Our investment in Kita

Investment thesis

  • Carbon removal is an essential step towards meeting Net Zero targets, and removal credits offer companies around the world a way of offsetting their emissions. In 2021, $1bn of credits were bought in the voluntary carbon market, a figure that doubled in 2022 and will continue to grow, spurred by consumer concern, regulatory pressure and net zero commitments.
  • A growing demand and lack of supply means that these credits are, increasingly, pre-purchased. This also allows project developers to finance projects up front.
  • But this also introduces a high degree of risk: forests planted for carbon capture may be vulnerable to fires; technological carbon removal solutions may not perform as well as hoped; credits are also vulnerable to invalidation by regulatory authorities. This risk is affecting confidence and uptake, hampering this essential solution to the climate crisis.
  • Kita provides a solution to this risk, by offering the world’s first carbon insurance product. The company is building trust in the market by transferring the financial and reputational risks associated with under delivery to itself.
  • With a specialised underwriting model, designed specifically for carbon delivery risk, and a highly accomplished leadership team, Kita allows sellers and buyers in the voluntary carbon market to interact with confidence – and realise the true world-changing potential of carbon removal.

Who are the pioneers

Kita’s founding team draw on years of experience in entrepreneurship, fintech, and climate-facing insurance. Co-founder and CEO Natalia Dorfman spent almost a decade at Clyde & Co, the world’s biggest insurance-focused law firm, where she was Global Head of New Business, focusing on Energy and Climate Change.

Tom Merriman, CPO and co-founder, has worked as Head of Product at Nasdaq, and spent almost eight years at Bloomberg, where he was instrumental in building new fintech products and businesses. He also has three-and-a-half MScs under his belt.

Paul Young is the CTO and third co-founder. From a PhD in Astrophysics, Paul went on to a storied career at the intersection of data science and fintech, founding two companies – the second of which exited to Nasdaq in 2017.

The three met at the Cambridge-based climate tech incubator, Carbon13, where they bonded over their shared mission to reduce climate change at a global level.

Why us

As a registered B-Corp, Octopus Ventures is dedicated to backing the people, ideas and industries that are changing the world. From the inception of Octopus Energy to our Net Zero by 2030 target, this mission is in our company’s DNA. Building a better world for future generations is not possible without addressing the impact of climate change.

We believe that a better future relies on financial infrastructures that improve what we do with the earth’s resources. We backed Minimum and Foodsteps because we recognised that better data goes a long way towards supporting businesses’ decarbonisation efforts. Our active interest in supporting new, circular business models has seen us back the likes of  Olio, Hurr and Depop, which exited successfully in 2021.

It’s clear that carbon removal will have an important part to play in the fight against climate change, but greater transparency and trust in the market is needed. That’s why we knew we had to back Kita. The team’s mission, to develop specialised insurance products that offer invaluable security to buyers and sellers in the carbon credit market, provides a new way to manage the risks associated with carbon credit delivery.

We’re proud to be backing Natalia, Tom, Paul and the Kita team, and to play our part in supporting a business that stands to unlock the full potential of the carbon credit market. To kick things off, we’ll be working closely with the team as they secure the talent they need to help their brilliant business to scale.

See more blogs