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 previous profile of Sanchali Pal and her road as a startup founder with Joro here and here, and access the full project here.
Joro founder and CEO Sanchali Pal said results of a pivotal report released last month by the sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were definitely dire.
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Specifically, the report indicated that the Earth’s temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next decade.
“That’s very soon,” said Pal, whose seed-funded startup backed by Sequoia Capital, has built a service for consumers to purchase carbon offsets based on spending.
The IPCC report unequivocally links this increase in temperature to human actions.
“It gives us a lot more motivation to move quickly and to find paths to scale,” Pal said.
The report also called out the importance of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies, which includes the kind of work Joro encompasses.
“Reduction is the most important thing, but it cannot alone get us to our targets by 2030 or 2050,” said Pal.
The enthusiasm for Joro’s app since it launched four months ago seems to validate the concerns felt by some consumers around climate change. The app has had very few cancellations of its net-zero option to purchase offsets. Customers pay an average of $25 per month, but many users are prepared to pay more and have added limits at $60 to $65 per month within the app, said Pal.
In a summary of the report, Pal highlights the need to invest in an array of climate solutions with different time horizons, some available right now, some medium term, and some that are longer term.
While Joro offset purchases include forestry projects, soil offsets and bio-oil, some newer technologies the startup is looking at include enhanced weathering and mineralization, using rocks to store carbon for very long periods of time, and direct air capture.
Climate tech meets big tech
Overall, per Crunchbase data, there is an increased focus by venture on climate tech with cleantech funds scaling up. In fact, Joro has partnered with climate tech startups for early carbon offset purchases from Pachama, Nori and Charm Industrial.
In the last few months, Pal has also seen more commitments from companies to get to net-zero with 2050 as the North Star, per the IPCC report. Since there is no government legislation requiring this behavior, companies are acting based on employee or consumer concerns.
The companies leading in offsets are Shopify, Stripe and Microsoft, according to Pal. “They have very rigorous approaches to evaluating carbon offsets and specifically are focusing on removals,” said Pal.
Joros users live in locations where a Yale analysis shows a preponderance of citizens agree that we should do more to address global warming. These include San Francisco, LA-San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and Miami.
Joro is preparing to buy into its next set of offsets, having had lots of conversations with carbon offset providers. And the company also has been looking into providers able to scale on the tracking side.
“We can take financial transaction data and translate it into carbon footprints,” said Pal, who sees opportunity in partnering with banks or fintechs that ingest financial data, to show its customers the carbon implications of consumption, in order to be able to act.
Crunchbase Pro queries relevant to this article
- Funding to companies engaged in carbon removal
- Investors focused on clean energy and climate tech investments
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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