Benioff-backed, satellite-powered carbon market eyeing global expansion

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Greenwashing – or the marketing of “green” services and investments that aren’t as environmentally friendly as claimed – is a real concern for companies that want more planet-friendly portfolios. In the case of carbon offsets, a company gives them an eagle eye to see where they are putting their money.

Carbon market startup NCX announced on Tuesday that, with $50 million in new funding, it is launching the international expansion of a network that allows companies to monitor their carbon offset purchases with satellite precision.

Good things come from trees

NCX operates a marketplace that matches businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint with landowners willing to suspend or scale back their forestry operations in exchange for a fee (because green businesses are business too). As a result, the carbon-absorbing trees remain in place, and NCX’s software allows landowners to map the trees on their property, which are checked annually by satellite to ensure they remain in place. The company already has major customers in the United States, including Microsoft, Cargill and Rubicon.

NCX’s latest fundraising, which includes participation from JP Morgan and Benioff’s Time Ventures as recurring funders, will allow the company to expand outside of the US into a fast-growing segment:

  • NCX will use the funds for an initial launch in Mexico and Canada, as well as to develop tools to monitor more natural resources beyond trees.
  • The so-called voluntary carbon market is small, but it’s growing at an enviable pace: Last year the market topped $1 billion, more than double the $473 million in 2020, according to the organization. Forest Trends & Ecosystem Marketplace.

Easy sales pitch: As co-founder Max Nova explained to CNBC, “Basically we show up to landowners and say, ‘Hey guys, you heard like chopping down trees for money?’ And they say, ‘Yeah.’ And we’re like, ‘What if we didn’t cut down trees for money and instead grew them for carbon?'”

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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