By bringing together the potential of nature and the power of tech, Estonian start-up Arbonics is making forest carbon removal projects transparent, accurate, verifiable and scalable.
Launched in late 2022, Estonian naturetech firm Arbonics already works with 4,000 landowners, planting more than four million trees across European markets, and is trusted by a growing number of multinational organisations.
Now, the naturetech pioneer looks set for further growth after securing a 5.5 million euros seed investment from NordicNinja, Plural and Tilia Impact Ventures to meet growing demand for quality carbon removal.
The investment will allow Arbonics to continue scaling its innovative climate change solution across the continent.
The new funding round—closed last week—takes the total raised by the Estonian company to 7.3 million euros. The investment will be used to further develop Arbonics’ product portfolio to cover the entire forestry lifecycle, grow its team and expand to cover 50 per cent of European forests next year.
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Founded by CEO Kristjan Lepik and COO Lisett Luik, Arbonics wants to set new standards for how transparent, scalable, and impactful forest carbon projects can, and should, be. Not just for those looking to invest in forestry projects, but for the thousands of landowners who are increasingly looking to Arbonics to better quantify the environmental benefits of their land.
Carbon removal is widely recognised as the only way to reach the Paris Agreement targets and forests are at the heart of its impact. Studies show nature-based solutions could account for as much as 30 per cent of the global mitigation needed, and forests will account for up to 80 per cent of this. This vast potential has seen demand for nature-based carbon credits grow more than 20 times since 2016, and the market is scaling fast; on track to hit 150 billion US dollars by 2035, up from 67 million US dollars just seven years ago.
Changing the way we manage forests
Nature alone already removes almost two gigatonnes (GT) of CO2 every year through growing forests, restored wetlands and healthy soils and could reach as high as 10GT a year by 2050—the equivalent to all the emissions from the entire global transport sector.
This, says Arbonics, will only happen if we fundamentally change how we manage forests.
The complexities of ecosystems, the ongoing issues surrounding the Voluntary Carbon Market, the need for monitoring, verification, and the sheer scale of the problem, though, are all calling for a technological intervention.
Arbonics believes that its platform is the solution.
“Our tech stack is designed to elevate the nature-based removals industry, setting a new standard for what can be achieved when forests and technology work in harmony,” says Lepik.
The Arbonics platform combines more than 30 layers of data—from on-the-ground sensors to soil readings and satellite imagery—with in-house ecology and forestry expertise, to remotely, and accurately, calculate the carbon removal potential of land in European countries. It can determine everything from which trees are needed to reach the land’s potential, to establishing their carbon impact, in seconds.
The platform has strategic partnerships with institutions like Swedbank—which launched a product with Arbonics to finance planting new forests—and is trusted by a growing group of multinational organisations to meet critical credit buying needs.
A strong bet on the planet’s future
Arbonics has already unlocked new revenue sources for 4,000 landowners through analysis of more than 200,000 hectares and the planting of more than four million trees across multiple European markets.
By the end of 2024, it plans to cover half of Europe’s forest.
“With the support of our latest investors, we can continue building what we consider to be the future of transparent carbon removal,” adds Lepik.
According to Rainer Sternfeld, managing partner at NordicNinja, “Arbonics is exactly the kind of innovative, scalable and sustainable solution we look for. The company not only has the technology and market understanding, but also the vision and the team to make a significant difference. We see Arbonics as having the potential to conquer the market in this crucial sector. That’s why we’ve made this strong bet on their, and our planet’s future.”
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