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Varaha cements $8.7M to accelerate carbon offsetting efforts through nature-based solutions

Varaha cements $8.7M to accelerate carbon offsetting efforts through nature-based solutions
Image credit: DepositPhotos/VectorMine

India-based Varaha, a company pioneering carbon offsetting with nature-based solutions, has secured $8.7 million in Series A funding led by RTP Global with contributions from Omnivore and Orios, Norinchukin Bank, AgFunder, and Octave Wellbeing Economy Fund.

Co-founded by Madhur Jain (CEO), Ankita Garg (COO), and Vishal Kuchanur (CTO) in 2022 Varaha is deeply committed to addressing climate change, focusing on developing and incentivizing nature-based carbon projects. Their full-stack climate-tech approach leverages advanced technologies like scientific models, remote sensing, and machine learning to ensure the highest levels of quality and verifiability in their carbon offsetting endeavours. 

Last month, Berlin-based CEEZER, a prominent player in the carbon credit market, successfully closed its Series A funding round by raising €10.3 million. Moreover, an England-based company also raised $40M growth capital to decarbonise the aviation industry earlier this month. 

Empowering smallholders, reducing climate impact

Varaha focuses on incentivizing smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa to adopt sustainable practices like regenerative agriculture and afforestation. These methods not only capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also offer additional benefits like improved soil health, increased crop yields, and enhanced biodiversity. This holistic approach positions Varaha as a leading end-to-end developer of carbon credit projects.

“Nearly 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions stem from the agricultural sector,” explains Madhur Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Varaha. “Varaha’s mission to sequester and reduce carbon emissions through nature-based solutions is more critical than ever. Today’s funding is a testament to our commitment to drive impactful change, empowering smallholder farmers while mitigating climate change.”

Tech-driven transparency and rigour

Varaha leverages a sophisticated Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) platform that utilises remote sensing, machine learning, and scientific research to accurately quantify the impact of their projects. This dedication to transparency and scientific rigour ensures the quality and effectiveness of their carbon credits, a crucial aspect for building trust and attracting buyers.

Scaling impact through expansion and innovation

The new funding empowers Varaha to expand its operations across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, tapping into the rising demand for high-quality carbon credits. Additionally, they plan to invest in further enhancing their technological and scientific capabilities, strengthening their market position and impact potential.

Varaha has already made significant strides, enrolling over 700,000 acres of land across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Kenya. It works with more than 100 partners across these geographies to onboard smallholder farmers, with plans to increase this number by 4X in the next 12-15 months.

Varaha has already contracted and sold more than 230,000 carbon credits across a diversified project portfolio. Varaha’s customers include some of the largest marketplaces in the world, such as Klimate in Denmark, Good Carbon in Germany, Carbon Future in Switzerland, top-tier companies in Europe, with strong interest also coming from financial institutions and tech companies across the UK and US.

“The visionary and unique approach of Madhur and his team to generating carbon credits through nature-based solutions has the potential to become a game-changer for the industry,” notes Galina Chifina, Partner on RTP Global’s Asia investment team. “It’s been a privilege to support them early in their journey of building a truly impactful company that is poised to make a significant difference on our planet.”

A greener future with empowered communities

Varaha’s innovative approach offers a promising pathway for tackling climate change while simultaneously empowering smallholder communities. Their latest funding round positions them for significant growth and impact, contributing to a future where carbon neutrality coexists with thriving rural communities and a healthier planet.

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