Soil carbon measurement technology company Yard Stick PBC today announced it has raised $12 million at the close of its Series A funding round, with proceeds used to accelerate the company’s mission to enhance the accountability and effectiveness of soil carbon sequestration projects.
Founded in 2021, California-based Yard Stick’s soil carbon measurement hardware and software samples, quantifies and verifies carbon sequestration in soils. The technology provides third party validation for companies seeking to decarbonize their agricultural supply chain or offset emissions using voluntary carbon markets. Yard Stick said it can provide soil organic carbon up to a meter in depth, create statistically sound sample plans and collect measurement data in real time at 70-90% lower than other providers.
Demand for carbon offset projects and related credits is expected to increase significantly over the next several years, as companies and businesses increasingly launch net zero ambitions, and turn to offsets such as carbon removal projects as a bridge to their own absolute emissions reduction efforts, or to balance difficult to avoid emissions. The unregulated and rapidly growing market faces a series of challenges, however, with market participants unable to differentiate between high and low quality projects with insufficient or inconsistent data to assess the effectiveness of the projects.
Yard Stick’s solution aims to address one of the key barriers to scaling soil-based sequestration projects, by enabling low-cost, real time and statistically sound verification.
Chris Tolles, Co-founder and CEO of Yard Stick, said:
“This funding will help solidify our leadership position in soil carbon measurement and we’re very much looking forward to partnering with all of our investors to build up trust in the sector.”
Investors joining the Series A round in its final tranche included Extantia, a climate first venture capital firm. Additional investors in the round included Toyota Ventures Climate Fund, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Pillar VC, and an extended group of climate-committed founders, angels, and family offices.
Carlota Ochoa Neven Du Mont, Principal at Extantia, said:
“Soil has the potential to capture carbon on a gigatonne scale, but there are many challenges in transforming this potential into reliable carbon offset and insetting projects due to the absence of dependable Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV). We believe that Yard Stick’s technology offers a level of rigour and accessibility that has been previously unseen in this market.”