Episode 4

Published on:

18th Dec 2023

S7 E4: Understanding biodiversity loss and how to support businesses that reverse it, with Tom Quigley of Superorganism.

Nick and Tom Quigley, co-founder and Managing Director of Superorganism, a venture firm focused on biodiversity, discuss what biodiversity is, why it matters to the world, and how it fits into the burgeoning climate tech ecosystem. Specifically, Nick and Tom dive deep on:

  • The evaluation process behind creating a venture firm focused on biodiversity
  • Why biodiversity loss is about much more than just global warming and climate change
  • How venture-scale businesses are being built to address biodiversity loss 

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00:00:13 - The first venture firm focused on biodiversity

00:04:51 - What is biodiversity, what drives biodiversity loss, and why is that a problem

00:10:30 - How venture capital can support biodiversity-focused businesses

00:13:25 - Company examples: Discussing Inversa, lionfish, and invasive species

00:18:00 - The many benefits of supporting biodiversity and its overlap with climate

00:26:42 - Exploring more companies and tech trends at the forefront of biodiversity

00:31:20 - Request for start-ups: Opportunities for innovation in biodiversity

00:36:06 - Zooming out: the future growth of the biodiversity tech market

00:41:15 - What it means to be "nature tech" vs. "climate tech"

Learn More About Superorganism: https://www.superorganism.com/

Follow Tom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommquigley

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Thank you so much! 

Plus, stay up-to-date on all things Keep Cool here: https://keepcool.co/ and follow Nick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickvanosdol and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasvanosdol/


Nick: Welcome to the Keep Cool Show, the podcast in which we cover how cutting-edge climate technologies connect to the world in which we live. I'm your host, Nick Van Osdol.

All right, Tom, welcome to the Keep Cool Show. It is wonderful to have you. Thanks, Nick. It's great to be here. So I spent probably most of August this year diving really deep into biodiversity as a topic in my newsletter. And it's a space that I'm spending an increasing amount of time thinking about. And I see you as someone who is certainly doing that, but even on a 100-fold scale of what I am. So why don't you go ahead and get listeners up to speed on what you've been working on of late and some of the exciting announcements that have been born out of that?

Tom: Absolutely. So To start things out, I am one of the co-founders of Superorganism, which is the first venture capital firm focused on investing in startups that benefit biodiversity. We're really focused on this new segment of startups that are focusing on planetary problems around biodiversity loss, which is an enormous problem that doesn't get as much attention as it ought to and that really does cut across the entire global economy as well as humans and our lives and livelihoods. Absolutely. And we launched the firm in September and have been investing in these early stage startups that take new technology approaches to really cut at the main drivers of biodiversity loss at a global level. And there's a lot of different approaches to that. We're very generalist and we look at hardware, software, biotech, because there are a whole range of different approaches to be able to address this nature loss problem in the entire economy. And I'm excited to get into some of this.

Nick: Absolutely, yeah. And for folks listening in for whom this might be, you know, one of the first times that they're engaging with this topic of biodiversity, how would you frame for those listeners sort of, you know, what biodiversity is and what some of the challenges that we are up against as a society and a planet that stretch beyond greenhouse gas emissions and are certainly underpinned by climate change, but aren't necessarily always captured in the way that we talk about climate change and climate solutions?

years, since:

Nick: Right. 100%. Yeah. So many of our conversations focus rightfully so, and it's certainly important on changing all of our various systems across transportation, energy generation, what have you, to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. But we don't always, as you point out, appreciate the massive impact that things like land use change, agriculture, forestry have on biodiversity. And as you also pointed out, we don't always necessarily take into account how much of that biodiversity underpins our existing economic system. It's like, again, whether you take all different types of land use applications, agriculture, forestry, what have you, if all of that just continues to dwindle and doesn't exist someday, then a lot of global GDP is imperiled by that. And there's all kinds of other negative impacts of that. So yeah, suffice to say, super critical conversation.

