Opna, a London-based fintech that was until most recently known as Salt, has announced the raise of $6.5 million in a seed funding round. The capital will be used to increase awareness of the financing platform that focuses on providing capital to global carbon projects, as well as further develop the platform’s proprietary risk engine.
Additionally, the investment is aimed at supporting and growing the number and types of carbon projects available in tandem with expanding the team size and the development of new financing and insurance services.
Led by Atomico, specifically Terese Hougaard, who led Berlin-based Vaayu's $11.5 million seed investment, the round also saw the participation of Cristina Stenbeck, former Gainsight COO, DBT Labs (formerly Fishtown Analytics) Board Director Allison Pickens, former Chief Commercial Officer for Klarna Luke Griffiths, and Collibra co-founder Stijn Christiaens. Opna (Salt) existing investors include Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective, Angelinvest, and Tiny VC.
According to McKinsey, over 5,200 businesses worldwide have, “pledged to meet net-zero carbon targets by 2050, and some 450 banks, insurers, and investors—collectively representing $130 trillion in assets and 40 percent of the world’s private capital—committed to making their portfolios climate neutral during the same period.”
However, we’ve seen these commitments are falling short of the mark, with 93 percent on track to fail the fulfillment of their pledges.
In order to remain on track and reach their net zero goals in a cost and time-efficient manner, corporates will have to offset and inset emissions in the voluntary carbon market (“VCM”).
This is where Opna enters the picture. The firm (formally known as Salt) is building a carbon project financing platform that enables corporates to discover, finance, and monitor carbon projects.
Opna founder Shilpika Gautam shares:
“To achieve their net zero commitments, an increasing number of corporates are seizing control by directly financing the carbon projects underlying the carbon credits.
“However, these businesses are having a hard time mobilising their capital due to a lack of in-house expertise, high transaction costs, analogue infrastructure, and time-consuming processes. Opna's goal is to provide the platform, data, and financing innovation that unlocks this capital, bridging the gap between corporates committed to reaching net-zero and carbon projects that seek financing.”
Lead image: Ricardo Riccio