Varaha, an India-based full-stack climate-tech company that specializes in generating carbon credits from nature, has on Thursday announced it has raised $ 8.7 million.

Varaha said in a statement that the Series A funding round is led by RTP Global with contributions from Omnivore and Orios – both returning investors – and marks the inaugural investment by Norinchukin Bank, one of Japan’s largest institutional investors, in an Indian startup.

The round also saw participation from AgFunder and Octave Wellbeing Economy Fund, an investment arm of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group.

The funding raised will be channeled into further enhancing Varaha’s tech and science capabilities and expanding operations to new geographies in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, to meet the increasing demand for high-quality carbon credits.

With the voluntary carbon offset market projected to reach $250 billion by 2050 as per Morgan Stanley estimates, Varaha said the firm is ideally positioned to contribute significantly to this growth, driving global climate action and carbon reduction efforts.

The sizeable raise comes just a year after Varaha previously raised a seed round of $4 million.

The seed round was led by Orios Venture Partners, and included participation from Omnivore, RTP Global, Better Capital, and other angel investors like Kunal Shah.

“With nearly 24 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions stemming from the agricultural sector, Varaha’s mission to sequester and reduce carbon emissions is more critical than ever,” said Madhur Jain, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Varaha.

He said today’s funding is a testament to the firm’s commitment to drive impactful change.

“With the support of our investors, we’re poised to roll up our sleeves and accelerate our efforts, empower smallholders, integrate cutting-edge technology, and foster sustainable practices,

“Varaha isn’t just a company; we’re a catalyst for change, and this funding catapults us towards a greener, more equitable future,” he added.

Varaha was founded in 2022 by Madhur Jain (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer), Ankita Garg (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer), and Vishal Kuchanur (Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer).

With backgrounds in agriculture, biotech and software, the founders are committed to reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

It is noted that Varaha’s trailblazing efforts have positioned it as a leading end-to-end project developer for carbon credits, incentivizing thousands of smallholders towards sustainable practices.

The firm industry-leading measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) platform uses remote sensing, machine learning and scientific research to quantify the sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases from regenerative agriculture, afforestation and biochar projects.

Their projects also enhance productivity, boost crop yields, save water, increase biodiversity and raise climate adaptation.

According to the statement, Varaha also serves as a one-stop destination for leading global companies striving to achieve net-zero through its diversified portfolio offerings of high-quality, science-backed carbon credits.

The firm 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 four times in the next 12-15 months.

It is noted that Varaha has already contracted and sold more than 230,000 carbon credits across a diversified project portfolio.

Its 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 United Kingdom and United States.

Beyond regenerative agriculture and afforestation, the firm is also converting agricultural residue into biochar, a material that locks carbon away permanently for thousands of years while enhancing soil fertility.

The firm is further exploring the potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering, an exciting method that boosts soil fertility and sequesters atmospheric carbon long-term.

“We are thrilled to be part of Varaha’s journey towards creating scalable solutions for climate resilience,

“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,” said Galina Chifina, Partner on RTP Global’s Asia investment.

“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,” he added.

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