Low-carbon transition | January 20, 2023

ImpactAlpha Deal Spotlight: Nature-based biotech

Roodgally Senatus

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, January 20 — Forests, oceans and soils play a crucial role in absorbing greenhouse gas emissions – and they could use some help.

San Francisco-based Living Carbon has developed photosynthesis-enhanced seedlings that grow into “carbon-guzzling supertrees” that can capture six to nine tons of carbon in a lifetime. That “means more timber, forests and other carbon-storing products sooner and cheaper,” said Chris Sacca of Lowercarbon Capital, which backed the company’s $21 million Series A round this week.

Photo by Living Carbon.

Living Carbon, launched last year, has raised $36 million to date.

Land reclamation

By next spring, Living Carbon aims to produce up to five million photosynthesis-enhanced seedlings for companies and organizations looking to turn land assets into carbon sinks. The company says it has reforestation carbon removal development projects with landowners in Pennsylvania and Georgia on excess and marginal land.

Photo by Living Carbon.

The company is aiming to build a commercial model that makes many types of underperforming land profitable, Living Carbon’s Martin Srna told ImpactAlpha. “This includes abandoned mineland and degraded agricultural land, which have already been affected by human intervention without the ability to easily regenerate forest canopy cover or biodiversity.”

The company handles carbon quantification and monitoring for buyers.

Climate mitigation

In a separate deal this week, TPG’s Anew Climate committed $640 million to Terra Global to produce climate-mitigation benefits on up to 20 million hectares of forest and other land in developing countries. The fund will finance nature-based projects in rural communities in exchange for verified credits to be sold to investors and companies.