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Khosla backs DAC startup Spiritus in $11M round

The site of Spiritus' planned first pilot project. Photo: Courtesy of Spiritus.

Venture firm Khosla Ventures has backed direct air capture (DAC) startup Spiritus in an $11 million seed round.

Why it matters: Investors, big energy players and the U.S. government have been searching for companies that are using various technologies to pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

Details: Spiritus emerged from stealth and raised the funding led by Khosla Ventures with participation by Page One Ventures.

  • Spiritus has developed a solid sorbent material that it says can capture CO2 and detach it from the material with half of the energy needed in current methods. Less energy used means lower costs.
  • Khosla Ventures looked at 60 or so startups in the DAC space before making an investment, partner Rajesh Swaminathan told us last month.
  • Spiritus plans to use the funding to deploy its first pilot project.

Big picture: The emerging DAC sector has been trying to cut costs and scale its machines as big companies and the U.S. government have started to pay more attention.

  • Last month, oil company Occidental Petroleum said it's buying DAC company Carbon Engineering for $1.1 billion.
  • Also this summer, the Department of Energy announced support for two new DAC hubs, and said it would be a DAC customer, paying companies to remove carbon from the air.
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