Center City is poised to become home to a Delaware-founded climate-conscious startup that recently raised funding to grow its team.
Carbon Reform, founded by Jo Norris and Nick Martin, is the maker of a modular carbon capture device for commercial buildings. The device removes indoor carbon buildup that results when many people are in an indoor space breathing the same air, even if it’s ventilated.
The company’s modular retrofit device, called the Carbon Capsule, removes CO2 and other contaminants from indoor air. The device mixes air purification techniques with permanent carbon capture technology. The 2020-founded company — which Technical.ly named one of its 2022 RealLIST Startups in Delaware — previously raised a friends and family round and participated in the summer 2022 cohort of StartOut’s Growth Lab accelerator.
And this week, it announced it had closed a $3 million seed round led by Azolla Ventures, a climate tech VC fund. Virya LLC, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Plug and Play Ventures, Gaingels and Preston Schell also participated.
“Carbon Reform’s modular carbon capture system is a game-changer,” said Amy Duffuor, general partner at Azolla Ventures, in a statement. “It retrofits into existing HVAC infrastructure to scrub CO2 from air, allowing carbon capture and sequestration in one device, alongside energy savings and indoor air quality improvement. We’re looking forward to supporting the Carbon Reform team during their next stage of growth.”
Norris told Technical.ly in an email that the company’s seven-person team (five full-timers and two part-timers) are currently located at the Delaware Innovation Space in Wilmington and NextFab in Philly as they wait for a full buildout space in Center City. The space will include dedicated lab space, machining, assembly and office space to accommodate a growing team.
“More than half our team is based there, and it’s nice to be centrally located for recruiting and customer engagement,” Norris said of Philadelphia. “We do intend to maintain our Delaware roots and connections, but the Philly location was attractive for our next phase of growth.”
And hiring is top of mind with the seed round, as they’re adding two senior roles and up to five other roles within the year, Norris said. The rest of the funding will be focused on IP portfolio and facilities, plus building and installing the company’s first two full-scale pilots in buildings.
About six months into their 18-month seed timeline, they’ll be looking at commercialization and raising a Series A.
“As a women-led and LGBT-owned enterprise, we’re grateful and refreshed to have the support of investors who not only believe strongly in our climate and health mission, but also embody the fundamental values we have as founders around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, at every level of our organization,” Norris said in a statement. “The security we feel in this support provides an invaluable framework for the groundbreaking work we are setting out to do.”