Tom: Right. And that focus, I want to jump in on that, is that the focus on greenhouse gas emissions, those are drivers of climate change. And a lot of climate tech and other types of approaches have been addressing that existential human challenge. But if you focus entirely on that as that set of drivers, then you miss the set of drivers that don't necessarily have anything to do with greenhouse gases. and that are narrowed more in on biodiversity like invasive species. Many of those issues aren't captured at all under a carbon lens. There are some that are overlapping, but for the most part, it's a very real, tangible physical problem that we need to solve with boots on the ground taking pythons out of the Everglades. It can be a real challenge when you see some companies or groups that are working on solving those problems specifically and are being asked to make some of their arguments about their impact in just carbon or through a climate lens.

Nick: Yeah, I love that. I mean, it's definitely true that many of the solutions that are being developed to deal with emissions fundamentally will benefit the biodiversity problem in that combating climate change is an important element of that kind of framework, but they're certainly not the only ones that are needed.

Tom: Excited to discuss a lot of the other potential applications. Exactly. And out of those five categories from IPBES, if you're looking at weighting those drivers, absolutely climate change is driving a lot of of things like warming waters, which is hugely devastating for corals, migration and isolating species as they move further and further up mountains, for example, to be able to avoid some of the warming effects and chase their habitat. Eventually, they're just going to kind of get islanded out at the top of these mountains. There's a lot of effects that climate has, but if you're weighting it against some of the other drivers of biodiversity loss specifically, then things like land use change are significantly more detrimental to those individual habitats and species.

Nick: Yeah. And so a major component of this is how do we expand the conversation? And then how do we also build new economic models to privilege some of the work that needs to be done, given that it stands to reason that part of the reason it isn't happening is because there isn't a market for it, or in some cases, perhaps a solution hasn't been developed in absence of a clear economic driver that would incentivize the creation of a solution like that. So to enter into that conversation, I'd be curious to get your perspective on a little bit of the pathway of when you first kind of decided that, really, what was like the evaluation process around deciding that one of the things that needs to exist in this space is a venture firm that focuses exclusively on biodiversity?

Tom: That's a great question because the category was basically zero going into this. And when my partner, Kevin Webb, and I were starting to look into the space, the question was really, is this needed? And are there companies out there that will have both venture scale looking returns and impacts on biodiversity loss at a global scale, we continued to meet founders that were calling themselves climate tech or regenerative ag or some of these kind of categorizing themselves into some of these different impact areas. And when we actually spoke with them, they sort of breathed this sigh of relief that they were like, I'm so glad that I don't have to try to make this argument in a carbon term when in reality, we have all of these other habitat and water and environmental and species benefits that, you know, feel like every time we have to just start pitching this, we have to go in and talk about carbon. Makes sense. We're so glad we don't have to explain to you what an invasive species is when we're having these conversations. So we're getting a lot of draw from these companies and founders that were asking for a partner to be able to support them, not just by understanding the challenges and the impacts that they were trying to have, but also by really setting up a full stack of support, both from direct advising, to community, to resources, and of course, money, to be able to support them in their goals. And definitely venture capital is not the only solution that is needed in the nature world, nor is it the right solution for every type of nature problem. But it is a highly underserved area where there's a lot of opportunity for really incredible founders to build things and completely reshape industries that have driven nature loss historically, to create a set of new technology tools that will have huge market caps in their own right, but also put new tools into the hands of scientists and conservationists, and also really stick the landing between both the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, because we have to solve both. We can't just do one. We really have to nail both. Yeah, absolutely. And those are all areas that we see there just being an enormous greenfield opportunity. And venture capital is a great fit for those founders and is a really good fit for the speed and the scale that we need to be bringing solutions to bear at.

Nick: I'd be curious to, and I'm sure this is something that the listeners are particularly interested in, let's start talking about some of the solutions that you're seeing being built, because I kind of have an intuition that it'll make some of the things that we're talking about a tiny bit more concrete. And I'm sure you're meeting lots of really interesting companies and founders. So let's dive into some of those. Definitely.

