Swiss insurance start-up CarbonPool has secured $12m (SFr10.36m) in its seed funding round, marking the largest European climate-focused seed round in the climate finance sector for 2023.

The investment round was led by a consortium including Heartcore Capital, Vorwerk Ventures, HCS Capital, Revent, and several prominent angel investors such as Axel Theis and Christof Mascher.

According to industry tracker PitchBook, this represents the second-largest climate finance seed funding round globally and the largest in Europe since the beginning of 2023.

The company’s approach involves underwriting the carbon credit markets directly with carbon credits instead of cash.

This method ensures that companies purchasing carbon credits are guaranteed to receive the permits they have ordered, even in cases where the issuer fails to deliver.

CarbonPool’s mission is to work alongside partners that aim to mitigate the risks associated with their carbon investments and expedite the shift towards a net-zero carbon economy.

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The co-founders, Coenraad Vrolijk, Nandini Wilcke and Frederic Olbert, along with their team of risk and underwriting specialists and climate scientists, have developed risk models for the carbon markets.

Earlier this month, CarbonPool named Dr Maximilian Kremer as the head of strategic projects.

Kremer is set to spearhead the company’s key strategic initiatives, steering growth and enabling its mission to support society’s transition to net zero.

In November last year, the company named Mathilda Strom as its chief commercial officer.

She brings nearly 20 years of experience in creating category-defining businesses globally.

Strom co-founded BIMA, a microinsurance and digital health company, which revolutionised access to financial and health offerings for low and middle-income families through mobile technology.

In a LinkedIn post of the company, CarbonPool chief operating officer and co-founder Nandini Wilcke said: “(Buyers of carbon credits) are in the uncomfortable position that right now there’s no guarantee that the offsets they buy in advance are actually going to materialise and… in the number that they’re expecting and reporting on in their financial disclosures. Insurance is basically the missing piece.”