WeWork founder reinvents himself with $70M crypto carbon credit platform

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Three years after being ousted as CEO of WeWork, Adam Neumann has jumped on the crypto bandwagon, elevating $70 million within the first main funding spherical for his local weather tech enterprise Flowcarbon.

The challenge goals to make carbon buying and selling extra accessible by placing carbon credit on the blockchain.

Neumann is an Israeli-American businessman and investor well-known for his function in founding coworking house supplier WeWork in 2010, an organization as soon as heralded as the way forward for work areas.

Nonetheless, all of it got here crashing down in 2019 when the corporate tried to go public, which as an alternative lifted the lid on WeWork’s unprofitable enterprise mannequin and questionable management antics. The corporate went from being privately-valued at $47 billion in August 2019 to speak of submitting for chapter simply six weeks after, with Neumann pressured to step down as CEO.

Adam and his spouse, Rebekah Neumann have been listed as co-founders of Flowcarbon, together with CEO Dana Gibber, and COO Caroline Klatt — each of whom are co-founders of Headliner Labs, an organization constructing AI-powered chatbots for main media manufacturers. Ilan Stern, one other co-founder of Flowcarbon, heads up Neumann’s circle of relatives workplace.

In accordance to Flowcarbon, the latest funding spherical contains $32 million in funding from Silicon Valley traders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz by way of their a16z crypto enterprise capital agency. Different traders embrace Basic Catalyst and Samsung Subsequent.

One other $38 million was raised in a token-sale of Flowcarbon’s first carbon-backed token, the Goddess Nature Token (GNT).

The corporate describes itself as a pioneering local weather expertise firm working to construct market infrastructure within the voluntary carbon market (VCM). Via the tokenization of carbon credit on the Celo blockchain, Flowcarbon needs to make the acquisition, promoting and buying and selling of carbon credit extra accessible and environment friendly than the present carbon markets.

Carbon buying and selling is a market-based system designed to scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions that contribute to world warming. 

Companies that produce carbon-emissions can purchase carbon credit to offset them from initiatives that take away or scale back greenhouse gases from the ambiance, equivalent to reforestation initiatives.

Related: WEF 2022: Trust and clarity are missing in discussions of carbon emissions and crypto

Nonetheless, Flowcarbon argues that the voluntary carbon market is presently “inefficient, opaque, and inaccessible,” with brokers and consultants charging as much as 20 % in charges, many offers executed behind closed doorways and inconsistent pricing for carbon credit score relying on the customer. 

Flowcarbon’s resolution to the voluntary carbon market isn’t distinctive. Different initiatives aimed toward facilitating the shopping for and promoting of tokenized carbon credit embrace Toucan Protocol, JustCarbon and Likvidi. 

Arianna Simpson, Basic Associate at a16z stated it was an apparent space that would profit from blockchain tech.

“The carbon market is extraordinarily opaque and we consider demand for offsets is quickly outpacing the pace at which provide could be elevated, particularly for nature-based initiatives. Tokenization is an apparent resolution.”