A Tree Shaped Bat Signal: Our Series A Round

January 17, 2023

Today we’re sharing that we have accelerated our efforts to remove >1% of global emissions by raising an additional $21M for our Series A. This funding will allow us to bring the first ever plant engineered for carbon removal to US markets. 

In the first few years of Living Carbon, we were hyper-focused on R&D progress. Now we have developed our first commercial product, a photosynthesis-enhanced hybrid poplar. Our goal was to demonstrate that synthetic biology can be a toolkit for carbon removal now, rather than decades in the future. In 3 years, we developed a hybrid poplar tree that accumulates up to 30-50% more biomass than control plants, which is equivalent to around 27% more carbon. Beyond additional carbon captured, we have also seen a 97% survival rate of our seedlings on abandoned mineland planting projects, and an increased resilience to hot temperatures. Commercial plantings are underway and we have 4-5 million trees in production this year with growing demand for our carbon credits. After many greenhouse experiments, field trials and pilot plantings, we are excited to move into this next phase of the company. 

By the early spring of 2024, our goal is to have over four million seedlings in the ground, enabling companies and communities across the US to reduce their carbon footprint and turn land assets into carbon sinks. We need a lot more trees and biotech products to solve climate change and we are incredibly excited about what’s in our R&D pipeline.

This year we are producing over four million seedlings in partnership with commercial greenhouses.

We are lucky to have support from investors who understand our mission and the need to develop next generation carbon removal technologies that can scale quickly at low cost. We are excited to have world-class investors like Temasek leading the round and Lowercarbon Capital for continuing to support us since we were a pre-seed company. We are also grateful to Toyota Ventures for joining the round and bringing forward its valuable manufacturing principles and more as we develop our highly-efficient solutions to carbon removal. We are so thankful for the additional support from Felicis Ventures, Day One Ventures, Goat Capital and many angel investors. 

The impact of this funding is huge. If we continue to double the number of trees we plant every year from 2023 to 2030, we can sequester 604 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent to removing 1.66% of 2021 global emissions. This would require less than 5% of reforestable land in the US.

We’ve degraded 75% of the land on Earth through resource extraction without careful consideration of its consequences. This land won’t heal itself in the timeframes we need to solve climate change. Instead, we need to use our own tools, such as advanced biotech, to make our landscapes and planet more resilient to the changing conditions we’ve created.

This year we will be demonstrating the commercial and carbon removal potential of the first biotech product developed and commercialized from our R&D platform. Anyone reading this can help us achieve this - including by applying to join our team and getting on our waitlist for seedlings to reduce your emissions. We need more talented individuals to join our commercial, carbon project development, and operations teams in particular. Consider this a tree shaped bat signal.

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