Whats new in forests?
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In mid-2018, when Tomas Aftalion and I decided to make the jump and join forces to start Pachama — a startup with the mission of restoring nature to solve climate change — we weren’t sure how we were going to fund our nascent idea. We thought that investors were going to think that this was too idealistic, “too small for them,” or too crazy. But the problem was just too important and too urgent not to try. I had seen with my own eyes the deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, the air pollution in China, and had watched the videos of ice melts in Patagonia. The realization that the climate crisis was the biggest challenge of our generation compelled us to do something about it with urgency. Starting a new venture is always a big leap of faith, even if you have done it before. In this case, we had no option.
I must say that I’m still very surprised and grateful for everything that has happened to us in the last two and a half years. We assembled an amazing team of incredibly talented people who, like us, were called to devote their efforts to the climate crisis. We are honored to work with outstanding partners both on the side of the forest project developers and on the side of the companies seeking to support these projects as part of their climate action plans. And we received a fantastic support from some of the best climate-tech investors in the world.
Today, I’m very excited to share that we have just closed a new round of funding of $15M, led by existing investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and followed by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Saltwater (Ryan Graves’s fund), Lowercarbon Capital (Chris Sacca’s climate fund). In addition to these existing investors who are doubling down on our company, we welcome new investors such as Tim O’Reilly’s OATV, Ram Shriram (former Google board member), MCJ Collective, Joe Gebbia (Airbnb Co-founder), Marcos Galperin (MercadoLibre’s founder), Manu Ginobilli (NBA champion), Fabrice Grinda, Sahil Lavignia, among others. Peter Turner from BEV will be joining the Pachama Board of Directors alongside Ryan Graves, my co-founder Tomas and myself.
We will use this funding to continue executing on our vision of a tech-enabled platform that can unlock climate-meaningful funding for mass restoration and conservation of nature. This will help remove gigatonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, all while protecting key ecosystems for biodiversity and generating fair income for local communities worldwide. A platform harnessing the most advanced remote sensing tech (satellites and LiDAR) and AI can enhance the trust, transparency, integrity and accountability of carbon markets. This is an imperative to scale impact. To accomplish this vision we need to keep developing cutting-edge technologies and services, so we need to continue hiring brilliant engineers and scientists passionate about this cause. We also need to expand our business and operations teams so that we can increase the number of partners on both supply and demand and serve them with excellence. More importantly, we need to build a world-class, distributed organization that can scale to reach global impact. If you or someone you know is a good fit for our open roles, please let us know!
I want to sincerely thank our investors for believing in our vision and betting that our company can make a dent on solving the formidable challenge of climate change. I would like to share here some quotes from two key members of our investors leading this round:
“Pachama is working on unlocking the full potential of nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere,” said Carmichael Roberts from BEV. “Their technology-based approach will have an enormous multiplier effect by using machine learning models for forest analysis to validate, monitor and measure impactful carbon neutrality initiatives. We are impressed by the progress that the team has made in a short period of time and look forward to working with them to scale their unique solution globally.”
“Pachama is a visionary company applying cutting-edge technology to protect ecosystems, restore forests, and improve carbon markets,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President and Head of Worldwide Sustainability, Amazon. “This investment builds on our existing support of Pachama and will help them more quickly scale their nature-based service as we work toward combating climate change.”
Finally, I want to personally thank every single one of you who has been rooting for us and supporting our journey in myriads of ways. I appreciate it enormously and thank you from my heart. We will continue to work tirelessly for the years to come, giving our best to make this vision a reality, for the benefit of all living beings in the planet and future generations.
Co-founder & CEO at Pachama
Boulder Creek, California. April 30th, 2021