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Index Ventures leads £5.5M seed funding in Sylvera, world’s first carbon offset ratings provider

London-based Sylvera, the world’s first carbon offset ratings provider that leverages geospatial data, machine learning and proprietary climate data to create a reliable and transparent assessment of carbon offset projects has launched. Also, the company has announced that it picked up $7.8 million (£5.5 million) in funding.

Eyes to expand technology platform

The investment was pumped by Index Ventures along with participation from existing institutional investors including Seedcamp, Speedinvest and Revent. It is supplemented by a $2 million (nearly £1.4 million) research contract from Innovate UK. Also, prominent angel investors including existing and former CEOs of NYSE, Thomson Reuters, Citibank and IHS Markit took part in the round. It will be used to further expand its technology platform.

“We founded Sylvera because we believed that in order to reach net zero, the world will require a well-functioning and scalable carbon offset market. Such a market will only work if all participants can trust in the projects they are trading. Currently, carbon offsetting is a very opaque market with little independent assurance available to guarantee an offset has taken place. The market also lacks the transparency companies need to compare projects globally across different standards,” commented CEO of Sylvera Dr Allister Furey.

Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, Partner at Index Ventures, commented: “This is a phenomenally strong team with the vision to build the first carbon offset rating benchmark, providing comprehensive insights around the quality of offsets, enabling purchase decisions as well as post-purchase monitoring and reporting. Sylvera is putting in place the building blocks that will be required to address climate change.”

Ariel Perez, Partner and Head of Environmental Products at Hartree, stated: “Large corporates and their shareholders are demanding more transparency as they execute their net zero strategies. Sylvera gives this transparency – enabling buyers to make better choices faster, and to manage risk with more confidence.”

Rene Velasquez, Head of Global Carbon Markets at CBL Markets noted: “The markets are at an inflection point, with more large global corporates entering than ever before. These new buyers expect more transparency than the market has historically provided – responding to this need will be critical for market growth.”

Deploys machine learning

Sylvera was founded in 2020 by Dr Allister Furey and Samuel Gill to address significant market failures in the carbon offset market. The company has developed a sophisticated technology platform that draws on multiple layers of satellite data to capture project performance data at scale and at a high frequency. It applies machine learning algorithms to analyse and visualise this data while conducting deep analytical work to assess the underlying project quality.

From this analysis, Sylvera creates a standardised rating for a project, enabling market participants to transact according to their preferences. Sylvera makes its ratings and analysis data available to its customers through a web application, and via API. In addition to this analysis, Sylvera continues to expand its proprietary methods for assessing carbon performance

Finds use across industries

Their launch opens up Sylvera’s platform and API to a broad set of carbon offset market participants, and expands access beyond some of the key partnerships the company has struck in its pilot phase. Already, Sylvera is working with some of the world’s largest purchasers of carbon offsets drawn from industries such as aviation, oil & gas, utilities, real estate, technology, and professional services. It is a partner to leading carbon offset marketplaces, and is actively working with a number of soon-to-launch new marketplaces across Asia, Europe, and North America.