Single.Earth is a deep tech startup that is tokenising nature to make it the ‘new gold’. The platform enables forests, wetlands, and other planetary resources to generate profit for landowners by selling them as carbon and biodiversity credits, instead of raw materials.
Single.Earth raises Seed round
In a recent development, the company announced that it has secured $7.9M (approx €6.67M) in its Seed round of funding. The round was led by EQT Ventures, with participation from existing investor Icebreaker and Ragnar Sass and Martin Henk, founders of Pipedrive.
Speaking on the development, Sandra Malmberg, Venture Lead at EQT Ventures, says, “Oil was the new gold, data the new oil; and now, nature is the most precious and valuable resource of all. A company having a hectare of forest saved as a key metric to scale is a company we are thrilled to back. Disrupting the economy and financial markets with a new tradable and liquid asset class that has a positive impact on the environment is an irresistible investment.”
What does Single.Earth do?
Single.Earth is a platform that tokenises nature for its ecological value – carbon sequestration, storage, and biodiversity. Leveraging technology like satellite imagery, big data analysis, and machine-learning, Single.Earth reveals how much any area of ecological significance in the world absorbs CO2 and retains biodiversity.
The company then emits a MERIT token for every 100 kg of CO2 sequestered in a specific forest or biodiverse area, and the MERIT tokens generate profits through carbon offsets. The tokens can be used to trade as an investment instrument, compensate for CO2 footprint, or contribute to climate goals (as the token is ‘used up’ and cannot be traded anymore).
Companies and eventually individuals can purchase these tokens and own fractional amounts of those lands and natural resources.
Single.Earth was co-founded in 2019 by Merit Valdsalu and Andrus Aaslaid after winning the Garage48 Future of Wood hackathon – in which they proved that nature can be commercialised without being sold as raw material. With experience in building scalable technology for Pipedrive and e-Estonia, the Single.Earth team aims to provide a new economy that supports the preservation of nature.
Merit Valdsalu, CEO and co-founder of Single.Earth, explains, “We are delighted to play a leading role in making nature the investment of the future. Nature conservation is scalable, accessible, and makes sense financially; what’s more, it’s vital to engineer a systematic change. Following today’s milestone, we are excited to collaborate on future-proofing the world, integrating nature’s protection into the economy by connecting our global society – landowners, communities, public and private sectors – to protect the ecosystem around us.”
How can the tokens be used?
MERIT tokens are a combination of environmental impact and financial profit that can be used in two ways:
- Buy and trade as an investment instrument: MERIT tokens are tradable, and their price grows with increasing demand and rising global carbon prices
- Compensate for ecological footprint: The tokens provide a transparent and auditable way to balance your CO2 footprint. Once you’ve used a MERIT token ‘up’ to contribute to global climate and biodiversity goals or compensate for your own carbon footprint, they can no longer be traded
Funds for nature-backed MERIT tokens
The capital from this round will be used to launch the Single.Earth marketplace later this year and for hiring talent.
Andrus Aaslaid, CTO and founder of Single.Earth, says, “We are thrilled to introduce the MERIT token to the world, a unique way of protecting our planet commercially by mining tradable tokens from intact nature – creating the world’s first financial system backed by nature.”
He adds, “We’re beyond excited to open registration for interest in MERIT tokens pre-sale, scheduled to begin in late summer 2021.”