Climate-focused startup Sylvera announced today the launch of its new carbon offset ratings platform, aiming to provide transparent, independent, ongoing and reliable assessments for the rapidly growing market of carbon offset projects.

Demand for carbon offset projects that counteract the release of greenhouse gases is expected to increase significantly over the next several years, as companies and businesses increasingly launch net zero ambitions, and turn to offsets as a bridge to their own absolute emissions reduction efforts, or to balance difficult to avoid emissions. According to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, increasing demand driven by tightening climate policies will cause demand for carbon offsets will exceed supply within the next five years.

While Sylvera estimates that carbon offset markets are poised to grow at least 15x by 2030, the market lacks a trusted, independent, universal benchmark to assess the projects. Sylvera was founded in 2020 by Dr Allister Furey and Samuel Gill to address these issues. The new platform leverages geospatial data, machine learning and proprietary climate data to create a reliable and transparent assessment of carbon offset projects.

Furey said:

“We founded Sylvera because we believed that in order to reach net zero, the world will require a well-functioning and scalable carbon offset market. Such a market will only work if all participants can trust in the projects they are trading. Currently, carbon offsetting is a very opaque market with little independent assurance available to guarantee an offset has taken place.”

Sylvera draws on multiple layers of satellite data to capture project performance data at scale and at a high frequency, and then applies machine learning algorithms to analyse and visualise this data, while simultaneously conducting deep analytical work to assess the underlying project quality.

Sylvera stated that it is already working with some of the world’s largest purchasers of carbon offsets drawn from industries such as aviation, oil & gas, utilities, real estate, technology, and professional services.

The company also announced that it has raised $7.8 million in funding to further expand its technology platform, consisting of a $5.8m seed funding round led by Index Ventures, and a $2 million research contract from Innovate UK.

Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, Partner at Index Ventures, commented:

“This is a phenomenally strong team with the vision to build the first carbon of set rating benchmark, providing comprehensive insights around the quality of offsets, enabling purchase decisions as well as post-purchase monitoring and reporting. Sylvera is putting in place the building blocks that will be required to address climate change.”