Climate startup Arbonics raises €1.8m pre-seed funding from Taavet Hinrikus and Plural to shake up the voluntary carbon market with data-driven tool for landowners

  • 2022-09-15

TALLINN – Arbonics, a new climate tech start-up, is today launching its unique data- and science-driven tool to make calculating the potential carbon income of land and forests quicker and easier for landowners in Europe to help fight climate change. Earlier this year, Arbonics raised €1.8M in a pre-seed round from Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of Wise) with Plural to spearhead the development of the platform.  

Founded by Kristjan Lepik and Lisett Luik in early 2022, Arbonics enables nature-based solutions to fight climate change, focusing particularly on forestry. By transforming how landowners analyse and calculate their carbon sequestration potential - the process of capturing, securing and long-term storage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - Arbonics will unlock new income sources for forests and landowners, whilst improving the voluntary carbon market. 

Providing high-quality credits to the voluntary carbon market 

Carbon credits have become a means for carbon emitters to offset emissions by investing in projects that remove or reduce emissions from the atmosphere. The 160 million hectares of forested land in the European Union alone has the potential to capture and store up to two gigatonnes of additional carbon annually – equivalent to 73% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions in 2021. Demand is set to grow by a factor of 15 by 2030 as more businesses and consumers want to be able to invest in carbon reduction schemes to offset their emissions. 

Arbonics will make it easier for landowners to analyse and calculate the ability of their land to absorb carbon. It takes less than one minute for the platform to analyse the carbon opportunity of a given area of land or forest, using a dozen data sources combined with the team’s forest expertise. It can carry out analysis of unused land and also provides a custom solution for existing forests which generates carbon credits through adapted forest management practices.

This enables landowners to generate additional income whilst also providing proven, high-quality nature-based carbon credits that are certified by leading verification providers like Verra for the voluntary carbon market. Through this, Arbonics is at the forefront of a movement towards a more localised impact by providing opportunities for European credit buyers to invest in European forests through carbon markets. 

Combining forestry and carbon experience with technology 

Arbonics has brought together an all-star team combining forestry, carbon and business experience from Apple, American Express, Starship Technologies and World Wildlife Fund to build the platform. As well, the company is working closely with a team of geospatial data scientists from the University of Tartu; the collaboration has been vital in developing the automated and data-backed tool, while also ensuring that all analysis is rooted in the latest science. 

Lisett Luik, co-founder of Arbonics, said: "Landowners can be a powerful ally in combating climate change - by storing millions of tons of carbon dioxide in forests and protecting biodiversity. To make this happen, they need someone in their corner to provide critical data and analysis. With the help of our flexible data models and deep understanding of voluntary carbon markets, Arbonics can help landowners realise their land's positive climate impact." 

Kristjan Lepik, co-founder of Arbonics, said: "Timber can still be used as a revenue source, but we are adding two new revenue streams in carbon and biodiversity. Our aim is to create the new forest economy and change how forests are valued. We’re excited to work with our investors to grow and develop Arbonics to help combat climate change.”

Taavet Hinrikus, founding investor, said: "I am a big fan of technologies that can speed up carbon capture - direct air capture is one example. But those technologies are only a small part of the solution; we need to empower nature and combine it with data-based technologies to help nature-based solutions scale."