Tom: So I'll revisit what I just mentioned here, which is those three areas that we think there are real opportunities to create venture scale companies. that have impact. The first one is thinking about those extinction drivers, those main five. What are the industries that have been driving those? And within those industries, where are there opportunities to be able to use new technologies and create competitive products or help them transition? And there's a lot of opportunity here. A company that we invested in early on called Inversa is focused on creating luxury leather out of invasive species. Interesting. So, they're disrupting something already, which is a negative, luxury leather, right? Exotic leathers are generally things like crocodile or kangaroo or stingray, lots of other different types of species that are drawn from the natural world. Their approach is to replace that leather with lionfish leather from the Caribbean, with Burmese python leather from the Florida Everglades, with Asian carp leather from the Mississippi River Basin. So these are non-native animals which are doing harm in the ecosystems in which they have been introduced. And removing those invasives is an extremely high leverage way to help those ecosystems rebound. Because for those that are not super familiar with invasive species, When something is introduced that doesn't have the same level of ecosystem pressures that it does in its native habitat and it fits a certain profile of species, they can grow to be extremely problematic for the ecosystem that they are in. CB.

Nick: Yeah, absolutely. We see it with the lantern flies in New York where I'm sitting. It happens almost everywhere.

Tom: Anytime you see a lantern fly on the pavement, squash it. These are invasive species that are two years ago, as New York listeners will know, two, three years ago, they weren't there at all. Then all of a sudden, they just popped up. There are invasive species in all sorts of different habitat types, ones that work on trees, which is a major problem for timber and for wildfires is we have some of these dead tree stands. There are ones that are problematic for whole ecosystems like the lionfish where they're coming in and actually directly eating the individual small species of shrimp or small fish. there are ones that are problematic to the habitat like zebra mussels, which are filtering water in the Great Lakes and actually causing the full habitat phase shift towards something that's actually don't know enough about zebra mussels to really talk to educational about that.

Nick: I mean, it's a good example of, you know, a company that is taking a problem, to my understanding, and then using it as, you know, a feedstock or an input to a product for which there's already demand, and then also eliminating another problem and that traditional feedstock for it is something that we actually want to preserve.

Tom: That's exactly right. We've tried invasive markets before with things like lionfish in the Caribbean where we've been working to set up these kind of eat them to beat them campaigns where you can go out and catch the lionfish, you can eat them, put them on restaurant menus locally and promote how great it is to be removing these invasives from the habitat. But being able to work with something like luxury leather creates not only an additional source of offtake of those fish so that you can just stack more value onto an individual fish, but because luxury leather already has some pressure to shift away from exotics into something that is more sustainable and marketable. And this is something that is shovel ready and is really truly a sustainable marketable benefit and that is creating a real ecosystem net positive by removing those invasives. There's a lot of demand for this and it works at small amounts. It really helps stand up the market on the other side to be able to continue removing these invasives, which currently just tends to be land on Department of Environment budgets or municipalities to pay people to go out and remove these. Now there's genuine demand on the other side here.

Nick: Yeah, what an interesting way to envision a solution and to kind of draft off of an area where there's already an existing market and demand for a product.

Tom: We think about that a lot in terms of where there are large markets that already exist to be able to scale up through. And that particularly can be a challenge when we're talking about carbon markets. And that's a good segue into the second pillar that we look at of the overlap between climate and biodiversity. where we're looking for things that are genuinely creating benefit both on the climate side of things, but also on the nature and biodiversity side of things. Not just treating the environment as a co-benefit to some of these carbon projects, but really as the main benefit. Carbon markets for nature-based solutions are still pretty early. Market cap on those is, or total adjustable market there for forests alone is projected to grow significantly, but it's still pretty low if you compare it to some of the other global markets that are out there. We really like to look for things that have value in multiple areas. A recent investment of ours called Funga is a great example of that, where they are focused on using mycorrhizal fungi and microbes from healthy forests to improve the speed of growth of forests in degraded forest land. And by treating these soils with healthy microbes, you're able to drive a lot faster healthy tree growth. And that's obviously beneficial to looking at the voluntary carbon market and nature-based solutions, but it's also really beneficial to talk to, for example, the commercial timber market, which is over a $430 billion market. That is an enormous market to say, we're creating a lot of value for you. Wouldn't you like your trees to grow faster? And we're making your soil healthier at the same time with very little overhead cost to you in your actual process. So putting up wins on both scoreboards and also tapping into really large and existing markets beyond necessarily just what the voluntary carbon market is able to provide right now.

