Editor’s note: This profile is part of Something Ventured, an ongoing series by Crunchbase News examining diversity and access to capital in the venture-backed startup ecosystem. As part of this project, we’re following seven seed-stage entrepreneurs over the course of several months as they build their businesses. Read our profiles of Sanchali Pal and her road as a startup founder with Joro here, here, here and here, and access the full project here.
As world leaders gathered at the United Nations’ climate conference in Glasgow this month to hash out agreements to reduce carbon emissions and curb the likelihood of catastrophic climate change, Joro CEO Sanchali Pal has been focused on helping everyday people play their part.
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“We hear a lot of statistics about how bad the climate crisis is and what we need to do about it, and especially with COP26 kicking off, the climate summit, there’s a lot of news about what we need to do,” said Pal, whose startup has a consumer-facing app that helps people track and offset their carbon impact. “But it’s pretty scary because we’re pretty far from our targets. And hearing real stories of people taking action can be empowering.”
The next phase for Joro is to grow its user-base and engage its users with compelling stories on how individuals have acted to curb their carbon impact, Pal said.
The service works by connecting purchasing data from a credit card to measure carbon impact and help users reduce their emissions. More recently, the company launched a carbon offset subscription product to help its users to get to net-zero.
Joro found that active users who have connected a credit card and are actively tracking their carbon footprint have lowered their emissions by around 30 percent. “That’s really impressive,” said Pal, who is based in Oakland. “If we scale that up to everyone in the U.S. we would have an impact, taking every car off the road and shutting down 80 percent of coal plants.”
The company is launching its user stories because “we’re discovering, and there’s research on the fact, that sharing and talking about climate is very difficult for people,” she said. “Climate silence is this real phenomenon.
“Something like 20 to 25 percent of Americans talk about climate in their everyday lives with others. But 80 percent of Americans are concerned about climate change,” Pal said. “So there’s this gap with people who are concerned, but not willing to talk about it. And part of what we’re trying to do is find a way to make that possible, give people a tool to take action and to share that action.”
Joros’ three current offset projects have seen success.
Charm Industrial, which creates bio-oil from biomass waste and pumps that carbon-rich oil deep underground, was potentially the largest permanent carbon removal project of all time, according to Joro. Charm has removed 5,000 tons of CO₂ equivalent since January.
Pachama, a service that measures carbon capture for forestry projects through satellite technology and artificial intelligence, has sold out on its current projects and is expanding. And Nori, which supports regenerative agriculture to store carbon in soil, is now working with Joro on its third farm to transform farming practices.
Joro has since selected three new projects for offsets: Grassroots Carbon has developed a rigorous approach for farmers to measure carbon they restore in soil; NCX is a forestry project that pays landowners to not cut down trees; and the final project, Running Tide, stores carbon in seaweed, and then launches them into deep-sea waters so they are permanently sequestered.
Around 5 percent to 10 percent of Joro users who sign up convert to the paid product, “which is really promising, especially considering that the average monthly cost is about $30 per person now,” said Pal.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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