Category: Ecosystem Services Payments

Kat Bruce – Going from putting insects in a food processor to raising $27M in 10 years and building the biggest eDNA biodiversity monitoring company

A conversation with Kat Bruce, founder of Nature Metrics , going from scooping insects with a small net and putting them in a food processor, to analysing the goo with an eDNA machine, to working with lots of large food corporations on measuring their biodiversity, food footprint, and impact.

How do you look back at raising 27 million dollars and spending 10 years building the biggest biodiversity measurement company using eDNA in a time where very few people care at all about biodiversity, let alone invest in measuring it. How do we analyse water at a catchment area to see what lives in that area? How about soil measurements for DNA at scale, and what about air sniffing and analysing? And why are the corporations only coming in in the last few years? Where are people moving, and what is still missing?

Fernando Russo – From selling Playboy’s to growing coffee, cacao, credit and lots of cows

A deep dive conversation with Fernando Russo about the reasons why he is going deep into coffee and cacao without being a coffee drinker and how he turned from being a Playboy’s salesman and a travel entrepreneur to an impact investor in the regenerative agriculture and food. We also talk about fashion and heights, the Amazon, deforestation, reforestation, the role of cattle—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and, of course, the potential and why he is in the water camp, not the carbon camp.

What is driving one of the most active impacts investors in the regenerative space? What Fernando tells fellow impact investors when they ask him about this regen thing?
Getting credit and other finance into the hands of farmers and land stewards who want and can change is way more important. Let’s get to work.

Jonas Steinfeld – The many shades of green of agroforestry systems

A conversation with Jonas Steinfeld, a researcher and consultant based in Brazil specialising in agroforestry systems, about the many different levels of complexity in agroforestry. Does complexity lead to more or less work? Does complexity lead to more or less carbon storage, and why? And are complex agroforestry systems more profitable? The scientific world has been quite clear up until now that adding more complexity to agriculture, especially with perennials like trees, almost always makes massive environmental differences. So what is holding us back? Why aren’t we planting trees everywhere?

Cameron Frayling – Forget biodiversity credits (for now). Regen ag farm land funds and regulation are driving the biodiversity sector

A check in conversation with Cameron Frayling, CEO of Pivotal Earth, about biodiversity, one of the most important sets of things we should track and measure, and yet it is super difficult and mostly hasn’t been done until now at scale at all. The data is simply not there, so what do we do? With Cameron we check in with one of the leading companies trying to bring technology to this space and make biodiversity measured at scale and cost-effective.

We learn a lot about the current tracking devices and new hardware Cameron would love to see developed, how little most biodiversity experts actually know and not many are able to identify the right insects, etc. What data to trust and how to build trustworthy data, plus the most active customer of the company, not biodiversity credit developers, but regen farm land forestry developers that want to report to their investors about biodiversity gains because the investors are asking for it or regulation is forcing them.

What we learned in 2023 about cooling the planet, food as medicine, regenerative renaissance, indigenous knowledge and decommodification

As we are wrapping up 2023 we look back at a year which feels even crazier than 2022. Another war has started and we have been flooded literally with extreme weather events. Every month seems to have been the warmest, driest, wettest etc. in history! Let’s look at what we covered and learned in the podcast!

Chris Tolles – All the venture capital in the world can’t make soils change faster

A conversation with Chris Tolles, founder of Yard Stick, about soil carbon and the connection to changing agriculture practises, insetting vs offsetting, where in the hype cycle the soil carbon market is and why more companies should get really good at doing one thing instead of saying yes to every opportunity.

Ichsani Wheeler and Lenka Danilovic – How to make water our friend again thanks to hippies with satellites and indigenous water management

A conversation with Ichsani Wheeler and Lenka Danilovic. Ichsani is a scientist, co-founder of OpenGeoHub and EnvirometriX, while Lenka is an hydrologist and intern at OpenGeoHub. In this conversation, we talk about the world of remote sensing, and we unpack what the eyes in the sky can help us learn about indigenous land and water management.

Ivo Degn and Philippe Birker – Does a low interest, 3,5% on $2,5 million loan, really qualify as a regenerative investment?

A conversation with Ivo Degn and Philippe Birker, founders of Climate Farmers, about the reason why they picked carbon credits as the first business to focus on, how they recently raised $2,5 million in a very unusual way, at least for a startup, what they consider a regenerative investment and much more.

Sam Kass – Get people access to carrots before talking about nutrient density, former Obama’s chef and nutrition advisor turned investor says

A conversation with Sam Kass, former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition of the Obama’s administration and partner at Acre VC. We talk about the potential of VC in the space, the challenges of the real world and why we should focus on getting everyone access to carrots before focusing on the quality and growing practices, why carbon payments is a very interesting and real entry point to scale, and more.

Tim Coates – Sell flood mitigation to institutional players to finance water cycle restoration

A conversation with Tim Coates, co-founder of Oxbury Bank, the UK’s only specialist agricultural bank, about flood risk mitigation, water quality, water cycle restoration, selling flood mitigation to institutional investors and much more.