A new London-based platform is on a mission to accelerate access to reliable carbon removal credits. Founded in 2022, CUR8 is a climate tech startup building up a platform that buys carbon removal credits from trusted suppliers. The company just announced it has raised £5.3 million ($6.5 million) in pre-seed funding led by GV (Google Ventures) with participation from CapitalT.
CUR8 is focused on providing carbon removal credits from trusted suppliers to build high-quality portfolios, combining different strategies and methods. The company wants to bring prices down from a current industry-standard set price of £150 ($180) per ton of CO2 removed, as the sector is facing rapid growth when even more supply is accessible to companies of all sizes.
Even though it was only launched last year, the platform has provided carbon removals for landmark royal events, including The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II and large-scale events like British Summer Time and All Points East.
Speaking with Carbon Herald, Marta Krupinska – CEO and co-founder of CUR8 explained that the funding recently raised will be used to grow the startup’s team, invest in further product development and scale up the platform’s capacity to serve more customers and suppliers.
CUR8’s platform provides carbon removal credits from methods like enhanced rock weathering, direct air capture, forests, timber for construction, soil enhancement, biochar and ocean carbon removal. It aims to bring trust and transparency to the industry, struggling with challenges like lack of supply, concerns about quality, execution risks and prohibitive prices.
CUR8’s founders are serial fintech entrepreneur Marta Krupinska (co-founder of Azimo, Google for Startups UK lead), renowned climate scientist Dr Gabrielle Walker (carbon removals expert and founder of non-profit Rethinking Removals) and net-zero expert Mark Stevenson (author and former advisor to UK Ministry of Defense). The rest of the team has experience working at companies like Microsoft and the World Bank.
“I’ve been working in climate science for 30 years and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic about the 2050 net-zero deadlines. Carbon removal, along with decarbonisation at scale, has the potential to help us reach these goals, but only if we have the right tools to scale this market to 10 billion tonnes a year by 2050. I’m excited to be working in partnership with Marta and our excellent executive team to grow CUR8 and be the platform to drive this change,” said Dr Gabrielle Walker, co-founder and Chief Scientist at CUR8.
The company’s mission is to facilitate 10% of all global carbon removals over the next 25+ years by building out critical industry infrastructure. CUR8 carries out the supplier due diligence in-house. It has built its own scientific review process which looks at 100+ data points across impact, integrity and scalability of the solutions to ensure it works with the highest quality suppliers.
According to Mrs Krupinska, different removal methods require different levels of scrutiny so the company works with its suppliers’ scientific teams, and looks at the life cycle analysis, MRV (measurement, reporting and verification), existing methodologies, external studies and, where available, independent verifications. Once a project passes the company’s internal criteria, it goes to its external scientific advisory committee for final input and approval.
She also explains that there will be universally agreed-upon data sources, standards and methodologies for all methods, as the industry grows. For now, the company believes it has the most fit-for-purpose due diligence process.
CUR8 also tracks and monitors the progress of carbon sequestration so buyers can invest in contracts over several years. CUR8 plans to build financial tools in the future to power the carbon removal industry that will enable new technologies to scale and ensure the industry can play a central role in combating the climate crisis.
Asked about which carbon removal method could see the highest growth rate in the coming years, Mrs Krupinska answered: “It’s hard to say that one particular type of carbon removal will be the ‘winner’. Whilst we already have 50% of the technologies needed to combat the climate crisis, the other 50% are still in their infancy.”
She also added that carbon capture, once it scales, could become the biggest tool in enabling carbon removal, however, the technologies are still being developed. CUR8’s portfolios include several types of carbon removal, from afforestation to enhanced weathering, as the company hopes to help develop the sector and enable those new technologies to grow.