Danish AgTech startup Agreena has raised a €20M Series A round to enhance its regenerative farming carbon certificates with a new classification system and novel carbon farming marketplace


(February 15, 2022) – Bulking up its employee headcount by a factor of four since its seed funding, Copenhagen-based Agreena has expanded its leadership team and new operations out of key European ag hubs, including the United Kingdom. Led by European growth-stage investor Kinnevik, the €20-million Series A round included continued participation from existing investors Giant Ventures, Vaekstfonden – the Danish states’ investment fund, and farmer angel investors. Scaling its solution to support farmers in eight countries across the pan-European landscape in its first year, the company is gearing up for larger expansion. With its latest funding the startup on a hiring spree says it will enhance its protocol and vertically integrated tech-stack with blockchain for greater market transparency and traceability, while enabling new financing solutions for farmers in the future.

“The genesis of our company is deeply rooted to farmers, and with a strong fintech backbone, our mission, aligned with our investors, is to break down barriers for farmers so they can maximize their thin margins while simultaneously making the world a better place,” said Simon Haldrup, co-founder and CEO of Agreena. “With both our climate and our soils in a state of emergency, farmers who have historically been singled out to blame now have the opportunity to become the heroes of future generations – and get paid.”

Last year Agreena became one of the first European companies internationally accredited to quantify, measure, report and verify greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and removal enhancements focused specifically on soil and sustainable farming techniques. AgreenaCarbon farmers work with the company and expert agronomists to develop detailed plans for regenerative agriculture practices to be adopted each annual harvest cycle that reduce GHG emissions and sequester carbon in the soil.

“The necessary transition to more sustainable farming is an impactful and sizable climate opportunity. We have been impressed by the Agreena founding team and their nimble and thoughtful approach to supporting farmers in transitioning to regenerative practices, enabling carbon capture and restoring biodiversity,” said Magnus Jakobson, investment director at Kinnevik. “As a long-term investor, we take a multi-generational approach and truly believe that to be a successful company you need to be part of the solution.”

Winning innovation awards for its scalable impact approach, Agreena combines field-level practices with advanced technologies to capture the climate impact farmers make by coupling five years of ground-truth data with an IPCC-aligned GHG farm model developed by top-tier universities that is overlaid with soil and climatic data inputs. Using low-orbit satellite data combined with NDVI algorithms to track green biomass and to continuously monitor fields, Agreena runs an advanced big data analytics protocol to identify cases of deviation that triggers follow-up actions with farmers and performs annual physical site visits.

Doubling down on the validity of the sustainable farming practices implemented, additional field inspections are conducted by an independent third-party verification body prior to Agreena issuing CO2-e certificates, which can then be used to offset unavoidable emissions in the voluntary carbon market.

Receiving attention from international investors, corporates, and global leaders alike, the voluntary carbon market is stepping in as a prominent player to address what many consider to be the greatest challenge of our time. Reaching the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the IPCC’s recommendation to limit global warming to 1.5-degree in relation to pre-industrial levels for climate neutrality by 2050 requires not only massive emission reductions but also negative emissions, or carbon dioxide removals.

With 34% of the world’s largest publicly traded companies already having committed to net-zero targets, demand for quality carbon removal credits will continue to rise in the years ahead to achieve ambitious corporate climate goals. Nature-based solutions, such as soil sequestration, are the most cost-effective mitigation measure. Haldrup says that this year Agreena is enhancing its protocol and building out a classification system, creating a distinction between its reduction and removal certificates for the voluntary carbon market.

“But regenerative farming is not all about turning soil into carbon sinks,” adds Haldrup. “From day one, our program was developed with agronomists that are experts in conservation agriculture. Our entire suite of practices provide a plethora of benefits beyond soil health and management – boosted nutrients and biodiversity, improved water infiltration, enhanced ecosystems, and healthier crop yields.”

Agreena wants to capture this, too. Improving soil quality is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, the Goals on zero hunger, climate action, and life on land. Haldrup says the company is currently evaluating SDG impact quantification and reporting tools which can be attributed to individual certificates in the future to capture the full impact created by AgreenaCarbon farmers, and add value to the voluntary carbon market.

“Kinnevik has placed sustainability as an integrated part of their business model with a strategy aligned to the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Haldrup, adding that this makes them, and all of Agreena’s impact investors particularly exciting partners to be working with at this stage of the company.