InPlanet – a German-Brazilian carbon dioxide removal (CDR) company, utilizing nature’s ability to store carbon through an enhanced rock weathering process, has announced it raised a €4.3 million ($4.6 million) Seed round in October 2023 to accelerate its mission to remove gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
The seed round follows a pre-seed investment in January 2023 of €1,3 million to help it generate scientifically valid data to better understand the weathering process in the tropics.
The latest round was led by impact, climate, and deeptech investors – FoodLabs and Salvia, along with investors from the Pre-Seed Round who invested again – Mudcake, Carbon Removal Partners, and Übermorgen Ventures.
According to the announcement, the funds will be used to scale the company’s Measurement, Reporting and Verification capabilities. InPlanet also plans to spread 200,000 metric tons of rock powder to capture 40,000 metric tons of CO2, keeping it on pace to remove 1 million metric tons of CO2 by 2026.
“The rapid progress we made in the last twelve months is demonstrating the huge potential of ERW as a CDR technology as well as a game changer for farmers. We are excited to pave the way with our partners and investors to establish InPlanet as a thought leader in the tropics! I am especially thankful for our fast-growing, impact-driven team, forming a unique company culture with us founders”, commented Felix Harteneck, CEO of InPlanet.
InPlanet is a carbon removal and agro-tech startup that helps farmers in Brazil remove emissions from the atmosphere. It does that while enhancing the health of the soil by applying locally sourced rock powders on agricultural land to accelerate a natural process of storing permanently CO2 known as enhanced rock weathering (ERW).
ERW is part of the Earth’s thermostat for regulating the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. As rainwater dissolves the CO2 in the atmosphere, when falling on lands spread with rock powder, it reacts with the water and CO2 to produce dissolved bicarbonates. The dissolved bicarbonate is a stable form of captured carbon that can stay stored indefinitely. Eventually, it washes away through groundwaters and rivers towards the oceans where it forms carbon-rich sediments.
Removing carbon from the atmosphere is one of the benefits associated with enhanced rock weathering. It also improves soil health and fertilizes crops which allows farmers to reduce the input of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. InPlanet is focused on both carbon dioxide removal and promoting sustainable agriculture, especially in tropical regions where farmers have become reliant on imported synthetic fertilizers.
Apart from applying the naturally sourced local rock powders, InPlanet is also involved in measuring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) the amount of carbon dioxide removed by enhanced weathering. The company follows rigorous approaches to empirically quantifying carbon removal as part of its scientific program. Its goal is to study the fundamental science of ERW in controlled environments and natural deployment locations.
The team focuses on collecting data via samples from solid, liquid and gaseous phases and explores a variety of methodologies to directly and indirectly measure the resulting carbon removal through carbon mass balance, trace elements, or DIC measurements of leachate waters, for example. Furthermore, the team analyzes the properties of the vegetation to evaluate the rock powders’ impact on nutrient levels in plants as well as on yield.