CEEZER, a Berlin-based climate tech startup, announced that it has raised $1M in pre-seed funding from Picus Capital, a German early-stage technology investment firm with a long-term investment philosophy.
Founded by Magnus Drewelies in 2021, the German company is a digital-first carbon bank that gives companies access to and guidance through the complex voluntary carbon market.
We at TFN spoke to Magnus Drewelies, founder and CEO of CEEZER, to find out more about his background, how CEEZER was born, his plans for the future, and much more.
How was CEEZER born?
Magnus Drewelies, who finished his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science, founded CEEZER because he felt the current voluntary carbon offset market doesn’t guarantee transparency in pricing, quality, and availability.
“There is a lack of data-driven insight, and a lot of engagement in the space happened on assumptions. There needs to be as much data and professionalism in this area as the financial markets,” he adds.
In this regard, CEEZER helps the company compensate for their unavoidable emissions with more trust, and carbon project developers work more seamlessly with corporates.
Looking into crypto space
The latest funds will enable the company to accelerate product development and increase headcount. Currently, the company employs around 15 people and aims to increase the workforce to 30 within this year.
“We have a strong roadmap for managing data, credits, and closely looking into the crypto space,” he shares. The company aims to make negative emissions as easily accessible as the capital markets.
How is CEEZER unique from others?
Unlike others, CEEZER uses external and proprietary data to help companies offset and remove the footprint they cannot currently reduce, with utmost transparency.
Drewelies explains, “We give buyers the power to decide on their own, and they can directly go to the market instead of a reseller. Moreover, they know what they are paying for.”
Early partners are closely involved in defining radically new services such as price recommendations from CEEZERʼs own benchmarking algorithm.
Carbon credits come in two categories – regulatory compliance and voluntary markets. The compliance market is used by companies and governments that by law have to account for their GHG emissions. In the voluntary market, the trade of carbon credits is on a voluntary basis.
CEEZER, which belongs to the voluntary markets, works with both large project developers across established standards as well as smaller removal players to offer access to a balanced, high-quality portfolio.
Drewelies says the voluntary carbon markets reached a record $1B in 2021, posting a near-60% to 100% increase in value from the previous year. The primary reason is the acceleration of net-zero ambition and growing interest in carbon markets.
“Suddenly, several companies realised the need to engage in the carbon market to reduce the emissions since they cannot reduce internally and it is also difficult to reduce operations emissions in the right timescale,” he says.
Talking about the challenges, Drewelies explains, “The primary challenge is the lack of transparency in the market. There are around five standards that are accepted, two really big ones that do the certification, but there is no one place where you can find information on all of this.”
He adds, “Right now, globally 10 to 20,000 projects issue those kinds of credits, but they all run under different standards, assumptions, and technologies.”
“Due to a lack of transparency, it remains difficult for the corporate or companies to have a direct relationship with the project. And what we do is exactly solve these challenges,” he says.
Drewelies says developers use CEEZER to create listings, highlight key quality indicators of their projects, set pricing, and manage their carbon credits inventory.
“By providing a data-driven, end-to-end platform, we can offer direct transactions between corporates and developers without risking quality. This is something that has long been missing in the voluntary carbon space,” says Drewelies.
Currently, few corporate customers are using CEEZERʼs portfolio algorithm to generate climate-impact optimised credit portfolios across technologies.
Oliver Heinrich, Partner at Picus Capital says, “Magnus and his team are building the much-needed infrastructure for the voluntary carbon market, thereby creating transparency, establishing trust, and facilitating transactions. They are addressing a truly vital challenge because offsetting is decisive in fighting climate change. We couldnʼt be more excited to be partnering with CEEZER in creating positive climate impact.”