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California startup Watershed raises $100 million for emissions-tracking software

Investors bet big on carbon accounting and emissions reporting with Watershed Technology.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock/khunkornStudio

San Francisco-based Watershed Technology recently raised $100 million in its Series C, kicking off February with a strong showing for climate tech funding. The infusion values the software company at $1.8 billion.

The climate tech company helps businesses track their greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts via specific software. Once emission hotspots are identified, Watershed works with clients to mitigate impact. Current customers include Walmart, BlackRock, General Mills, Stripe and Bain Capital.

"Exponential climate action happens when companies rally together to build the climate economy," said co-founder Taylor Francis to Yahoo!Finance of the mission of Watershed.

Emissions disclosure requirements are quickly becoming the norm around the world. California recently passed legislation requiring companies to disclose Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions starting in 2027, while the EU mandates similar requirements for companies trading on the European stock exchange. Companies must understand how to comply with these new laws to avoid heavy fines and even jail time

Additionally, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee just passed the bipartisan PROVE IT Act, a bill that would task the Department of Energy with discovering the carbon footprint of certain manufacturing products, including cement, fertilizer, iron and plastic produced in the U.S. The total impact could then be compared with the carbon footprint of similar goods being imported into the country. If the footprint is higher than domestically made materials, a carbon tax would be charged. 

These legal pressures, combined with a rapid influx of climate-related disasters, demonstrates the connection between Watershed’s $100 million Series C and the company’s long-term value.

"Climate business is becoming the business," said co-founder Francis to Bloomberg.

And Watershed isn’t alone. Companies such as Greenly, Emitwise and Aclima are just some competitors offering carbon accounting and strategy consulting for companies looking to reach net zero. 

Given the reality of companies and a public push for climate data transparency, Watershed intends to use its Series C funding to expand its solution capacity for corporate climate accountability services, namely emissions measurements and sustainability reporting. 

Investors in Watershed’s latest Series C include Sequoia Capital, Neo, Kleiner Perkins, Greenoaks, Galvanize Climate Solutions and Emerson Collective. 

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