By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) - Rubicon Carbon, a carbon credit firm created by U.S. alternative asset manager TPG to help companies offset their emissions, launched as a separate company on Tuesday and said it expected to raise $1 billion in capital.
Backed by an initial $300 million from TPG, Rubicon aims to source and fund projects that lock away climate-damaging carbon emissions and then sell the credits gained to companies.
Bank of America, JetBlue Ventures, the venture arm of JetBlue Airways Corp, and NGP Energy Capital Management are also expected to contribute to the fundraising by year-end, Rubicon said in a statement.
TPG will remain the majority owner of Rubicon after the funding, a spokesperson said. He declined to specify the size of TPG's stake or the valuation of Rubicon.
Rubicon will be led by Chief Executive Tom Montag, the former chief operating officer of Bank of America, and chaired by Anne Finucane, the former Bank of America vice chair, it said.
"Rubicon is designed to be the market-based solution that allows both the supply and demand side of the global carbon market to scale responsibly," Finucane said.
Trade in the so-called voluntary carbon markets was worth around $2 billion in 2021, according to Ecosystem Marketplace, and could hit $50 billion by 2030, consultants at McKinsey have estimated.
While companies need first to reduce as much of their emissions as possible, some will not be able to be eliminated straight away, meaning carbon markets are needed to help fill the gap, Montag said.
Among issues holding back the market so far have been a limited supply and lack of access to credits, insufficient financing for projects and concern about the quality of some credits, Rubicon said.
To help fix this, Rubicon aims to provide easier access to the market for companies by vetting projects and their credits, and by providing a technology driven method of analysing, tracking and reporting that reduces costs.
Its first product, Rubicon Carbon Tonne (RCT), will be backed by an initial inventory of carbon credits totalling 20 million tonnes of emissions removed from the atmosphere.
The credits are generated from both nature-based projects, which could include for example protecting peatland, as well as those linked to reducing industrial emissions, such as by capturing methane from landfill sites.
In addition, the company said it was developing a financing solution called Rubicon Carbon Capital that would allow it to partner with developers and help fund new projects.
The money raised by Rubicon will be used to buy more credits and develop Rubicon Carbon Capital, the TPG spokesperson said.
(This story has been corrected after the company confirms time reference in paragraph1)
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Mark Potter)