Lithos raises $6.2 million to give basalt to farmers

Seattle-based Lithos has raised a $6.23 million seed round to give basalt to farmers – and, in turn, capture vast amounts of carbon.

Why is it important: It’s not just a game of agricultural technology or carbon. Lithos also aims to become the go-to software provider for carbon accounting and management for soil carbon removal.

Details: Union Square Ventures, Greylock Partners and Bain Capital Ventures led the all-equity round.

  • This is the first climate-focused investment for Greylock and Bain.
  • Carbon Removal Partners, the Carbon Drawdown Initiative, Fall Line Capital and Cavallo Ventures participated.

What is happening: Lithos is already the largest provider of carbon credits for Border – the $1 billion market supported by Stripe, Shopify, Meta, Alphabet and McKinsey.

  • It also works with Yara, the Norwegian chemical giant which is one of the largest suppliers of nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Agriculture generated approximately 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020.

How it works: Lithos provides basalt to farmers, who then spread it on their fields to improve crop yields.

  • Lithos customizes each use to match each farmer’s particular crop, soil conditions and farming practices.
  • The company then measures the amount of carbon captured by the basalt and sells these credits to buyers.
  • So far it has been strewn over over 1,000 acres.

What they say : “Ten percent of that is rock chemistry,” co-founder Mary Yap says Axios. “The rest is what happens when you scoop up the rock and scatter it in a field.”

Enlarge: Carbon credits are the company’s main source of revenue — and “profit margins are very healthy,” Yap says.

  • This allows the company to donate the basalt and also share some of its carbon credit revenue with the farmers.
  • Lithos plans to eventually license its technology to third parties.
  • “We’re trying to get to $1 billion as quickly as possible,” Yap said.

The plot: Greylock and Bain have traditionally focused on software. What attracted them to Lithos was the company’s goal of becoming the software provider for managing carbon credits.

  • “We believe that every farmer will grow carbon alongside their crops. And Lithos is the opportunity to be their carbon accounting and analytics system,” said Aaref Hilaly, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, says Axios.
  • Union Square Ventures has previously invested in carbon startups focused on forests and the the seas – and was looking for a similar game for the floor, investor Mona Alsubaei says Axios.

What we are looking at: Lithos is a logistics-heavy company, responsible for sourcing basalt, transporting all that heavy rock to farms, collecting samples to measure carbon capture – all while maintaining what will need to be a website. top notch to achieve her unicorn aspirations.

  • “You work with farmers, shippers and corporate sales,” said Mike Duboe, partner at Greylock, says Axios. Duboe adds that in the coming months, the focus will be on streamlining logistics and scaling up there.

A funny thing: Yap, whose previous startup was social payments company Tilt, which Airbnb acquiredco-founded Lithos with professors from Yale and Georgia Tech.

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