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Female-founded UK startup Opna raises $6.5M to help corporates reach their net zero goals

Opna founder
Picture credits: Opna

As per McKinsey, nearly 5200 businesses worldwide have made commitments to achieve net zero targets by 2050. However, they are falling short of these commitments largely. Only 7% of these companies are on track to fulfil their pledges. 

Apparently, corporates have to offset and inset emissions in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) to accelerate this pace and reach their net zero goals. Notably, VCM is projected to become a trillion-dollar industry. 

This is where the UK-based climate fintech company Opna (formally known as Salt) comes into play. It is building a carbon project financing platform that enables corporates to discover, finance, and monitor trustworthy and high-quality carbon projects in a transparent, cost-effective, and timely manner.

Closes $6.5M seed round 

In a recent development, Opna secured $6.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by European VC Atomico (which backed TestGorilla and Vaayu), joining existing backers Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective, Angelinvest, and Tiny VC. A number of notable individuals also joined the round, including Cristina Stenbeck, former Gainsight COO and DBT Labs Board Director Allison Pickens, former Chief Commercial Officer for Klarna Luke Griffiths, and Collibra co-founder Stijn Christiaens. 

The round will be used to increase awareness of Opna’s financing platform, deepen its proprietary risk engine, and support and grow the number and types of carbon projects available. The funding will also enable Opna to expand its team and build out new financing and insurance services.

“To achieve their net zero commitments, an increasing number of corporates are seizing control by directly financing the carbon projects underlying the carbon credits,” said Opna founder Shilpika Gautam. “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.”

As part of this round Atomico Partner Terese Hougaard will join the board of Opna. 

“Producing meaningful climate solutions at the scale and speed we need to combat climate change is a monumental challenge”, added Atomico partner Terese Hougaard, “that’s why we’re so excited to work with Opna – through its data-driven platform, it is building the infrastructure necessary to transform the way that businesses interact with the voluntary carbon market and allow for meaningful emissions reduction.” 

Helps corporates to reach net zero targets 

Opna was founded in 2022 by Shilpika Gautam, a Guinness world record-breaking climate advocate with over 15 years of experience building commodities businesses. 

Opna offers a platform for corporates to meet and connect with trusted & vetted project developers. This helps corporates cut down on the time and money spent on sourcing credible projects to finance, and opens up new capital and funding networks for project developers.

It offers a digitised portfolio & asset management tool, which allows corporates to easily monitor their financed projects over time through regular KPI tracking and risk reporting.

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