Prometheus is a God from the Greek mythology, best known for stealing from the gods and giving fire, technology, knowledge, arts and science to humanity. By harnessing the power of fire, we created steel. With steel were born better buildings, better weapons, better industries, and this knowledge helped us create the society we live in today.
However, Prometheus was punished by the gods and sentenced to eternal torment for his transgression. Some might think that by giving fire to humans, he unleashed a power we couldn’t handle and that our action would impact the gods’ creation.
In reality, Prometheus biggest crime was to trust humans when the other gods considered them as toys. Instead of looking down on us, he gave us the power to create. With the power to create came the risks and mistakes made by mankind, but also our constant search for fixing and improvement.
Making the best of this heritage, Opna‘s mission is to unlock capital for global carbon projects with speed, scale, and equity. By doing so, they help humanity change for the better, accelerating our technological evolution, aligning companies’ targets with the balance of nature.
Opna’s vision for a fairer future
Opna (formally known as SALT), is a climate fintech founded in February 2022 by Shilpika Gautam, and is headquartered in London, UK. CEO and founder Shilpika is a Guinness world record-breaking climate advocate with 15+ years of experience building commodities businesses and as a fintech executive in startups and financial institutions. This wealth of experience, coupled with a love for nature and passion for climate justice & advocacy, led Shilpika to realise that a change of attitude and infrastructure is needed in the voluntary carbon market. This is the inspiration behind Opna, a carbon projects financing platform that enables corporations to discover, finance, and monitor trustworthy carbon projects to meet their net zero goals.
The startup considers that we are at a pivotal moment in our collective battle against climate change. Within a short span of time, we must reverse the damage caused by centuries of reliance on fossil fuels. This fight necessitates an unprecedented infrastructure revolution in the form of carbon removal projects, which actively remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
5200 businesses worldwide have made commitments to achieve net zero targets by 2050. However, these bold commitments are falling short, with only 7% of companies on track to fulfil their pledges. The reality is that to accelerate this pace and reach their net zero goals in a cost and time efficient manner, corporates will have to offset and inset emissions in the voluntary carbon market (“VCM”).
“These businesses are having a hard time mobilising their capital due to a lack of in-house expertise, high transaction costs, analogue infrastructure, and time-consuming processes. Opna’s goal is to provide the platform, data, and financing innovation that unlocks this capital, bridging the gap between corporates committed to reaching net-zero and carbon projects that seek financing.”, says Shilpika Gautam, founder of Opna.
Investing in tomorrow
Fortunately, the company isn’t all alone in its initiative. As a matter of fact, Opna has recently raised £5.1M from different investors.
The round was led by European VC Atomico, joining existing backers Pale Blue Dot, MCJ Collective, Angelinvest and Tiny VC. Alongside Atomico, a number of notable individuals are also joining the round including Cristina Stenbeck, former Gainsight COO and DBT Labs Board Director Allison Pickens, former Chief Commercial Officer for Klarna Luke Griffiths and Collibra co-founder Stijn Christiaens. As part of this round Atomico Partner Terese Hougaard will join the board of Opna.
“We’re so excited to work with Opna – through its data-driven platform, it is building the infrastructure necessary to transform the way that businesses interact with the voluntary carbon market and allow for meaningful emissions reduction.”, says Terese Hougaard, partner at Atomico
United for a better future, Opna can count on its investors to complete its essential mission.