WeWork founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, who resigned amid controversy prior to the company's initial public offering, has launched a crypto startup.
His new venture, Flowcarbon, aims to bring the voluntary carbon market to the blockchain. The company just closed a $32 million venture capital round led by a16z, and raised another $38 million via a private presale of the company’s Goddess Nature Token (GNT).
The token is backed by a bundle of certified carbon offset credits issued by nature-based projects over the past five years, according to Flowcarbon. The credits themselves trade on the voluntary carbon market, which is projected to reach $700 million by 2027.
The credits trade until they’re redeemed by an end user, meaning that person or company gets to claim the offset’s environmental impact. Flowcarbon said GNT can be sold, used for borrowing and lending, or redeemed for an underlying real-world credit.
When it launches, GNT will run on the Celo blockchain. But for now, the block explorer only shows a Test Goddess Nature Token and Test Goddess Nature Token Plus.
Nicole Shore, Flowcarbon’s head of communications, told Decrypt in an email that people can apply to participate in the presale on the company’s website.
The funding round also includes General Catalyst (investors in payments processor Stripe and decentralized music platform Audius) and Samsung Next (investors in Axie Infinity, Dapper Labs) and 166 2nd Financial Services.
That last investor is the Neumann’s family office, which was formed in October and reportedly manages $700 million.
Flowcarbon CEO Dana Gibber said in an interview with The Business of Business in March that the Neumann family asked the 166 2nd team to come up with a company that would maximize their conservation efforts and make money. The result is Flowcarbon.
Neumann, along with his wife Rebekah, co-founded the company with Gibber, COO Carolina Klatt and Ilan Stern. Stern, who used to work for the George Soros family office, left General Catalyst in 2019 to lead the Neumann’s family office.
“We connected with them through their extensive conservation work, which has been quiet but spans many years and millions of hectares,” Gibber told The Business of Business in March. “They have been great partners.”
Neumann resigned from WeWork in 2019 after disclosures in the company’s $47 billion IPO filing drew criticism from investors. After his departure, the IPO was delayed and officially withdrawn. WeWork went public in 2021 by merging with BowX Acquisition Corp. at a $9 billion valuation.