Nick: Yeah, and I think the voluntary carbon market in particular as it pertains to nature-based solutions is quite interesting because there's certainly a lot of doubt about the veracity of nature-based solutions that have been deployed in the past with an intention of removing or avoiding carbon emissions or sequestering them. There's questions about permanence and additionality. And sometimes I think about that, right? Like we're seeing so much energy in carbon removal behind solutions that are fundamentally more permanent. That's something that's attractive to buyers because they know that like, okay, the stack machine can really easily measure how much carbon it's ingesting and we know that it's going to be safely sequestered for a thousand years. And so there's almost a little bit of shift away from nature-based solutions in a carbon context toward more engineered solutions. And I'm sitting here as someone who believes wholeheartedly that there's so much benefit to the ecosystem restoration work and nature-based solutions and that all that stuff needs to happen. And so at some point, you can ask the question, maybe the carbon market was never the perfect mechanism to scale that work or to incentivize that work. And perhaps by focusing on the biodiversity benefits of it or other potential benefits of it, that's actually a more clear path to get people to regain faith and invest in these solutions. I don't know, something I think about.

Tom: Yeah, I completely agree. And I think that there are a lot of benefits that nature-based solutions will provide, do provide beyond just the carbon stored. We know that there's significant resilience for more biodiverse forests versus monocrops. There are also significant community and social benefits that happen. And in a lot of ways, What we've seen in the carbon markets around the lack of trust recently on some of the forest projects, much of that has to do with avoided deforestation and thinking about protecting a specific area compared to a baseline. How we do that baseline measurement and all of that is still to figure out because we really do need to have that mechanism to protect primary forests and healthy habitats as they exist now because You just can't grow a new rainforest in exactly the pristine level that it was when it existed permanently. Those are multi-hundred-year-old trees. Absolutely. It just doesn't happen like that. But there's plenty of degraded land out there to be restored. And that is a much more additional, much more clear and durable because people talk about trees and say, well, tree will eventually die and then the carbon flow or something could come through from an invasive or a wildfire. And those are true, but in general, trees die, forests are resilient. And if you're able to keep an entire forest around, this is really kind of the definition of missing the forest for the trees. Right. being able to grow entire habitats and build those and have all of the additional benefits that they bring to biodiversity. That's a really important thing that we need to be doing and figure out as we work to achieve our goals both on the climate and biodiversity side. But a whole part of this too is better technology to be able to track and measure. That's not just on the carbon side, but it's also on the biodiversity side. That is really the core of our third area of investment in enabling technologies, to think about where there are opportunities that we see out in other markets to fund really the frontier edge of technology that would fundamentally create something new in the world as a tool, but be beneficial to the scientists and land managers and conservationists that are doing the work. Put a new tool into their arsenal to be able to do that important work. This means looking at things like eDNA, acoustics for being able to remotely monitor biodiversity at scale, looking at things like remote sensing and space tech,

Nick: Yeah, I'm super interested in kind of the measurement side of the equation, too. And I think Fungo, which you brought up, is such a great example, for one, because they've already been on the podcast. But yeah, in addition to helping restore degraded forests, they're also doing a ton of work of actually cataloging biodiversity in a bunch of different forest ecosystems and developing the technology to fundamentally get a better understanding of what biodiversity exists in an ecosystem. So I'll let you pick up on what you were saying from there.

