Minimum, a Y Combinator backed start-up, raises $2.6m Seed round led by Octopus Ventures to make carbon neutrality accessible to all businesses
Minimum’s tech allows companies to integrate carbon calculation and offsetting directly into their business processes and customer journeys.
Minimum, a Y Combinator backed start-up that helps businesses across all industries to make their products and services carbon neutral, has raised $2.6 million in Seed funding. The investment was led by Octopus Ventures, with Clocktower Ventures, Dutch Founders Fund, Plug & Play Ventures, and AGO Partners participating.
Minimum’s platform allows businesses to calculate the carbon footprint of their products & services and connects them to a curated set of market-leading carbon offsetting projects to neutralize their environmental impact. Once businesses have selected the projects they would like to support, they can use Minimum’s proprietary API to embed this carbon calculation and offsetting functionality directly into their business processes or customer journeys, for example by triggering an offset at the point of sale. Alternatively, businesses can use Minimum’s simple web-app to easily input their company emissions information manually.
Consumers are demanding sustainability as standard
Almost all companies emit carbon when they operate: from video streaming, to coffee subscriptions, to ride-shares. With the growing awareness of the damage these emissions have on the planet, consumers are demanding more sustainable practices from brands, with 80% now indicating that Sustainability is important for them1. Indeed, in over 90% of CPG categories, sustainability-marketed products grow faster than their conventional counterparts2. However, despite the pressure, carbon-neutrality can be very hard for businesses to achieve due to the complexity of understanding carbon impacts and the difficulty of finding and working with reputable carbon projects.
Minimum’s emissions calculation engine
Minimum’s calculation engine works by automatically converting key data about each product or activity into emissions information. For example, the emissions of a T-Shirt might be calculated from data regarding: weight, raw materials, transport and delivery, manufacturing process etc.; the emissions of internal employees’ travel can be calculated from: origin, destination, and mode of transport etc. Where possible, Minimum incorporates the specific, personalized data provided by the company itself; where businesses do not have this data, Minimum uses probabilistic models to combine whatever data the business does have with wider datasets to provide an estimate of the emissions.
Minimum’s carbon removal and reduction projects
Minimum conducts significant due diligence to make sure it works with the only highest calibre carbon removal and reduction projects. This ensures that companies can precisely track the positive impact of their offsets and can pass this information on to their customers. Minimum’s portfolio of projects has been specifically selected to reflect the Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting, giving businesses access to a range of both carbon reduction projects (e.g. renewable energy, forest protection, etc.) as well as carbon removal projects (e.g. reforestation, direct air carbon capture, etc.). Businesses can select individual projects that appeal to them or choose a diversified portfolio.
Minimum’s future plans
The $2.6m investment will support Minimum’s progress in making carbon neutrality the new default for businesses within Europe and the USA, including: tripling the team, expanding their customer offering, and continuing to invest in their proprietary calculations engine. By the end of 2021, with use-cases rapidly emerging in industries as far-ranging as on-demand delivery, real estate, and cryptocurrency, Minimum expects to facilitate the offsetting of over a hundred thousand tonnes of CO2e.
Nick Sando, fintech investor at Octopus Ventures, comments:
“There’s a huge commercial opportunity for businesses that demonstrate strong sustainability credentials but for most, it’s extremely difficult to achieve. Minimum is a game-changer because it embeds real-time emissions tracking directly into the business itself, and businesses can neutralize the emissions they are actually accountable for, rather than an arbitrary amount. Not only can this help them make their operations carbon neutral by default, but armed with an understanding of their carbon impact companies can provide much-needed carbon transparency to their customers and are better equipped to continuously improve the sustainability of their processes.”
Freddie Evans, Co-founder and CEO, comments:
“Sustainability is becoming a major competitive advantage for businesses because consumers are, quite rightly, demanding it. Every business needs to understand and reduce their emissions wherever possible, and neutralize unavoidable emissions by supporting carbon removal and reduction projects. Those that don’t will be left behind. We built Minimum to make effective climate action so accessible for businesses that there is no excuse not to embrace it.”
Notes to editors:
1 IBM, 2020
2 Harvard Business Review, 2019
- Minimum makes carbon neutrality accessible to all buisnesses
- Their tech allows businesses to integrate carbon calculation and offsetting directly into their business processes or customer journeys (e.g. at point of sale), allowing them to track and neutralize their environmental impact by default.
- Minimum’s portfolio of carbon projects reflects the Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting, giving businesses access to a range of both carbon reduction projects as well as carbon removal projects.
- Minimum is currently helping businesses achieve carbon neutrality across a wide range of industries from professional services, to real estate, to on-demand delivery.
- By the end of 2021, they expect to be facilitating the offsetting of over a hundred thousand tonnes of CO2e.
About Octopus Ventures
At Octopus Ventures we invest in the people, the ideas and the industries that will help change the world. Our investment team is built to specialise in the five areas where we see the most potential for growth and innovation: health, fintech, deep tech, consumer and B2B software. Since 2008 we have backed the founding teams of more than 130 companies including Zoopla, Secret Escapes, graze.com, tails.com, Swiftkey, Elvie, Depop, Sofar Sounds, Big Health, Bought By Many, ByMiles, OLIO and Cazoo, City Pantry, Simply Cook and HAS Technology. With £1.7 billion under management and investing over £200m a year, Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe. We tend to invest from £1 million for Seed to £10 million for Series B and we can continue to fund the companies we back right through to IPO. We are based in London and New York with a network that spans from San Francisco to China. The companies we back become a part of this network, with access to a formidable resource of experience and expertise.
Our investment focus:
- Health: Transforming the health industry, from digital therapeutics through to biotechnology.
- Fintech: Revolutionising society’s ability to exchange and allocate financial resources and risk.
- Deep Tech: The tools and technologies that will power the next industrial revolution. These include quantum computing, robotics and drones, sensory human augmentation and 3D printing.
- Consumer: Reinventing the everyday, in how we live, work, travel, play, rest and recuperate.
- B2B Software: Investing in companies driving digitalisation and automation across traditional and nascent industries.