Toyota Ventures
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Toyota Ventures

A Carbon Removal Marketplace: Our Investment in Nori

By Lisa Coca, Partner, Climate Fund

In the race to net-zero, there is near unanimous agreement that emission reductions alone will be insufficient. Simply put, we must supplement emission reductions with large-scale carbon removal. The good news is that we are witnessing a demonstrable acceleration of technology innovation in the markets for carbon capture. However, there is a third leg to the stool — the voluntary carbon markets.

With more than 20% of the world’s largest publicly traded companies already committed to reaching net-zero, the trading of carbon credits can assist these large organizations in meeting their ambitious goals. In fact, McKinsey estimates that the demand for voluntary carbon credits could balloon to $50B as early as 2030.

Unfortunately, the current state of voluntary carbon markets is best characterized by weak accounting and verification, no standards, fragmentation and limited pricing data. The lack of credibility and transparency has, and will, continue to hinder the overall growth of the carbon removal space. To catalyze and capitalize on the opportunity at-hand, an end-to-end marketplace is required that not only monetizes — but more importantly verifies — carbon removal. To that end, I am very excited to announce the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund’s investment in Nori’s Series A round, led by M13.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Nori was founded in 2017 and is led by CEO Paul Gambill. The company provides a transparent, verifiable and high-quality carbon removal marketplace. The platform leverages blockchain technology to enable suppliers to connect directly with buyers thereby improving efficiency and reducing costs. The company has harnessed the power of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for its NRTs (Nori Removal Tonnes, the actual carbon removal credit), and is soon deploying a native NORI token on the Polygon blockchain to act as price discovery for carbon removal. By doing so, Nori has created a secure and transparent marketplace that eliminates the problem of double-counting carbon credits by enforcing the immediate retirement of carbon — while simultaneously establishing a method of determining the true price of a tonne of CO2.

Image courtesy of Nori

Paul and team bring a wealth of experience working in mobile and web application projects, spatial computing, and software engineering. They stood out to us for their passion to amplify carbon removal and creative leverage of the blockchain to address climate change. Paul’s belief is that the NORI token is the market signal that we need to start reversing CO2 emissions — and that it’s possible to get paid to do so. The company is ensuring participating suppliers receive direct compensation for their sustainable farming practices through purchased NRTs, and allow buyers to pay for NRTs in a first-in-first-out (FIFO) order as they’re entered into the marketplace.

Nori is currently focused on regenerative farming practices that involve soil carbon sequestration, and has plans to expand into other methods of carbon removal credits in the near future. The company also plans to grow its base of reputable, independent, third-party verifiers and carbon quantification tools (CQT) to measure, report, and verify carbon removal as the platform scales.

Nori is on a mission to provide more accessible market-based pricing and a global commodities industry for carbon removals. Through its transparent marketplace, the company is empowering forward-thinking buyers and suppliers to reduce their overall carbon footprint and expand the carbon credit marketplace significantly. As the Climate Fund’s first announced investment, we could not think of a better way to kick things off and are excited to join the team on its journey. Visit Nori’s website and the Toyota Ventures portfolio page to learn more.

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Investing in early-stage startups in AI, cloud, autonomy, mobility, robotics, smart cities, digital health, fintech, energy, materials, and carbon neutrality.

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Toyota Ventures

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