InPlanet raises € 1.2M in pre-seed round for Enhanced Rock Weathering in the tropics

Published:
January 19, 2023
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  • Spreading large amounts of rock powder has the potential to remove gigatonnes of carbon in a safe and affordable way.
  • With a focus on tropical agriculture the company’s target is to remove MTs of CO2 by 2030.
  • First company generating scientific data for ERW in the tropics where the latest science identified the highest potential of the technology
  • Enhanced Rock Weathering is a natural process by which CO2 reacts with silicate rocks and water to lock carbon away for thousands of years.

The German-Brazilian-based company InPlanet raised € 1.2 Mio from the Impact Investors Carbon Removal Partners, Übermorgen Ventures, Trellis Road, Katapult VC, and Carbon Drawdown Initiative to build a scalable solution for Carbon Removal through Enhanced Rock Weathering in the tropics.

Before launching InPlanet, CEO and Co-founder Felix had founded two software companies. After creating a CO2 balance for one of them and searching for solutions to offset unavoidable emissions, he realized that there is a lack of scalable, permanent, and safe solutions to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

While visiting his friend Niklas in Brazil, they collaboratively identified the huge potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering for Carbon Removal in the tropics and founded InPlanet in August 2022.

Throughout the earth’s history, most of our atmospheric carbon dioxide has been removed through the weathering of silicate rocks. They react with water and CO2 and as a result, dissolved bicarbonates are produced. Eventually, they wash away through groundwaters and rivers into the oceans where they form carbon-rich sediments.

InPlanet accelerates this natural Carbon Removal process by distributing suitable rock powder on agricultural land in the tropics, because climate and soil provide optimal weathering conditions. In addition to the ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere, Enhanced Rock Weathering regenerates tropical soils and fertilizes crops. This allows farmers to reduce the input of limestone, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides. Therefore, InPlanet also contributes to emission reductions and a more sustainable way of farming, growing healthier and more nutritious food.

“We are thankful for the support of our pre-seed investors and excited to use the funding to grow our current team. In 2023, we plan to spread 50.000 tons of rock powder to remove 10.000 tons of CO2. This will allow us to generate unique and scientifically valuable data to understand the weathering process in the tropics even better”. Felix Harteneck, CEO and Co-Founder at InPlanet

InPlanet has built extensive scientific partnerships with leading universities in agricultural research like the University of São Paulo (ESALQ), Brasilia (UNB), and Newcastle. Collaboratively they are developing novel experiments for effective monitoring, reporting, and verification of ERW in Brazil.

InPlanet is also part of the Frontier Batch 2022 and the first German company removing carbon for Shopify and Stripe and was participating in the ClimAccelerator 2022.

Katapult

Katapult is a Norwegian Venture Capital firm that commits to financing startups with impact. Currently, they focus their operations on the themes Ocean, Climate and Africa. Aside from investing, Katapult also runs an accelerator program for impact startups, where InPlanet is also participating in the current batch.

Übermorgen

The Swiss VC firm Übermorgen specifically invests in early-stage climate-tech startups. The team consists of mission-driven entrepreneurs that have already built many successful companies in the past. Apart from investing in carbon solutions, they focus on Clean Energy, Food-tech & sustainable agriculture, Transportation & Mobility, and Manufacturing. Their portfolio consists of a wide variety of startups that have developed alternatives to conventional products or services that will reduce 1mn tonne annually of CO2 from 2030 onwards

Carbon Removal Partners

Carbon Removal Partners (CRP) is a Zurich-based VC with a pure focus on the growing CDR industry. CRP invests into technologies to withdraw carbon from the atmosphere in a permanent manner, as well as into companies along the Carbon Removal value chain. It is their goal to collaborate with the most ambitious entrepreneurs of the industry to make the need of reversing humanity’s carbon streams become a reality.

Trellis Road

Trellis Road is a micro fund investing in high-impact foodtech startups globally. It was started in 2020 by Anna Ottosson & Erik Byrenius, two ex-founders with a strong dedication to impact. Trellis Road typically invests $200k-$500k in pre-seed and seed rounds of extremely ambitious startups. Trellis Road has invested in over 20 startups across 4 continents, including companies like Planet A, Bluu, Bond, Mission Barns and Hier.

Carbon Drawdown Initiative

The mission of Carbon Drawdown Initiative is to speed up negative emissions. They put this into action by investing in companies that remove carbon from the atmosphere in ways that are permanent and scalable. Apart from their investments, they are also running Project Carbdown where they conduct  weathering experiments and research together with scientists from six universities, which makes them an important player in the Enhanced Rock Weathering research field.

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The Great Potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering in Brazil

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