UNDO to scale permanent industrial-scale carbon removal via enhanced rock weathering following $13 million backing
● $12 million raised in new investment led by Lowercarbon Capital
● Additional $1 million renewal committed by Stripe
● UNDO’s industry-leading scientists are writing the world’s first ISO-compliant methodology for enhanced rock weathering
UNDO, the leading nature-enabled permanent carbon dioxide removal company, today unveils a new investment of $12 million, led by Lowercarbon Capital, to deliver industrial-scale carbon removal through enhanced rock weathering (ERW).
Jim Mann, Co-Founder & CEO at UNDO, commented:
“To achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we need to remove at least 10 gigatonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere every year. Enhanced rock weathering is one of the most vital climate tech solutions available today because it is permanent, highly scalable, and provides a host of co-benefits. We’re proud to be backed by many of the world’s most respected investors and corporate partners whose support will enable us to spread enough rock by 2025 to remove 1 million tonnes of CO₂ at a highly competitive cost.”
ERW is the acceleration of natural rock weathering, whereby the CO₂ in rainwater interacts with silicate rocks such as basalt, mineralises and is safely stored as solid carbon for hundreds of thousands of years. To speed up this natural geological process, UNDO spreads crushed basalt rock, a by-product of the mining and quarrying industry, across agricultural land. As this mineral-rich volcanic rock breaks down it releases magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients, increasing crop yield, raising and stabilising soil pH and ultimately reducing the need for fertilisers.
Supported by new funding, this nature-enhanced technology has significant potential in the global effort to reduce atmospheric CO₂ and stabilise global temperatures.
Kristin Ellis, Partner at Lowercarbon Capital, said: “We already know how to grind rock, to the tune of billions of tonnes per year. UNDO repurposes that infrastructure for carbon removal that’s cheap, global, permanent, and good for farmland.”
UNDO’s scientists have worked with world-leading independent climate scientists and carbon agencies to write the industry’s first ISO-compliant and ICROA-backed methodology for quantifying carbon dioxide removal from enhanced rock weathering. The company has led the effort to incorporate the methodology into a new standard launched by PURO.earth in December 2022 and it will be validated as conformant with ISO 14064 by the end of 2023. The company is also conducting the world’s first commercial real-time ERW trials, the results of which are set to be published later in 2023.
Major investors Lowercarbon Capital and AENU lead today’s significant fundraise of $12 million, enabling UNDO to scale carbon removal operations..
Ferry Heilemann, Founder & Partner, AENU said: “Enhanced rock weathering represents the rare CDR pathway where permanence, scalability, and co-benefits intersect. We believe that with their proven carbon removal track record and emphasis on developing a trusted MRV methodology, Jim and the team at UNDO have what it takes to move the needle on negative emissions.”
The nature-enabled carbon removal company today confirms a $1 million contract renewal from Stripe – one of the world’s leading carbon removal purchasers. This follows a $500,000 purchase and research grant from Stripe in May 2021.
Joanna Klitzke, Strategy and Operation, Stripe Climate said: “Enhanced weathering offers a highly scalable, low-cost route to carbon removal, and the UNDO team is making strong progress. We’re particularly excited about UNDO’s upcoming large-scale field trials and commitment to working towards best in class measurement of removal, which will be essential to commercialising enhanced weathering in the near future.”
In April 2023, UNDO became Microsoft’s first enhanced rock weathering supplier. As part of the agreement, UNDO will spread 25,000 tonnes of basalt rock on agricultural land in the UK, which will permanently remove approximately 5,000 tonnes of CO₂ over the next 20 years.
UNDO is working closely with farmers in the UK and the US to ensure all projects, studies, and trials reflect best agricultural practices. UNDO expects to see the first results from its field and mesocosm-scale experiments in Q2 2023. It will publish initial details of the agronomy benefits from its large-scale field trials in Q4 2023.
From here, UNDO aims to spread enough rock by 2025 to remove 1 million tonnes of CO2, as a first step towards billion-tonne scale operations.
UNDO is a pioneering nature-based carbon removal company with an ambition to remove over one billion tonnes of atmospheric CO₂ in accessible, affordable, nature-friendly ways. For the last two years, UNDO has worked at the cutting edge of science alongside experts in the climate, carbon and agricultural sectors to develop an enhanced rock weathering process technology which mimics natural weathering processes to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The UNDO operational, scientific and technical model leverages existing by-products and infrastructure, with a carbon efficiency of 95 per cent, allowing UNDO to quickly scale existing operations whilst offering carbon removal services at cost-competitive prices. The company employs 50 people in the UK and the US. In December 2022 it was approved by Puro.earth and is in the final stages of approval as conformant with ISO 14064 guidelines.
About Lowercarbon Capital
Lowercarbon Capital backs kickass companies that make real money slashing CO₂ emissions, sucking carbon out of the sky, and buying us time to heal the planet. For more information, visit: lowercarboncapital.com
AENU is an evergreen impact fund that invests in early-stage climate-tech and social impact companies based in Europe. AENU drives systemic transformation in venture capital towards impact, accessibility and stakeholder alignment. Visit aenu.com or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.
Stripe is a financial infrastructure platform for businesses. Millions of companies – from the world’s largest enterprises to the most ambitious startups – use Stripe to accept payments, grow their revenue, and accelerate new business opportunities. Stripe announced its plan to start purchasing carbon removal in August 2019, with an initial commitment of $1m. Today tens of thousands of Stripe users direct a fraction of their revenue to purchasing carbon removal via Stripe Climate. In 2022, Stripe launched Frontier, a $925M advanced market commitment to accelerate carbon removal alongside Google, Shopify, Meta and McKinsey Sustainability.