Climate Finance | April 18, 2022

Stripe backs Lowercarbon Capital $350 million fund for carbon capture

Roodgally Senatus and Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, April 18 — “There has never been a better time to start a carbon removal company,” wrote Chris Sacca in launching his new dedicated carbon removal fund. Innovation on the supply side is “bonkers,” he said, noting advances in electrochemistry, engineered fungi in soil, and new chemical structures that are reducing costs and enabling more efficient carbon capture.

Just as important: exploding demand for carbon removal from companies such as Stripe, which last week launched a collaboration called Frontier with other tech companies to purchase $1 billion of carbon removal by 2030. The companies hope to accelerate commercialization and drive down costs for carbon removal solutions.

Sacca singled out Stripe, which backed his new fund, for “pushing the envelope on climate solutions” and recycling profits from the fund into carbon removal purchases. Ryan Orbuch, who led the carbon removal procurement program at Stripe before joining Lowercarbon in December, will lead the fund.

Low-carbon transition

Global temperatures could surpass 1.5 degrees Celcius from pre-industrial levels this century. Carbon removal may be the only way to bring them back down. Lowercarbon’s fund will target carbon removal approaches “with massive potential that haven’t even been discovered yet,” said Sacca.

The firm backed Verdox in February to commercialize electric carbon capture. Sacca has also invested in carbon removal providers Charm Industrial, which stores carbon-rich bio-oil underground, Living Carbon, which has engineered “carbon-guzzling supertrees,” and Running Tide, which farms kelp to sequester carbon in the ocean.

Separately, direct-air capture pioneer Climeworks raised $650 million earlier this month in the largest-ever haul for a climate removal company.