Tom: I mean, that's exactly right. And microbiome research is in many ways still in its infancy and certainly the ecological effects of microbiome. We've had very good human microbiome research on the effects of our gut biome on human health. And there is a similar track of research on microbiome effects on ecosystem health. And that's not just for soils, but for full forests, for coral reefs. Microbiome research on thinking about how essentially probiotics could be used to address types of coral bleaching and other types of coral stressors and make them more resilient into a warming ocean future. So a really interesting edge of science and also still underpins how much we already still have to learn from ecosystems, how much our work could be burning the Library of Alexandria and already removing sets of really keystone blocks of these arches that we don't even understand what we are removing, but on the thousands of years timescale could be severely detrimental, and where we can take lessons from biodiversity and just embrace the complexity of existing forests. For example, like funga, taking the complexity of soils in healthy forests and wholesale applying that complexity to for us with degraded soils to be able to encourage them to go through these significant leaps in productivity and really embracing biodiversity rather than trying to distill it down in ways that we have maybe done in the past century of selecting for traits that we think are beneficial and hyper-focusing on them, really instead embracing the complexity.

Nick: Yeah, we always tend to run into challenges as a species when we get too reductive about the variable that we're measuring for, the potential value of said variable. It is also cool to gesture that biodiversity has so much potential to offer even just outside of things in the climate realm. So much in the pharmaceutical world has fundamentally just come from an interesting tree species or a fungal species. So as we begin to reverse trends in biodiversity loss. We're also fundamentally unlocking all kinds of other opportunities that there's super smart people out there in the world that will harness for different applications.

Tom: And there are a lot of opportunities in tapping into genomes, tapping into different microbiome effects and really starting to better understand. I think it pairs really well with the increase in fidelity of genetic tools and our speed of sequencing and being able to really then maybe add some AI layers on top of this to rapidly move through these genomes to try to get some of the protein expression or other types of expression that could be beneficial to human health. to cosmetic or other high-value types of products, there's a lot of opportunity there to then tie that back into both the communities that are protecting the areas where we're able to benefit share and not just extract from those areas, but also maintain the communities that are doing the work to protect these different, rich, biodiverse areas, and continue to really make the justification for keeping those healthy intact forests intact and so they're worth more standing than they are cut down.

Nick: Yeah. So much of this work comes back to kind of like unifying the right set of stakeholders, all of whom either already have a vested interest in this or could significantly benefit from this type of work and then clarifying what that value to them could look like and ideally also making good on it.

Tom: And so much of the technology that is used to support that work has actually come from other areas and spilled over into conservation or into land management and ecosystem management. And that's really where we think about our enabling technology theme to say, where are there industries where we can develop new technologies that will support the growth of these to the scale where it becomes ubiquitous, it becomes one of those new things that people will just be using in 10 years. And from there, make sure that it gets into the hands of the scientists and conservationists earlier and working alongside these teams to ensure that that's happening, that it's priced appropriately so that we can actually use those tools, that they're listening to the needs of those users and beneficiaries to be able to shape the product direction in ways that continue to be useful for them. So we invested in a company called Array Labs, which is focused on a new way of mapping the earth in 3D called Synthetic Aperture Radar. Their goal is to take a very new approach to the satellites that will be doing this SAR approach and come out with something at a significantly lower cost and significantly higher resolution in terms of the 3D mapping ultimate goal of having a digital twin of the earth that we can really continue to at high resolution map the physical change in things like forests, coastlines, glaciers, open pit mining, roads that cut into forests which are thought of as arteries of destruction because it heralds a lack of biodiversity decline within the kilometer near a road that goes into a forest is extremely significant and measurable. Yeah. And so being able to create this new tool at a price point and fidelity that scientists are able to start putting into their arsenal is really critical. But also being able to take that and apply it to large markets around automation, around construction or city planning, around coastal development and climate risk, around hurricane or disaster relief. All of those are really critical markets that need this type of information. These dual wins are really the things that we're looking for at the very edge of what is possible now.

Nick: It's so interesting to see the confluence in certain tech trends, whether it's the cost to launch a satellite or what's actually deployed on said satellite. I think hyperspectral is another good example of folks deploying satellites to be able to better identify methane leaks and pipelines. so many different trends, whether it's across genomics, satellites, earth observation, that are coming together that should ideally enable a lot of this work. And I'm also curious, you know, to transition a tiny bit, where are there some gaps in markets? I'm sure there are innumerable ones, but basically like request for startup mode, what are some things that you would love to see built for specific biodiversity applications that you haven't yet come across?

