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Photo: Planet FWD

Agriculture startup Planet FWD has raised $2.5 million in additional seed funding, and is debuting its first product: a snack cracker that the company says boasts a fully carbon-neutral manufacturing process.

Why it matters: About 25-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food production system, according to research from the United Nations.

Background: Planet FWD focuses on regenerative agriculture, a set of practices that offset carbon emissions.

What’s new: Moonshot, the company's fancy cracker, will be sold directly online and via Zero Grocery for $5.99 a box.

  • Planet FWD has partnered with environmental consulting firm Native Energy to offset whatever carbon it couldn't eliminate from its production.
  • Much of those emissions come from third parties it works with, so the company can't directly control them.

The big picture: The company aims to make software tools it built to develop Moonshot crackers available to other companies looking to produce carbon-neutral foods, founder and CEO Julia Collins, who previously co-founded pizza robotics company Zume, told Axios.

  • “It was so hard to create this first product," says Collins of having to source every ingredient and process and ensure it's all carbon-neutral, which led her to the broader idea of making tools for other companies.
  • And getting into the software business meant she'd need venture capital, she adds.

What's next: The company is currently providing a small number of initial customers some tools to assess their manufacturing. It will kick off a pilot program in February or March with tools focused on sourcing ingredients.

  • Emerson Collective led Planet FWD's new financing, with Concrete Rose, MCJ Collective, Arlan Hamilton, BBG Ventures, January Ventures, Kapor Capital and others also participating.

Note: Emerson Collective is an Axios investor.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Microsoft backs direct air capture player Climeworks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Microsoft this morning disclosed investments in more climate-related companies as part of efforts to make good on its year-old pledge to become "carbon negative" by 2030.

Driving the news: One company the tech behemoth is staking is Climeworks, a firm looking to scale up deployment of direct air capture technology that removes CO2 already in the atmosphere.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.