Rural Australian Farm

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has increased its investment in Australian startup biotechnology company Loam, which is set to transform CO2 removal with its microbial technology for cropping systems. 

The CEFC’s latest $9 million investment, made through the specialist Clean Energy Innovation Fund, brings the total CEFC commitment to the company to $15 million. 

Loam’s microbial technology enables greater volumes of carbon to be stored in soils for longer periods of time. 

“Increasing the quantity and quality of carbon units farmers can produce per hectare, makes participating in carbon projects more economically valuable for farming enterprises,” said Loam co-founder and CEO, Guy Hudson. 

“Following many years of product research and development, we’re now focused on getting our products out on the farm,” Mr Hudson said.  

“In 2023, we’re moving from pre-commercial to commercial and launching our products in Australia, working with a limited number of farmers to help them gain value from our products and services in Australia.

“We’re moving towards commercialisation in the US, which will come in 2024, followed by our expansion into Brazil to help farmers globally access value from carbon markets.” 

The CEFC investment was part of Loam’s $105 million Series B funding round, which brings Loam’s total funding to $150 million.

The latest funding comes after Loam has officially launched its CarbonBuilder seed inoculum and SecondCrop carbon projects in the Australian market. 

Loam’s CarbonBuilder seed inoculum increases the little-to-no chance farmers once faced when building soil carbon in cropping soils – making the prospect of entering a carbon project unprofitable – by working at the root system of crops, to enhance the plants natural ability to store carbon stably in the soil.  

Loam co-founder and CPO, Tegan Nock, is excited to commercially launch Loam’s CarbonBuilder technology and get it into the hands of farmers.  

“Loam’s CarbonBuilder is the first of its kind. A simple product that farmers can apply in the agricultural system enabling them to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it stably in soil,” Ms Nock said. 

“There’s not been a technology like it in the marketplace before, and it presents a unique value proposition for farmers.” 

Loam is launching its CarbonBuilder technology together with its SecondCrop carbon projects, to increase transparency, economic value, and maximise the benefits of increased soil carbon delivered back to the farm enterprise.  

“SecondCrop is Loam’s carbon farming program which enables more farmer friendly pathways to enter carbon projects with greater support and more flexibility,”  Ms Nock said. 

“SecondCrop combines Loam’s world-class microbial technology and a farmer-friendly carbon project offering to achieve the greatest agronomic and climate outcomes.”

SecondCrop aims to remove carbon at a gigaton scale by “working with the world’s largest terrestrial carbon sink”.  

“Before Loam, I spent over a decade in the climate space, and was constantly frustrated with the lack of speed and scale of the technologies in addressing climate change,” Mr Hudson said.

“The first time I felt any hope in our ability to address this challenge was five years ago sitting in a ute in dusty and drought-stricken New South Wales, with agronomist – and now co-founder of Loam – Guy Webb, who started talking about the role of microbiology in addressing climate change.”

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