Elon Musk, Braemar Back Ocean Seeding Startup Climos

climos.jpgWe brought you the news in late February that the ocean seeding startup Climos had raised its first funds, just a week after another controversial ocean seeding company Planktos had drowned under “anti-offset crusaders”. Well, on Tuesday Climos named its investors, which are none other than cleantech entrepreneur and Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, and Braemar Energy Ventures, which backed EnerNOC, one of the relatively few cleantech companies that made an exit. Climos says that this is the world’s first VC funding of a startup that will use this ocean seeding technique.

San Francisco-based Climos said it raised the Series A round of $3.5 million to complete an environmental impact study, develop workshops with research organizations, and apply for international permits to start its project. Like Planktos, Climos plans to dump iron into the ocean, with the idea that plankton eat CO2 and throughout their lifecycle, sink down into the ocean, which can theoretically then sequester the carbon. Climos plans to sell carbon credits (they’re calling them Climosets) from the project.

The technique is highly controversial, so its a good thing that such prominent investors are standing behind the company. As Climos’ CEO Dan Whaley noted in the press release, the company needs to do its research “in a transparent and science-based manner.” Perhaps that will help the company avoid the “disinformation campaign” that Planktos attributed to its downfall.

It’s also fitting that Musk should support such a big picture idea. He’s building rockets with SpaceX, and electric vehicles with Tesla, so “geo-engineering” the planet, or producing large-scale modifications of the global environment, isn’t too far off course.

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