With carbon markets set to grow at a breakneck pace in the coming years and with substantial criticism leveled at its incumbent participants, multiple challenges have become clear. One of them appears to be the digitalization of the ever-increasing variety of carbon projects and creating a trustworthy and accessible inventory of carbon credits.
New York-based Alcove‘s solution is based on the experience and skill sets of its two co-founders – Mars Garza comes from the venture capital world, while Marley Rafson has a background as a software engineer with a stint at Google.
Before coming out of stealth they spoke with over 200 companies across the full spectrum of renewables and carbon removal technologies, to find what their exact pain points were when it comes to digitalization. “We were shocked that project developers had to retrofit generalized software solutions to their complex operations,” Garza explained to Carbon Herald.
Realizing that there was no end-to-end solution that could help carbon projects organize and standardize their work (and allow them to focus on what they’re good at) the team set out to build an inventory management system with automation and scale in mind.
Two key aspects of carbon credits influenced the core of the platform – their trustworthiness and their marketability. Rafson explains this by saying “We think every carbon credit is really a dataset in a way, so the quality of a carbon credit is determined by the integrity of the data.”
Detailed views of credit features, as well as their forecasting, allocation and deliveries were embedded from the beginning to provide a standardized view of all of their characteristics.
Dashboards with credit vintages, ages, future deliveries and projections are provided, covering every variable and aspect of credits, so that their continued fidelity is guaranteed.
Integrations with Salesforce, Hubspot and carbon registry Puro.earth are also available, covering multiple angles when it comes to sales and reliability.
And speaking of integrations, earlier this week Alcove launched its own Shopify app, making it available within the ecommerce giant’s platform and becoming its first carbon-specific application. With this users will be able to expand their sales and marketing by establishing a direct connection with buyers of all types and sizes within the Shopify ecosystem.
With a significant addressable market and a promising start, the company has already attracted $4 million in investments, with prominent names like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (as part of Seven Seven Six) and Chauncey Hamilton and Ross Fubini from XYZ standing out among the early investors.
Reducing and removing emissions is only going to be successful if its done at scale through natural approaches and technology. This challenge and its inherent complexity demand software solutions that can simplify complexity and create a reliable connection between buyers and sellers of credits. Mars Garza describes Alcove’s approach to this by saying: “We bring powerful carbon specificity and guardrails out of the box to build trust, transparency and speed for stakeholders across the value chain.”
A testament to the potential of Alcove’s platform is that there are already over 50 million tons of CO2e inventory on it, even though the company has been active for less than a year. If these numbers continue growing at the same pace then the startup could indeed become an integral part of the carbon industry.