Three years after stepping down as CEO of Wework, Adam Neumann joined the trend of cryptocurrency and raised $70million in the first round of major financing of his climate technology company flowcarbon. The project aims to make carbon trading easier by setting carbon credit lines on the blockchain.
Neumann is an Israeli American businessman and investor. In 2010, he founded the shared office space Wework, which was once known as the future of workspace.
However, when Wework tried to go public in 2019, everything collapsed. Instead, it unveiled Wework’s unprofitable business model and questionable leadership antics. The company’s valuation was $47billion in August 2019, but just six weeks later, with Neumann forced to resign as CEO, the company began to talk about filing for bankruptcy.
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According to public information, Neumann and his wife Rebekah Neumann are co founders of flowcarbon. Dana gibber is the CEO and Caroline Klatt is the COO. They are the co founders of headliner labs, a company that develops artificial intelligence chat robots for major media brands. Ilan stern, another co-founder of flowcarbon, runs Neumann’s own family office.
According to flowcarbon, the latest round of financing included $32million provided by Silicon Valley investors Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz through their a16z cryptocurrency venture capital company. Other investors include general catalyst and Samsung next.
In addition, the token sales of flowcarbon’s first token anchored to carbon credit, the goddess nature token (GNT), raised US $38million.
Flowcarbon claims to be a pioneering climate technology company dedicated to building market infrastructure in the voluntary carbon market (VCM). Through the token of carbon credit on CELO blockchain, flowcarbon hopes to make the purchase, sale and transaction of carbon credit easier and more effective than the current carbon market.
Carbon trading is a market-based system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming.
Enterprises that generate carbon emissions can purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions from projects that remove or reduce greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as reforestation projects.
However, flowcarbon believes that the voluntary carbon trading market is “inefficient, opaque and difficult to access”. Brokers and consultants charge up to 20% of the fees. Many transactions are conducted behind closed doors, and the pricing of carbon credit depends on the buyer.
Flowcarbon is not the only solution to the voluntary carbon market. Other projects aimed at promoting token carbon credit transactions include Toucan protocol, justcarbon and likvidi.
Arianna Simpson, general partner of a16z, said that this is an area that can obviously benefit from blockchain technology.
“The carbon market is extremely opaque. We believe that the demand for carbon compensation is rapidly exceeding the growth rate of supply, especially for nature based projects. Tokenization is an obvious solution.”