Brilliant Planet Limited (formerly Susewi Ltd), the nature-based carbon capture and storage company, today announced the closing of its oversubscribed $12 million Series A funding co-led by Union Square Ventures and Toyota Ventures. Additional and follow-on investors include Future Positive Capital, AiiM Partners, S2G Ventures, Hatch and Pegasus Tech Ventures.
Brilliant Planet is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. The company's innovative processes enable vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land. This is achieved without using freshwater, by harnessing a natural process that contributes to the health of oceans and air.
Following four years of trials at its 3-hectare research facility in Morocco, Brilliant Planet will use the proceeds of the Series A round to prepare for construction of a 30-hectare commercial demonstration facility while continuing its fundamental R&D programme based in London. Brilliant Planet is supported by partners including UK Research & Innovation, Scottish Association of Marine Science and Southampton University across a range of research initiatives such as remote sensing, oceanography, sensor development and fluid dynamics.
"Nature-based solutions to climate change are normally the most scalable and cost-effective but it is often difficult to verify the amount of carbon removed by these methods and the permeance of the storage. On the other hand, man-made solutions such as direct air capture can be easily verified but are prohibitively expensive due to the significant inputs of energy, chemicals and fresh water required. Brilliant Planet has now developed a uniquely cost-effective, scalable and verifiable nature-based system that delivers on all requirements." states Adam Taylor, CEO of Brilliant Planet. "With the IPCC confirming that tremendous amounts of carbon will need to be removed from the atmosphere to limit global warming to 1.5°c, we feel that this is the right solution at the right time."
Raffael Jovine, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder added, "By using empty desert and seawater that would not have otherwise come to the surface, our solution creates 'new' Net Primary Productivity. In other words, we employ underutilised natural resources to grow new biomass and draw down excess carbon dioxide. Per unit area this approach sequesters up to 30 times more carbon per year than rainforests, while it also de-acidifies the local coastal seawater back to pre-industrial levels."
John Buttrick of Union Square Ventures will be joining the Board of Directors. "With many of the world's largest companies announcing net-zero targets each month, we expect substantial growth in demand for high quality carbon credits over the next few years." said John. "This presents an important opportunity for companies that can quickly scale carbon removal while meeting the quality standards demanded by sophisticated companies. We believe Brilliant Planet is uniquely positioned to do so."
Lisa Coca, Climate Fund partner at Toyota Ventures, added "We were impressed by the depth of fundamental research undertaken by the Brilliant Planet team, and their ability to translate these findings into real-world efficiency improvements and an extensive patent pipeline. A deeper understanding of algae has enabled Brilliant Planet to harness nature, rather than needing to change it, and we look forward to supporting the company as it works to combat climate change."
Earlier UKRI grant funding, through the Transforming Food Production programme, played an important role in developing R&D through to pilot-scale demonstration. Katrina Hayter, UKRI Challenge Director of the Transforming Food Production Programme commented "It is fantastic to see Brilliant Planet attract additional investment from the private sector to build on and scale-up the technology they have developed and demonstrated through the Transforming Food Production programme. Setting the sector on a trajectory to realise net-zero emissions is a cornerstone of our programme. The large-scale cultivation of algae has huge potential to mitigate the impacts of climate change, whilst also providing opportunities as a sustainable alternative source of food."
Brilliant Planet is actively recruiting across a broad range of scientific, engineering, technology and corporate roles. To learn more and meaningfully contribute towards solving one of our planet's most pressing issues please visit www.brilliantplanet.com/careers
About Brilliant Planet
Brilliant Planet is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. The company's innovative process enables vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land. This is achieved without using fresh water, by harnessing a natural process that contributes to the health of oceans and air. For more information visit www.brilliantplanet.com