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Captura hits $45M for ocean carbon removal

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Apr 11, 2024
Illustration of a carbon molecule on a fishing hook

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Ocean-based carbon removal developer Captura added another $10 million to its Series A.

Why it matters: That brings the round to more than $45.3 million, a big number for a very nascent technology.

The latest: National Grid Partners and Japan Airlines Innovation Fund/Translink Capital joined Captura's Series A as new investors.

The big picture: The ocean is the world's biggest carbon sink, absorbing about a third of the Earth's heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Captura's idea is to pull carbon from seawater, in turn enabling oceans to absorb more carbon from the ambient air.

How it works: The approach is different from other ocean-based carbon removal startups, which are either tweaking ocean waters to absorb more carbon or capturing carbon gas from the atmosphere and depositing it in the ocean.

  • "Our process uses only ocean water and electricity," CEO Steve Oldham told Axios last year. "No chemicals. We don't add anything to the ocean, no byproducts."
  • Captura has built two pilot plants in California, and it announced a partnership with energy giant Equinor to invest an initial $15 million in another pilot plant in Norway.

What's next: Captura, based in Pasadena, Calif., is ultimately aiming to bring costs "well below $100 per ton," the CEO says.

  • The company plans to generate revenue in three ways: by selling carbon credits; by selling the carbon dioxide it captures to make products like green fuels; and ultimately by licensing its tech to other carbon removal developers.
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