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Kolum lands €2.1m for carbon pricing management innovation

Founders, Helge Wieggrefe and Marius Sprenger. Picture credits; Kolum

New EU regulations aimed at combating climate change are posing significant challenges for many European businesses. In response, a German startup has secured new investment to assist companies in navigating these regulations and avoiding potential penalties.

Kolum, a Berlin-based B2B startup, has secured €2.1M in pre-seed funding to further develop its comprehensive software solution for compliance with carbon pricing regulations in international trade. The funding round was led by FoodLabs, with participation from notable business angels specialising in ClimateTech, Customs, and B2B SaaS, including Anna Alex (Co-Founder of Outfittery, Planetly, Nala Earth), Markus Sudhoff (Managing Partner of Climate Founders), Markus Linder (Founder of Zoovu, Inoqo), and Janine Lampprecht (Managing Director of Grenzlotsen).

Addressing carbon pricing challenges with innovative technology

Kolum’s end-to-end software solution is designed to simplify and streamline compliance with carbon pricing regulations, such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). As of October 1, 2023, EU companies importing certain products from non-EU countries must comply with CBAM, which prices the CO2 emissions of these imported goods. This regulation, while promoting fair competition and reducing carbon leakage, imposes significant data reporting challenges and potential fines for non-compliance.

Marius Sprenger, Co-Founder of Kolum, highlighted the impact of CBAM: “The EU CBAM alone is expected to save up to 100M tons of CO2 annually when fully implemented. However, affected organisations face significant challenges in tracking supply chain emissions and managing carbon pricing costs. The Kolum software integrates with existing processes to help organisations stay compliant and manage carbon costs efficiently.”

Kolum’s platform aids EU companies in ensuring CBAM compliance and assists third-country manufacturers in accurately calculating and sharing emission data using CBAM-specific methods. The software offers a seamless integration that simplifies the entire compliance process, making it accessible for companies of all sizes.

Strategic vision and future growth

The new funding will support the further development of Kolum’s product, aiming to create a holistic carbon pricing management platform. This platform will help businesses worldwide manage compliance with various carbon pricing regulations and emission trading schemes, enabling informed decisions based on product sourcing and location.

Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs, expressed confidence in Kolum’s vision: “Currently, there is not only a lack of reporting solutions but an overall lack of understanding on how to report in a CBAM-compliant way. Kolum is one of the first players entirely focusing on this new regulation, and we believe the team is in a strong position to establish a dominant role early on.”

About the founders

Kolum was founded by Helge Wieggrefe and Marius Sprenger in late 2023. Wieggrefe, a PhD student researching the legal implications of the EU CBAM since 2021, began offering webinars for affected companies in early 2023. Through engaging with hundreds of companies and understanding their challenges, he partnered with his university friend Sprenger to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). The first product version was launched in closed beta by January 2024, and the company has since scaled to address broader challenges.

Kolum’s rapid growth and strategic partnerships

Despite being operational for only six months, Kolum is already collaborating with large enterprises and consultancies across Europe to manage CBAM effectively. The new capital will accelerate product development and support more companies within and outside the EU.

Anna Alex, Co-Founder of Outfittery, Planetly, and Nala Earth, praised Kolum’s potential: “Carbon taxes are a powerful tool for reducing global CO2 emissions, but they can be incredibly complex for organisations to navigate. When I met the Kolum team earlier this year, I was immediately hooked by their vision. The team’s deep domain expertise, swift execution, and clear product roadmap convinced me right away, and I’m thrilled to support them on their journey.”

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