Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann is back to doing what he does best: raising millions of dollars from investors. His newest startup, a Web3-climate venture called Flowcarbon, has raised $70 million through a combination of a venture round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm and the sale of its new “Goddess Nature Token” cryptocurrency.
The company describes itself as a “pioneering climate technology company that brings carbon credits onto the blockchain” through the use of its carbon-backed token.
“Flowcarbon operates at the intersection of the voluntary carbon market and Web3, leveraging blockchain to scale climate change solutions” the company states on its website.
Essentially, the company allows “nature-based” projects to sell carbon credits to companies who want to reduce their overall carbon footprint and then allow those tokenized credits to be traded on crypto exchanges. The argument for developing the venture on the blockchain is that doing so will make raising money easier for the climate projects, provide more transparency, and allow smaller projects to more easily sell to big polluters.
The carbon credit system, in which big polluting companies buy carbon credits to theoretically “offset” their overall footprint, has faced criticisms of being “fractured, opaque, hard to access and with question marks over the quality of some credits,” as Reuters put it.
Arianna Simpson, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, said in a statement that tokenization was the “obvious solution” to these and other issues—to whom it’s obvious was left unclear—and that her firm feels “confident that Flowcarbon’s team and model are best in breed” and most capable of taking such a concept to completion.
Have you worked at Andreessen Horowitz? We want to hear from you. From a non-work device, contact our reporter at email@example.com or via Signal at 310-614-3752 for extra security.
(While there is no non-awkward way to transition here, your life will be mildly better if you are aware of this incredible Simpson sentence from the statement: “On-chain carbon credits represent an innovative primitive that can be integrated into the existing DeFi ecosystem as a composable financial instrument and used creatively by web3 builders to come up with new ways to incentivize climate-positive behaviors.”)
At WeWork, Neumann famously burned through hundreds of millions of dollars before a slew of damning Wall Street Journal articles led to his unceremonious firing. Soon after, the company announced it would lay off 2,400 people. Neumann walked away with over a billion dollars.
Neumann and his wife Rebekah are both named as co-founders, though Dana Gibber will serve as the company’s CEO. In a statement, Gibber said the company had “a big vision” and that they were “thrilled” to bring on investors with experience in the Web3 world, which has been plagued by scammers and grifters in recent months, now including the Neumanns.