A soil biology company based in Orange, NSW has landed a $40 million series A round from some of the world’s leading climate-tech investors.
The startup has proven their technology on a small scale, and they’re now set to deploy the funds at a commercial scale, and to prove their methodology for increasing the carbon sequestration capacity of soil can make a material difference to global carbon drawdown.
Investors include TIME Ventures, which is the investment vehicle of Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce.
“We’re in a climate emergency. While reducing emissions around the world is paramount, Loam, with its powerful vision and promising technology, has great potential to play an important part in decarbonising the planet.” Mark Benioff said.
He was joined by the founder of Shopify, Tobi Lutke, through Thistledown Capital. And Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital.
Other investors have followed-on from the company’s initial $10 million round. Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures returned to boost his allocation, as did the CEFC, and the CSIRO’s Main Sequence ventures.
The technology is remarkably simple, but the potential impact is huge.
Their key intervention is the coating of seeds with a microbial fungi. When the seed germinates the microbes all the soil surrounding the roots to store more carbon as the plant draws it down during photosynthesis.
And! The plant’s are made more fertile by the process, which has the potential to boost crop yields.
Plus! The extra carbon drawdown could also be translated into carbon credits, giving farmers an additional income source.
“The time for our technology is now. Microbial carbon removal promises to be a key climate change solution because it is cheap, long term, and scalable,” said Guy Hudson, Co-founder and CEO of Loam.
The Loam team has grown to 35 people, working from a base in Orange, with another in Minnesota in the US. They have four labs and 25 field sites, and their growth is only just getting started.