June 25, 2024

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Nature-based Solutions Platform Cultivo Raises $14 Million

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Nature-based project investor Cultivo today announced it has raised $14 million in Series A funding, with proceeds aimed at accelerating its AI-driven platform to invest in nature regeneration at scale through high-quality projects.

Founded in 2019 by James Clifton, Manuel Pinuela, and Pablo Castellanos, California-based Cultivo uses technology and algorithms to identify high quality nature-based solution projects around the world, such as reforestation projects or soil protection projects. The company forecasts the financial, social and natural capital returns and uses experts on the ground to validate selected projects. It then packages the projects into investments and co-designs and monitors them to measure the increases in carbon capture, biodiversity, and water storage, as well as the social impact on the local communities and land stewards.

In the past year, Cultivo’s pipeline of natural capital projects surpassed 100 million hectares, equivalent to more than double the land size of California. The company said this pipeline  has the potential to remove more than 3 gigatons of carbon dioxide, roughly equivalent to the EU’s annual carbon emissions. The company also added Mark Carney, Chair of Brookfield Asset Management and Head of Transition Investing, to its board.

Dr. Manuel Piñuela, CEO and Co-Founder of Cultivo, said:

 “Investors are recognizing the value and scale of the natural capital investment opportunity, and companies are wanting to secure a future supply of high-quality carbon removal credits to mitigate volatility and quality concerns seen in the voluntary carbon market. This funding allows us to continue to deliver our growing pipeline of high-quality natural capital projects for our institutional customers, and accelerate the development of our AI-driven science & technology platform.”

The funding round co-led by MassMutual Ventures and Octopus Energy Generation, with participation from Salkantay Ventures and Peña Verde, will speed up the business’ growth and brings Cultivo’s total funding to over $20 million.

Alongside the funding announcement, Cultivo also announced that it has signed an agreement with Octopus Energy Generation for the deployment of up to $40 million into natural capital projects across North America, Europe, and Australasia.

Alex Brierley, co-head of Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team, said:

“Cultivo are leading the way in carbon removal projects which are helping the natural environment flourish while providing meaningful benefits to local communities that host them. Their tech-led approach, track-record and experienced team means we’re confident Cultivo has a winning formula for long-term success in this essential and fast-growing market. We’re looking forward to working with them as they grow and develop more projects globally, making a truly positive impact.”

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