Tom: So there are a lot of areas that still have innovation yet to be unearthed. And within the enabling technology side, we've seen some really great innovation in acoustic and machine learning, in eDNA and broad spectrum environmental sensing. And I'm loving seeing new technologies here and where we're able to really do some more of this broad ecosystem spectrum sensing. across those, either fully remote and maybe use of drone or hyperspectral to be able to species map and bring all into one platform to really just get a much faster, broader snapshot of what the biodiversity in an area looks like. This, I always want to see more of, and especially where it lays up against major markets that you're able to work with them and potential dual use cases. In the climate and biodiversity side of things, I would love to see more done in oceans. Oceans are a fantastic carbon sink and being able to work with things that touch the natural world like mangroves, seagrasses, even coral reefs to be able to have benefits on both sides of things, but also really to just take the natural chemistry of the ocean as a carbon sink and be able to work within that context. to do CDR approaches, potentially with some external value like cement or other types of products out the other side. Makes sense. And from an extinction driver's point of view, I am constantly surprised and I hesitate even to begin because The technology that is needed to disrupt a lot of these industries is not extremely complex, and there are a lot of industries that still just run on spreadsheets. And being able to connect inefficiencies in the market, being able to use sometimes new technology, but sometimes even just software and really being able to correct a lot of these inefficiencies and to help support some of the compliance and regulatory motions that are starting to happen in the EU around the corporate sustainability reporting directive around companies needing to understand and report on their biodiversity management or take circular economy approaches like one of our portfolio companies, Cambium Carbon, is creating the full infrastructure really for any tree that falls in a city, in parks, or along treed streets to be locally produced into lumber and then sold within the same city. So The technology stack for that is not complex, it's software. It's being able to work with those different municipalities and millers and then the brands that want to be able to buy and sell products that are made out of locally sourced timber. this is not groundbreaking frontier tech level stuff. And there are a lot of opportunities in the industries that have been driving the most harm to nature to be able to move away from that. So I'm constantly surprised and looking forward to being even further surprised over the next 10 years.

Nick: Yeah, there's some good sparks in there for sure. On the service provider side, I think there's always value, especially in a new market as it grows, whether it's between biodiversity solution providers and the would-be buyers of that. There'll be so many services that both sides of that market need help with. One we've already identified, which is how do you establish and measure a biodiversity baseline? How do you then finance a solution and educate buyers on it and help them with diligence? How do you then do the ongoing measurement reporting and verification? I'm hopeful that there'll be some really successful companies that sit in the center of all of that and vertically integrate a lot of services and have a super high NPS and make a lot of people happy and make those processes easier. So we'll see. Call for entrepreneur.

Tom: And there's a lot, there's going to be a lot of opportunity in there that we'll still need to shake out because We haven't touched on biocredit markets, but thinking about where these new biocredit schemes are coming through to do to biodiversity what the voluntary carbon market has been doing for carbon and try to channel funding into these initiatives which will improve biodiversity on the ground in a lot of places. There's a lot of work that needs to happen in that middle ground, the veras of the world putting together the registry and the methodologies and working to make sure that these are learning lessons from the carbon markets over the last decade. And as that starts to grow, this is a market that is effectively at zero now, but will grow over the next 5-10 years. There's going to be opportunities in there to do the measurement. There's going to be opportunities in there to help corporates understand what their impacts are and how to connect them to good biocredit schemes. There's going to be the picks and shovels of helping some of these project developers actually do plan for and have approved and build out biodiversity-friendly projects at scale. All of that is sort of still to come. anywhere that we're able to see some new technologies there is exciting.

Nick: Yeah, that was something I was definitely going to ask about. I think we've seen some headlines in recent months of some of the first biodiversity project link credits being sold. I don't have the exact examples off the top of my head, but I'm just curious for your perspective on it. Do you think that that will become a sizable vehicle that does follow in the path of the voluntary carbon market? Or do you think that a lot of the more successful biodiversity-focused businesses will have a model that's more akin to the solution that we discussed first, where it's like you're creating a product such as luxury leather from something that by switching feedstock to something that's bad versus something that's good.

