Varaha raises $8.7M to accelerate agricultural decarbonisation

Varaha, a pioneering full-stack climate-tech company that specialises in generating carbon credits from nature, announces it has raised $8.7 million.

The Series A funding round is led by RTP Global with contributions from Omnivore and Orios – both returning investors – and marks the inaugural investment by Norinchukin Bank, one of Japan's largest institutional investors, in an Indian startup. The round also saw participation from AgFunder, and Octave Wellbeing Economy Fund, an investment arm of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group.

Varaha's trailblazing efforts have positioned it as a leading end-to-end project developer for carbon credits, incentivising thousands of smallholders towards sustainable practices. Varaha’s industry-leading Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) platform uses remote sensing, machine learning and scientific research to quantify the sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases from regenerative agriculture, afforestation, and biochar projects. Their projects also enhance productivity, boost crop yields, save water, increase biodiversity, and raise climate adaptation. Varaha serves as a one-stop destination for leading global companies striving to achieve net-zero through its diversified portfolio offerings of high-quality, science-backed carbon credits.

Varaha has already made significant strides, enrolling over 700,000 acres of land across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Kenya. It works with more than 100 partners across these geographies to onboard smallholder farmers, with plans to increase this number by 4X in the next 12–15 months.

Varaha has already contracted and sold more than 230,000 carbon credits across a diversified project portfolio. Varaha’s customers include some of the largest marketplaces in the world, such as Klimate in Denmark, Good Carbon in Germany, Carbon Future in Switzerland, top-tier companies in Europe, with strong interest also coming from financial institutions and tech companies across the UK and US.

Beyond regenerative agriculture and afforestation, Varaha is also converting agricultural residue into biochar, a material that locks carbon away permanently for thousands of years while enhancing soil fertility. Varaha is further exploring the potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering, an exciting method that boosts soil fertility and sequesters atmospheric carbon long-term.

"With nearly 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions stemming from the agricultural sector, Varaha's mission to sequester and reduce carbon emissions is more critical than ever," said Madhur Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Varaha. "Today's funding is a testament to our commitment to drive impactful change. With the support of our investors, we're poised to roll up our sleeves and accelerate our efforts, empower smallholders, integrate cutting-edge technology, and foster sustainable practices. Varaha isn't just a company; we're a catalyst for change, and this funding catapults us towards a greener, more equitable future."

Galina Chifina, Partner on RTP Global’s Asia investment team said, “We are thrilled to be part of Varaha’s journey towards creating scalable solutions for climate resilience. The visionary and unique approach of Madhur and his team to generating carbon credits through nature-based solutions has the potential to become a game-changer for the industry! It’s been a privilege to support them early in their journey of building a truly impactful company that is poised to make a significant difference on our planet".

The funding raised will be channelled into further enhancing Varaha’s tech and science capabilities and expanding operations to new geographies in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, to meet the increasing demand for high-quality carbon credits. With the voluntary carbon offset market projected to reach $250 billion by 2050 as per Morgan Stanley estimates, Varaha is ideally positioned to contribute significantly to this growth, driving global climate action and carbon reduction efforts.

The sizeable raise comes just a year after Varaha previously raised a seed round of $4 million. The seed round was led by Orios Venture Partners, and included participation from Omnivore, RTP Global, Better Capital, and other angel investors like Kunal Shah.

Varaha was founded in 2022 by Madhur Jain (Co-Founder & CEO), Ankita Garg (Co-Founder & COO), and Vishal Kuchanur (Co-Founder & CTO). With backgrounds in agriculture, biotech, and software, the founders are committed to reducing agriculture's carbon footprint and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.