When COVID-19 started to expand rapidly around the world causing markets to crash, so many companies to lay-off employees (and of course so much human suffering), I worried about the landscape to get additional funding to continue working on our critical mission of restoring nature to solve climate change. I knew that we had made enormous progress with Pachama, demonstrating our ability to develop solid forest analysis via machine learning models, securing high-profile customers such as Microsoft and Shopify and adding great forests conservation and restoration projects from around the world to our marketplace. But I wasn’t sure whether investors were going to shy away from long-term, purpose-driven companies like ours.
So I decided to send a couple of emails and explore the level of interest from select investors in participating on a small extension of our seed round, in order to extend our runway and navigate these uncertain times. I was incredibly surprised with the result. Not only was there interest from almost everyone I talked to, but also from some of my dream investors: investors that are truly aligned with our mission, who understand the long term nature of our venture and who have incredible networks to support our work.
After several Zoom calls from my home in the forest (which was going to burn down some weeks later), we put together a small but powerful round of funding to help Pachama continue investing in our platform development. These investors are joining our company early not only because they see the beginnings of what Pachama will become, but because they are dedicated to our mission for years to come. They will help us with their expertise and networks to maximize the chances of accomplishing our ambitious vision of restoring the world’s forests.
Today we are super excited to share that we have received $5M of additional funding from this incredible group:
- Breakthrough Energy Ventures: BEV was established by Bill Gates to tackle the climate crisis in 2015. We are especially excited to have them because they are a long term investor, specifically focused on solving climate change, with an impressive in-house scientific horsepower and an incredible network to support our work. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition includes top companies and individuals such as Richard Branson, Ray Dalio, Jack Ma, Michael Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, among others. We’re stoked to have such a tremendous group to support our work.
Carmichael Roberts, from Breakthrough Energy Ventures said about us: “By leveraging technology to create new levels of measurement, monitoring, and verification of carbon removal — while also onboarding new carbon removal projects seamlessly — Pachama makes it easier for any company to become carbon neutral. With its advanced enterprise tools and resources, the company has enormous potential to accelerate carbon neutrality initiatives for businesses through afforestation.”
- Amazon Climate Pledge Fund: Amazon, one of the largest companies in the world, has made the super inspiring pledge of investing $2 billion in technologies to tackle climate change. We feel so proud that we are one of their first five investments. Having the strategic support from Amazon will exponentially increase the chances of success of our work, allowing us to scale our solution globally.
Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability at Amazon, said about us: “We are excited to invest in Pachama, a company applying cutting-edge technology to protect ecosystems, restore forests, and improve carbon markets. We are looking forward to working with Pachama to monitor and evaluate nature-based solutions, including investments made by the Right Now Climate Fund.”
- Serena Ventures: Serena Williams, the incredibly inspiring tennis champion, also decided to invest in our mission through her investment firm Serena Ventures. Serena will inspire us to work with grit, passion and resilience and we hope that her endorsement will expand our reach to keep catalysing collective action on climate change.
- Aglaé Ventures. The tech investment arm of Groupe Arnault, the controlling shareholder of LVMH, has also invested in Pachama. As the fashion industry moves decidedly into addressing climate change, we are delighted to have their support on helping fashion brands achieve net zero emission.
- AirAngels: AirAngels is a coalition of early team members of Airbnb. Their experience building one of the most successful online marketplaces in the world will be super useful for us as we build our forest carbon marketplace.
- Sweet Capital: Sweet Capital is a highly connected fund in Europe, started by the founders of King.com. As we expand our services to Europe their connections will be key to help us reach the right partners in the region.
- ThirdKind Ventures: TKV is a fund started by Shana Fisher. She is one of the smartest, most helpful and kindest investors in the New York City tech scene. She’s already been a sound advisor and a great helper on our journey.
- My Climate Journey: The greats Jason Jacobs and Tommy Leap came together with the My Climate Journey community to participate in this investment through a syndicate. They are pioneers of early stage climate tech and we are thrilled to have the support of a community of accomplished professionals who care deeply about climate action in tech.
- Other investors in the round include Xplorer Capital, Scott Belsky, founder of Behance, Tobi Lutke, the founder of Shopify, Tim Schumacher, founder of Ecosia, among others.
- Saltwater and Lowercarbon Capital, the awesome lead investors of our previous round, followed up on this round, demonstrating their true commitment to our mission. Ryan Graves and Chris Sacca have been amazing advisors, supporters and friends for the last year and I feel so grateful to have them on my team.
I want to personally thank all the incredible people behind these investments in Pachama who decidedly moved forward in the midst of a confusing time for all. It’s really inspiring and encouraging to see all these great companies and firms really step up to the climate crisis. We will continue to work with relentless determination to deliver on our promise of helping conserve and restore forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere and solve climate change. We are just on day one, but we have the passion and resolve needed to climb the many mountains ahead of us. Let’s do this!