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Aramco, Amazon join CarbonCapture's $80M round

Illustration of the carbon dioxide symbol surrounded by fans of money with the "O" replaced by the no symbol.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

CarbonCapture has raised a Series A round of $80 million from a group of large investors, an infusion that will advance the startup's efforts to build out its direct air capture technology.

Why it matters: The funding is the latest in a wave of investor support from oil companies, tech firms, and VCs, among others, to back startups building machines that suck carbon dioxide out of the air.

Zoom in: CarbonCapture said the round was led by Prime Movers Lab and also included Aramco Ventures and Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund.

  • Siemens Financial Services, Idealab X, and TIME Ventures, backed by Marc Benioff participated as well.
  • The company, based in Los Angeles, says its machines use a sorbent to capture carbon dioxide when cooled and release the CO2 when heated.
  • The company, co-founded in 2019 by climate tech entrepreneur Bill Gross, is building a project in Wyoming that it says could capture 5 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030.

Big picture: Oil companies have grown increasingly interested in DAC tech as a way to remove the emissions associated with fossil fuels and as a way to develop carbon as a commodity.

  • In a game-changing move for the DAC sector, oil company Occidental acquired direct air capture startup Carbon Engineering for $1.1 billion.
  • A new wave of ocean-based carbon removal startups are also building projects to try to remove CO2 at a lower cost than DAC firms.

What's next: DAC startups will need to increase the volume of CO2 captured and, in many cases, dramatically lower the cost.

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