The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, looks to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on climate change. To keep warming below 1.5°C, at least 8 billion tonnes of carbon needs to be removed from the atmosphere every year. This is where London-based startup Supercritical looks to make a difference.
Supercritical raises pre-Seed funding
In a recent development, the London-based startup that helps businesses get to net-zero by measuring their climate impact and selling high-impact carbon removal offsets, announced that it has raised £2M (approx €2.35M) in its pre-Seed round of funding.
The company is backed by LocalGlobe and angel investors including Taavet Hinrikus (Wise), Alice Bentinck (Entrepreneur First), Peter Reinhardt (Twilio Segment and Charm Industrial), Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter), Amit Gudka (Bulb), Frank Strauss (Deutsche Bank), 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.
The round was led by LocalGlobe, a venture capital firm that focuses on seed and impact investments.
Remus Brett, who led the investment from LocalGlobe, says, “Supercritical is providing a service that is as timely as it is essential. With COP26 approaching, the question of how businesses can meaningfully address their climate impact is a critical CEO issue. We are excited to be backing the exceptional team at Supercritical as they scale the only platform that helps companies focus their efforts on carbon removal rather than offsets.”
Use of the funds
The proceeds from this round will help the company to accelerate its growth and help more businesses on their journey to net zero. With a greater carbon footprint than the entire aviation industry, the technology sector will be an initial priority.
Leading tech companies including accuRx, Faculty, Tide and what3words are already customers, and Supercritical is also a member of the TechZero task force, a group of innovative UK tech companies working together to fight the climate crisis.
The investment will be used to scale the company and accelerate its mission to make meaningful climate action accessible for all businesses.
“Climate crisis is the single biggest threat to humanity”
According to Supercritical, traditional carbon offsets will be inadequate in the face of the challenge, while conventional offsets do not actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. They only pay others not to emit, meaning a company’s carbon is still in the atmosphere and no progress is made towards net zero.
Supercritical CEO and co-founder Michelle You, explains, “Most businesses understand that the only way to prevent a climate emergency involves meaningful action from the private sector. The problem today is not a lack of commitment, but a lack of trusted resources in an industry full of complexity, jargon, and greenwashing.”
She adds, “Businesses are rightly suspicious of traditional carbon offsetting options, which do nothing at best and at worst are outright fraud, but most companies lack the time and the expertise to find an adequate alternative. Our mission is to make it possible for any business to start the journey to net zero. Climate action can’t just be the reserve of the world’s biggest companies, and this is a crisis that can’t wait.”
What does Supercritical offer?
Founded in 2021 by Michelle You and Aaron Randall, Supercritical is a software platform that claims to be fighting the climate crisis by helping businesses get to net zero. Its technology makes it easy for companies to understand their climate impact and purchase high-quality carbon removal offsets.
Supercritical’s consumer-grade software enables you to measure, reduce, and offset your climate impact in weeks without the need for a sustainability team. It does this by creating an actionable plan for reducing carbon emissions and by recommending high quality carbon removal offsets for its clients to purchase.
The company only sells carbon removal offsets as it believes this is the only legitimate route to net zero. It offers a portfolio of carbon removal options, including tree-planting, biochar, enhanced weathering, bio-oil sequestration, and direct air capture.
According to a statement by Supercritical, research into these technologies is costly, however, many are still in the early stages of development. This will be essential in the fight for net zero, since at today’s rate of growth, current projects will remove only around 150 million tonnes of carbon by 2025 – not enough to make a dent in the climate crisis.