CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 17, 2023 — Yard Stick PBC, a soil carbon measurement technology company, today announced $10.6 million in Series A funding. Toyota Ventures Climate Fund led the round, with additional investors including the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Pillar VC, and an extended group of climate-committed founders, angels, and family offices. This brings Yard Stick’s total venture capital funding to more than $16 million.
“Capturing soil carbon has a range of benefits, from the commercial gains farmers see in improved soil quality and more-resilient yield, to the climate benefits of sequestering atmospheric carbon in the ground,” said Chris Tolles, co-founder and CEO of Yard Stick. “Yard Stick is reducing the cost of measuring soil carbon by 70-90+ percent while improving analytical rigor compared to current measurement techniques. We’ve been working with the largest carbon soil programs in the world to test our solution with farmers and ranchers. With this funding, our company will move beyond ‘beta,’ and enter full commercial deployment.”
Yard Stick’s soil carbon measurement solution includes proprietary hardware and software:
"Measurement, reporting, and verification of carbon claims are essential to scaling scientifically robust carbon markets. Yard Stick's spectral technology addresses key challenges in measuring soil carbon that hinder the development of this market,” says Brandon Middaugh, Senior Director, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. “Microsoft is excited to support the company’s mission to activate global soils for climate change mitigation.”
Yard Stick is announcing its Series A during a time of significant growth for the company. In the fall of 2022, Yard Stick was awarded $18 million from the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative, kickstarting soil carbon measurement work in 6 projects across dozens of states and millions of acres. More recently, Verra published a revision to VM0042, its flagship soil carbon protocol, which explicitly allows the use of Yard Stick’s VisNIR spectroscopy for soil carbon measurement in Verra projects. The company will present performance data on its spectral probe at the Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in St. Louis in October and publish results thereafter.
“While there is consensus regarding soil’s tremendous capability to sequester carbon, there is a lack of unanimity concerning which farming methods work and to what degree, which is largely due to challenges with measurement. Robust MRV solutions such as Yard Stick will be critical to realization of the full potential of soil carbon projects in reaching decarbonization targets,” said Lisa Coca, Partner, Toyota Ventures Climate Fund. “We look forward to supporting Yard Stick’s team in their mission to address the complexity of measuring soil organic carbon accurately and affordably.”
About Yard Stick PBC
Yard Stick’s mission is to enable gigaton-scale carbon sequestration via soils. Developed by the world’s top soil scientists and supported by leading grant funders and venture investors, Yard Stick’s integrated suite of software and hardware offerings solve key soil carbon measurement challenges at global scale with low cost and high science rigor.
To learn more, visit https://www.useyardstick.com/.