Tom: I think that there will be both and that it's going to be a lot easier to get started now on a biodiversity product or company that exists within existing markets and tries to serve those because you know that the money is there. It doesn't have to appear at some point in the future. It's not predicated on the future growth of something that is currently very low. So there's a lot of opportunity to, and to my earlier point, you the technology stack is here to solve a lot of inefficiencies in these markets. We can start from now and make a lot of progress. Now, on the biodiversity credit side, there are individual companies that are developing projects and they're selling those directly to corporates or governments in some cases. There are some governments that are setting up jurisdictional schemes to be able to create some type of a compliance market internally within that country or ecosystem type. And we are starting to see, Vera is going to be coming out with a methodology around biodiversity credits soon. And the approaches here are all going to be, I haven't seen them, but I'm sure they're going to be very biodiversity friendly in oceans and forests. And we really have to see how some of that shakes out from demand from buyer's side. Right. I think that part of the pressure, part of the reason the voluntary market for carbon has grown so well is because there has been so much public attention and pressure on net zero goals from corporations on making sure that people are out ahead of these negative press and following through with the commitments that they have made individually to the Paris Agreement and others. But there isn't that type of public pressure yet for nature. So from a voluntary market perspective, I think that we're going to start seeing the most earliest of adopters on nature start to make these purchases. And because the supply will be low in the early days, they'll probably all get snapped up and it'll be like, wow, 100% of our biocredits all got sold. It's a booming market. that supply demand ratchet is going to be slow and we will sort of need to see where it caps out. And maybe even as things come into the next year, I think that this first tranche of biodiversity credit buys will be really telling for what the global temperature from corporations looks like in terms of making these purchases and making these additional commitments beyond what they're already committing for some of their scope three or carbon offset type approaches.

u really like to be true come:

Tom: I think there's two things. One is that I obviously want to work with and support the very best in category from a biodiversity or nature tech startup side of things. and being able to find those founders and shine a spotlight on them and really be a lightning rod of attention and interest and credit towards them while moving them forward, that's really critical. And I think that it's critical to the success of the firm and the success of these companies But really, another mark of success that Kevin and I think about a lot is the success of the category and what it means to be nature tech versus climate tech. And having people start to self-identify here and having people start to come into, you know, the amount of talent that we've seen move into climate tech over the last five years has been phenomenal. And having people actually start to go into nature and thinking about the challenges and the drivers of nature loss, that's a metric that we think about a lot. And in five years, to have it be a standing category where it's attracting some of the best talent in the world, that some of the most exciting startups of the world are in this space, that's where we're going to start saying, oh yeah, we were successful.

Nick: Yeah, it's interesting how so much of it, you know, is fundamentally grounded in the words that we use to describe ourselves, our efforts, the categories. All that stuff matters too. You know, that's kind of like the root or the seed of getting more people to work on these problems, invest in them, care about them, think about them critically. So, thank you for your part in accelerating that. Thanks, Nate. All right. It's been a pleasure, Tom. I'll be sure to check in with you in six months or a year and excited to see all the different companies that you all support and appreciate the time.

Tom: Excited to come on in a year's time and tell you about all the progress.

Nick: Sounds good. Thanks, Tom.

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The Keep Cool Podcast
Where climate tech investors get deep dives into the latest cutting edge technology and discover how it fits into the broader landscape.
Climate tech is constantly evolving. Why? To help solve the most important challenges facing our planet. With so much innovation it’s hard to pick out the companies to watch, and it’s even harder to connect them to the wider climate tech picture. That’s why The Keep Cool Show is here. Join host Nick Van Osdol as he dives deep into the latest technologies shaping climate solution technology, but also zooms out to help investors and anyone working in the industry join the dots and get a broader view of what’s really going on. Every week Nick is joined by a climate tech founder, investor or operator, discussing how they’re working to solve climate change. He’ll join the dots in real time, bringing out the nuances, trends and patterns in the industry. If you’re a climate tech professional already working in the industry, looking for the next big opportunity or simply curious about the space, this is the show for you. Episodes every other Thursday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

About your host

Profile picture for Nicholas Van Osdol

Nicholas Van Osdol