Welcoming Gazelle Ecosolutions to the Genesis Portfolio

Daniel Miyares
Genesis
Published in
4 min readSep 29, 2022

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This year, Genesis and the Energy Institute partnered to launch UT Austin’s Smart Energy Call For Innovation (C4i) in collaboration with Affinity Engineering, Chevron, and Shell. Read more about our generational partnership:

Venture Partner: Alex Yelverton

Meet the Gazelle team. Amod Daherkar (B.B.A Finance & B.A. History), Siddharth Thakur (B.S. Electrical Engineering), Ben Breed (B.B.A Accounting & B.A. Government), and Mihir Bendre (B.S. Computational Engineering). The team originally came together out of a shared interest to compete in the Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge — an annual event hosted by the Global Sustainability Leadership Institute. After coming across the research published by Dr. Thoralf Meyer in UT Austin’s Geography department, the team proceeded to leverage his deep subject matter expertise. Soon after, Dr. Meyer and the 4 students united around the idea of building a solution to mitigate the effects of climate change while establishing a more sustainable agriculture ecosystem and Gazelle Ecosolutions was formed.

As the potential impact of widespread climate change has become more apparent over the past decade, companies have begun pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to reduce environmental fallout. However, while corporate net-zero pledges are a well-intentioned step in the right direction, companies are struggling to achieve their goals — let alone meeting targets aggressive enough to keep global warming below the critical 1.5 degree Celsius threshold.¹

This trend is especially prevalent in lines of business with little inherent emissions (i.e. professional services firms), where reaching complete net-zero across all emissions scopes through operational change alone is incredibly difficult. ² As a result, companies have turned to alternative methods to reach net zero, a popular medium for which being voluntary carbon offset credits. ³ To take advantage of the private financing these offset credits give emission reduction projects and drive environmental and economic growth, Gazelle Ecosolutions was founded as a land management and carbon offset market solution.

Gazelle has a strong network on the ground in Botswana, as well as a swath of highly relevant operational expertise. Through connections with UT professor Dr. Thoralf Meyer, the team has identified a cohort of beta testers that are supporting product testing in the real world throughout 2022. The carbon offset market is highly fragmented, and identified competitors in the space largely only focus on the offset side of the equation. Gazelle employs a uniquely sustainable co-benefits model that not only incentivizes environmental preservation, but bolsters the local economy as well. The demand for voluntary carbon credits has skyrocketed in recent years, driven largely by increased public desire to reduce carbon emissions and recent proposals to require public companies to disclose emissions-related data to investors. ⁴

Gazelle Team (from Left to Right): Siddharth Thakur, Ben Breed, Amod Daherkar, Dr. Thoralf Meyer, Mihir Bendre

Since pitching to Genesis, the Gazelle team has been hard at work bringing their product and vision to life. The team spent several weeks this past summer developing relationships with ranchers, validating their carbon sequestration measurement methodology and bringing projects with the potential for carbon credit generation into their development pipeline.

This effort has already yielded one credit-generating project that is expected to be fully setup this year (MODISA Conservation Project). On top of that, two additional projects are currently in the process of proposal and/or pre-validation. This astounding progress has come in part due to the team’s ability to engage with stakeholders across the value chain and their dedication to developing a means for obtaining accurate ecological readings in a timely manner. They’ve set up partnerships with the Kalahari Science Institute for continued collection of scientific data and are in current conversations with various government and financial backers in the region with dedicated agricultural arms for additional support.

The Gazelle team went above and beyond in explaining the value they seek to provide the world while also demonstrating they have the operational know-how to execute on grand ideas. They built a truly user-centric product, completed due diligence in selecting a robust carbon credit methodology, and have already made substantial progress in both validating the demand for their product and ensuring the data they utilize is accurately obtained and recorded. Carbon offset solutions are still in the early days of development, but solutions such as Gazelle’s show that continued innovation in the space will shift sentiment on global climate goals from “unachievable” to “well within reach”. We are excited to see what all the Gazelle team can accomplish. After thorough diligence on their product, market, and team, Genesis has committed to a $25,000 investment in Gazelle Ecosolutions!

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