commenting, Co-founder and CEO Michelle You, said:

"Carbon removal – in parallel with aggressive decarbonization – is required to stay below 1.5C of warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change. We're proud to work with businesses that are taking a leading role in building sustainability programs that center 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."

Commenting, Paul Murphy, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners said:

"Supercritical is doing something unique. By focusing exclusively on carbon removal offsets, they are helping businesses invest in the places that will actually deliver climate impact while they work in parallel to decarbonise. By aggregating demand, including through innovative future-proofing models, they are providing the resources that CDR projects need to scale in time.

Net zero is simply unattainable for the vast majority of corporations without a robust, quality carbon removal platform like Supercritical. We are so pleased to be part of their journey."

About Supercritical

Supercritical is a vetted carbon removal marketplace that helps businesses achieve net zero. Founded in London, its technology makes it easy for companies to understand their climate impact and purchase high-quality carbon removal offsets to reduce it.
Already, 35% of the world's carbon removal customers use Supercritical to purchase carbon removal offsets. The company has two customers in the top 20 buyers of carbon removal worldwide, and recently helped Tide become the first fintech in the world to remove 100% of its emissions.
Supercritical is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, GreenCode Ventures, MMC Ventures. It has been previously backed by LocalGlobe and angel investors including Peter Reinhardt (Twilio Segment and Charm Industrial), Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter), Alice Bentinck (Entrepreneur First), Gustaf Alströmer (Y Combinator) and Evelyn Bourke (Bupa).
Its founders are repeat technology entrepreneurs who started the company as a way to build a better future for their children.
Images of the Supercritical co-founders are available to download here.

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SOURCE Supercritical

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