Units of multinational bank Barclays and oil and gas major Shell are among the contributors to a $11.3 million (£9 million) Series A funding round for UK-based soil carbon measurement startup Agricarbon, Sky News reported Tuesday.
The funding, reportedly to be announced during the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, reflects the companies’ commitment to supporting initiatives that accelerate progress towards achieving net-zero emissions targets.
Agricarbon, founded by CEO Annie Leeson and CTO Stewart Arbuckle, leverages soil’s carbon absorption capacity to address climate change.
According to Sky News, the funding round, an unusual move for an early-stage company such as Agricarbon, is led by Shell Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Shell, and involves participation from Barclays’ Sustainable Impact Capital arm.
“Securing investment from two major stakeholders, Shell and Barclays, affirms the need for our data to increase confidence in soil carbon removals for carbon buyers, food companies and financial markets,” Ms. Leeson was quoted as saying by the news service.
The startup, which began commercial operations in 2021, has seen a threefold increase in revenues this year due to growing interest in its measurement services from businesses aiming to decarbonize their supply chains.
With major food and beverage companies and carbon project developers among its clients, Agricarbon is well-positioned in a market estimated to be worth up to $175 billion by 2030.
Agricarbon plans to utilize the new funding to establish a dedicated US entity for large projects in the US and to fuel its broader geographical expansion, Sky News said.
The funding round was advised by Adelpha, a UK-based firm specializing in high-growth companies, particularly those in the carbon removal infrastructure sector.
“As agricultural lands transition to regenerative farming practices, it is estimated that soils could technically sequester one to five gigatons of carbon dioxide per year,” Addie Pinkster, founder and CEO of the female-led corporate advisor, commented.