Supercritical’s Crusade: Supercharging Carbon Removal Scaling With $13M Series A Raise

July 7, 2023
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Key Takeaways

  1. Supercritical, a leader in carbon removal, has secured $13M in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
  2. Currently, Supercritical accounts for 35% of corporate carbon removal purchases.
  3. The company’s strategy aims to accelerate the urgent scaling of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies, a market that requires massive growth to meet 2050 targets.
  4. Supercritical is noteworthy for its gender-balanced cap table, a marker of its commitment to equal representation.

A Dive into Supercritical

Founded in London, Supercritical is a vetted carbon removal marketplace that is on a mission to help businesses achieve net zero carbon emissions. The company provides a platform for corporations to purchase fully qualified carbon removal credits as per the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This revolutionary approach is contributing towards a paradigm shift in corporate sustainability programs, moving the focus from emissions avoidance offsets to actionable carbon removal.

From Crisis to Opportunity: The Carbon Removal Market

The carbon removal market, as it stands today, is at a startling 0.01% of the capacity deemed necessary by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by 2050. To keep global temperature rises below 1.5C, a drastic scale-up of CDR is essential. This puts the spotlight on Supercritical’s role in fostering the development and acceleration of carbon removal technologies.

Frontrunners in Carbon Removal

In a rapidly evolving CDR market, Supercritical has positioned itself as the vanguard of efforts to speed up the scaling of the CDR market. Supercritical sets the bar high, only allowing 6% of projects through its rigorous vetting process. This has resulted in the marketplace focusing solely on high-quality, durable CDR projects that range from engineered solutions like biochar and direct air capture (DAC), to nature-based solutions like afforestation.

The company has also spearheaded innovative purchase agreements to facilitate accelerated CDR capacity growth, such as the long-term offtake agreement with biochar provider Carbo Culture. The pre-purchase of thousands of tonnes of biochar through this agreement enabled Carbo Culture to establish a commercial-scale facility for the first time.

Corporate Carbon Removal: A Market Perspective

Supercritical is working towards net-zero by measuring, reducing, and removing carbon emissions using innovative CDR methods. Its approach has gained significant traction, with 35% of corporate carbon removal purchases being made via its platform, including two of the world’s top 20 CDR buyers.

CEO’s Perspective on Supercritical’s Role in the Climate Crisis

“Carbon removal – in parallel with aggressive decarbonization – is required to stay below 1.5C of warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change. It’s our mission to act as a trusted partner to businesses serious about net zero. 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,” stated Michelle You, co-founder and CEO of Supercritical.

Investor’s Perspective on Supercritical’s Value Proposition

“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 decarbonize. We are so pleased to be part of their journey,” commented Paul Murphy, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

As Supercritical turns a new leaf with this round of funding, the company aims to ramp up hiring, refine its product offering, and gain new customers, all while maintaining its commitment to a gender-balanced cap table, thereby paving the way for a new chapter in the fight against climate change.

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