Terraformation closes USD30m funding round
Terraformation, a global forest restoration company, has held the first closing of USD30 million in funding to support its mission to help solve climate change by restoring thriving ecosystems to capture carbon across billions of acres of degraded land.
The round was led by Sam & Max Altman at Apollo Projects, and included several high-profile institutional investors and nearly 100 angel investors, such as Sundeep Ahuja, Lachy Groom, Sahil Lavingia, Joe Lonsdale, Susan Wu, and OVN Cap.
The funding will be used to accelerate global forest restoration projects, support R&D, and expand hiring.
Terraformation combines world-leading forestry expertise with decades of experience in hyper-growth tech companies from Silicon Valley. Through this unique fusion of diverse backgrounds, Terraformation has created new systems for scaling forest restoration projects around the world. The work is led by founder and CEO, Yishan Wong, previously CEO of Reddit and an early-stage employee at Facebook and PayPal. The company’s senior staff include successful entrepreneurs and technologists, as well as working PhDs in seed banking, botany, soil, carbon, applied mathematics, and robotics.
Yishan Wong, founder and CEO of Terraformation, says: “The lowest-risk, lowest-cost, and most immediately scalable solution to climate change is forest restoration on a global scale. It is the solution most likely to succeed in the shortest amount of time. Properly done, it has the potential to sequester decades of historic and ongoing emissions. This is just one of our first steps in what will be a defining journey. We are glad to have such ambitious, visionary investors on board with us.”
Terraformation partners with organisations to support them with tools and training to initiate and sustain successful, large-scale restoration. The model centres on providing partners with durable and scalable solutions to the biggest challenges such projects face: seed supply, training & equipment, funding, and land and water availability. Terraformation currently operates the world’s largest fully off-grid 100% solar-powered desalination facility, a replicable system that could solve freshwater shortages for restoration, alongside several modular nurseries and containerized seed banks for in situ wild seed collection and storage. The company is also developing an open-source software suite to support restorationists worldwide.
Terraformation is already developing partnerships with several organisations, including Environmental Defenders in Uganda, as well as other groups spanning Ecuador, Haiti and Tanzania. The company also manages several forest restoration projects in Hawaiʻi. These initial partnerships could result in restoration of over 20,000 acres. The new raise will allow Terraformation to rapidly grow new partnerships.
Together with its partners, Terraformation will help grow the global movement of climate innovators and forest creators to restore three billion acres of forest and native ecosystems and stabilise our climate.
Yishan Wong adds: “Most people recognise the enormous value of forest ecosystems, but no one has worked out how to achieve mass-scale restoration within the decade timetable that we need. We created Terraformation to unlock this climate solution potential so that we can act to help the Earth restore what has been lost. With this latest fundraising, I look forward to scaling this solution with more partners around the world as we continue to grow and gather more supporters in our climate change mission.”
Sam Altman at Apollo Projects says: "The simplest solutions are often the best ones, particularly when they have sufficient scale. Yishan is a bold leader. Plant more trees and let's get out of this mess."
Susan Wu, Angel Investor & Activist also said: "Climate change management is the most urgent, existential risk facing humanity and Terraformation is the team best positioned to help address this at scale. Massive reforestation is one of the most robust and proven solutions for carbon sequestration, as well as a fundamental, incontrovertible building block to ensuring a future for humans on Planet Earth. We can all join forces to support Terraformation - whether it be through grassroots activism, local reforestation efforts, educating our communities, or through equity investment."