A new startup is aiming to transform the way companies discover and manage high-quality carbon removal projects. Opna, a company founded in 2022, provides a carbon projects financing platform that enables corporates to discover high-quality trustworthy carbon projects and finance the solutions.
The company announced this week that it closed a $6.5 million seed round led by European VC Atomico, joined by existing backers Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective, Angelinvest, and Tiny VC. Some notable individuals also joined the round, including Cristina Stenbeck – former Gainsight COO, former Chief Commercial Officer for Klarna Luke Griffiths, DBT Labs Board Director Allison Pickens, and Collibra co-founder Stijn Christiaens.
Opna provides services in project discovery, and project financing, and a digital portfolio management tool. It helps its clients – corporates, to meet and connect with trusted and vetted project developers which saves them time and money spent on finding credible projects to finance on their own. By doing this, the company opens up new capital and funding networks for project developers.
Opna is not only allowing companies to purchase carbon credits that have already been generated but also helps new high-quality carbon credit projects get off the ground. It also offers a digitized portfolio and asset management tool, which allows corporates to monitor their financed projects over time through regular KPI tracking and risk reporting.
One of the tools that the company is developing is its proprietary risk engine that provides insights across the projects’ carbon benefits quality and financial and technical feasibility.
The funding round is said to be used to increase awareness of Opna’s financing platform, deepen its proprietary risk engine, support and grow the number and types of carbon projects available. The company also wants to expand its team and build out new financing and insurance services.
“To achieve their net zero commitments, an increasing number of corporates are seizing control by directly financing the carbon projects underlying the carbon credits… However, these businesses are having a hard time mobilising their capital due to a lack of in-house expertise, high transaction costs, analog infrastructure, and time-consuming processes. Opna’s goal is to provide the platform, data, and financing innovation that unlocks this capital, bridging the gap between corporates committed to reaching net-zero and carbon projects that seek financing,” said Opna founder Shilpika Gautam.
Filtering the highest quality carbon credit projects and ensuring they receive the highest level of funding and support is critical at a time when the global industry continues to emit greenhouse gases at an accelerating pace. Boosting the best carbon removal solutions is important to reach the world’s net zero goals, however, phasing out fossil fuels from the economy is the real climate action that would move the needle.