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Loam – climate action in Oz

There’s money in Climate Action

Founded in Orange (rural NSW , Australia) in 2019 – Loam Bio uses microbes to decarbonise  farm soils – and has raised $40 million in a series A after raising a $10m seed round . 

What it does

Loam Bio has developed a microbial seed application to boost crop yields and help sequester carbon in the soil.

Tegan Nock  said the company has built a library of almost 2,000 microbial strains and identified those that help plants store carbon in the soil. “We are aiming to have a product widely available on the shelves by 2023.”

Tegan said that her team and farmers are leading the way and showing the role agriculture can play a part in solving this wicked problem 

Who invested – the whose who of tech 

  • Marc Benioff’s TIME Venturesand founder of Salesforce
  • Main Sequence Ventures, Mike Zimmerman,
  • Horizons Ventures, Chris Liu
  • the Clean Energy Finance Corporation,
  • Acre Venture Partners,
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures,
  • Lowercarbon Capital,
  • Fiona McKean
  • Tobi Lütke’s Thistledown Capital. (Founder of Shopify)

This is why they invested

Loam Bio CEO and co-founder Guy Hudson said the company’s microbial carbon removal solution tech has the potential to be a key climate change solution because it is cheap, long-term and scalable. 

“Using our naturally-derived products on crops across the globe will give the world the time it needs to adjust to a low carbon economy,” he said.

Lead investor Marc Benioff said the current climate emergency requires rapid, scalable responses and that Loam, with its powerful vision and promising technology, has great potential to play an important part in decarbonising the planet.

Chris Liu from Horizons Ventures said that Loam’s microbial platform can supercharge the decarbonisation of the economy worldwide and 

potentially draw down carbon at gigatonne scale with the speed and urgency that is required.

Ben Gust, executive director of the CEFC’s Clean Energy Innovation Fund said Loam has developed has the potential to significantly decarbonise the atmosphere and play an important part in accelerating the transition towards net zero emissions.

Mike Zimmerman, partner of Main Sequence Ventures said Loam Bio represented a potentially world-changing investment.

What it does 

A group of scientists, farmers and entrepreneurs in Australia and North America collaborated with a view to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and improve soil health – and  founded Loam Bio on  2019 

They have developed a microbial crop seed coating that stores carbon in the soil. The technology also boosts soil health and crop yields. 

The technology supercharges a plant’s natural ability to store carbon in soil after farmers coat their seeds with the inoculum, a common and simple agricultural practice.

Once the crop is sown, the microbes and plants work together to securely store carbon in soil. The solution is designed to bind carbon within structures in the soil called micro-aggregates, increasing the amount of CO2 stored permanently.

Loam Bio investigated 1500 microbial strains to find the ones with the power to remove vast amounts of carbon and restore farmland, discovering organisms that are new to science along the way.

The Growth 

The venture’s grown from a core team based in rural NSW in Orange, to more than 35, working across two continents in four labs and on 25 field sites. The US team is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

“The entire annual US aviation emissions could be removed if our seed coating was applied to America’s soybean crop.”

Guy Hudson is humbled by the backing of some of the world’s key technology founders and investors in the $40 million series A “and is an incredible catalyst for global-scale carbon removal” he said

Posted on November 16, 2021

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