Investing in Noya: Affordable Direct Air Capture for a Carbon-Negative Future
The climate crisis represents a monumental challenge. Even if we were able to miraculously stop emitting all greenhouse gasses tomorrow, the world would still fall short of the 1.5ºC target established by the Paris Agreement.
To avert the most devastating consequences of climate change, we need to not only stop emitting greenhouse gasses, but actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And not a small amount either — a staggering 1.5 billion tons per year at minimum. That’s at least a 10,000-fold increase over current carbon removal efforts.
Among the many pathways towards carbon dioxide removal (CDR) — from planting trees to enhanced weathering (crushing rocks, such as basalt, and spreading them on the Earth’s surface) — direct air capture (DAC) has emerged as a truly promising solution, with the optimal combination of scalability, affordability, and efficacy.
Direct air capture is a process by which air is moved over chemicals to react with and trap CO2. The captured CO2 can then be processed in a way that allows it to be stored permanently in geological reservoirs or used for other purposes.
That’s where Noya comes in. Founded in 2020 by MIT and SDSU engineers Josh Santos and Daniel Cavero, Noya is on mission to accelerate the world’s transition to carbon negativity by making cost effective direct air capture a reality.
Noya’s direct air capture approach is sophisticated, but simple. They use activated carbon monoliths coated with CO2 capture chemicals to separate CO2 from the air. Fans move air through a sorbent, binding CO2 to the surface of the monoliths before electricity extracts the captured CO2 for permanent sequestration. The entire process is modular, allowing for easy packaging, transportation, and on-site assembly. This keeps construction costs low and sets them up for affordable, high-quality gigaton scale CDR.
Noya also benefits from a favorable regulatory environment: the recent Inflation Reduction Act expanded the 45Q tax credit, granting up to $180 per ton for high-quality DAC projects that are operational by 2033. This puts the company on a trajectory to reach $100/ton by 2029, which opens the market to traditional carbon credit purchasers.
We’re thrilled to join them on their journey, as we co-lead their Series A with Union Square Ventures to help launch their first standalone DAC facility later this year – an momentous feat that we’ll be sure to share. We are also excited to be working closely with Stacy Kauk, Shopify’s Head of Sustainability and a member of Collab’s Sustainability Advisory Board. Shopify is Noya’s first customer and has been on the frontier of catalyzing the CDR market.
“Noya has made incredible strides, working quickly and efficiently to de-risk their direct air capture technology, since we began supporting them last year”, said Stacy. “This latest funding round co-led by two reputable organizations will help Noya take an important leap forward on their scale-up journey.”
We’ll be sure to share updates from the company throughout the year. In the meantime, you can follow their progress here. And they’re actively hiring for a number of important roles, so please spread the word!