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Mast Reforestation closes $15M in project financing to plant trees

Illustration of a tree with money as the leaves.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mast Reforestation closed $15 million in project financing from carbon credits supplier Carbon Streaming to restore forests destroyed by wildfires in the American West, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The startup is harnessing a loan structure traditionally used for infrastructure projects to instead plant trees.

What's happening: Project finance is typically used to build an infrastructure project like wind or solar. The loan is then repaid from the asset's cash flow.

  • Mast Reforestation, based in Seattle, plans to repay the loan from Carbon Streaming by jointly selling carbon credits from the trees it plants.

Meanwhile, Carbon Streaming is also making a $2 million convertible note investment in Mast.

Of note: Mast is the parent company of wildfire restoration startup DroneSeed, which raised $30 million this spring at a $165 million post-money valuation.

  • Mast acquired California's largest tree nursery, Cal Forest Nurseries, in March.

What's next: Mast is focusing its initial reforestation on Sheep Creek Ranch, a 2,700-acre site in Montana that provides a wildlife migration corridor to Yellowstone National Park.

  • It expects to begin planting later this month once the snow melts.
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