Supercharging carbon removals

10 billion tonnes of CO2 need to be removed from the atmosphere, per year, by 2050 to stay below 1.5C of warming. 

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues we face today. More and more companies are fast recognizing the need to reduce carbon emissions and set net zero goals. 

And they’re looking for alternatives to carbon offsets and instead to Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) offsets – the only offsets recognized internationally that count toward net zero. Put simply, there is no way to reach net zero without permanent carbon removal.

That’s where Supercritical comes in.

Its marketplace allows corporations to purchase fully qualified carbon removal credits that allow businesses to reach net zero. As the only marketplace focusing on high-quality, vetted, durable carbon removal projects, Supercritical is spearheading efforts to urgently scale the CDR market. 

And we’re excited to announce that the team has raised $13m Series A, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and with support from RTP, Greencode, and MMC. The funding helps Supercritical take one step closer in achieving their mission of scaling the carbon removal market and helping more customers take bold climate action.

Why did we invest? 

To date, climate-related action in the private sector has – let’s be honest – been ‘altruism led’. It has largely intended to serve CSR initiatives, marketing initiatives and a company’s employer brand.

Private sector climate action has also been focused on ‘traditional’ carbon offsets (i.e. emitting, and paying someone else not to emit), rather than carbon removal (i.e. emitting, and paying a carbon removal provider to actually remove the equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere). This is because carbon removal, up to until now, has been unavailable and expensive. 

However, technological advances mean more methods of carbon removal are now available, with more under development. 

And in the two years since Supercritical launched, they have witnessed rapid growth in demand for their portfolio of durable carbon removal offsets. 

In their blog, Supercritical shared that 35% of corporate purchases now take place through the platform. What’s more, two of the world’s top 20 CDR buyers buy through them. 

We were also really inspired by the mission of the co-founders, Michelle You, CEO and Aaron Randall, CTO. 

By solely focusing on carbon removal offsets, they are doing something truly unique and beneficial for their customers. We also liked that the founders don’t come from a sustainability background. Why? Because they are committed to demystifying the jargon in this market and are super clear about what net zero really means. They have a clear vision to be the trusted partner to businesses serious about net zero. 

And in a market that is awash with greenwashing and suspiciously cheap offsets, this level of transparency and commitment to educating the market is critical if that goal of removing 10 billion tonnes of CO2 a year is to be achieved. 

So, how will they use the funding? 

CEO Michelle You explained that with the funding, Supercritical plans to accelerate hiring, evolve its product offering to continue supporting the CDR market’s scaling, and acquire additional customers. 

We are really excited to be part of the next chapter in Supercritical’s journey. We can’t wait to see what they achieve next.

Read more in TechCrunch.