Why we invested in Windfall Bio

Positive Ventures
3 min readMar 14, 2024

--

In the conversation on climate change, the focus often narrows to carbon dioxide (CO2), the predominant greenhouse gas from fossil fuels, industrial activities, and land use changes. However, CO2 isn’t the lone contributor to global warming. Methane and nitrous oxide and F-gases play a significant role, accounting for nearly 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that methane emissions have risen four times faster than CO2 emissions in recent years. Despite its shorter atmospheric lifespan of approximately 12 years compared to CO2’s centuries, methane’s potent energy absorption capacity makes it a critical factor in near-term global warming. Yet, methane reduction has been largely neglected, receiving less than 2% of climate funding.

Addressing this overlooked area, Windfall Bio presents a groundbreaking solution by harnessing nature’s mechanisms to convert methane into organic soil nutrients. Utilizing methanotrophs, naturally occurring bacteria, Windfall Bio’s innovative system transforms methane into nitrogen-rich amino acids. These methane-eating microorganisms (MEMs) act as natural, tiny methane filters, transferring methane from the air, where it’s harmful, to the soil, where it becomes a valuable resource for enriching soil nutrition.

Windfall Bio’s proprietary technology metabolizes methane even at atmospheric concentrations. Cultivated in soil, MEMs not only neutralize methane but also proliferate, enriching the soil with nitrogen and acting as an organic fertilizer. This process not only combats a potent greenhouse gas but also offers a sustainable agricultural enhancement.

Farmers, among other types of clients, can employ Windfall Bio’s MEMs to capture methane from various sources — be it dairy farms, rice fields, or compost piles — and convert it into high-quality fertilizer. This innovative approach not only addresses methane’s environmental impact but also introduces an economic incentive for adoption. By reducing fertilizer costs by approximately 50% or enabling the sale of the produced fertilizer, Windfall Bio creates a win-win scenario that promotes sustainable practices and potentially generates additional revenue through carbon credits.

Windfall Bio’s solution exemplifies a decisive stride towards mitigating methane’s contribution to climate change, leveraging biological systems to transform a greenhouse gas into a resource for sustainable agriculture and environmental prosperity.

We are convinced that Windfall Bio meets the 3 central elements of our thesis:

Founder Market Fit: Josh is obsessed with methane. He is a serial entrepreneur and biochemist who has been focused on methane for 15 years. Most recently, he’s zeroed in on the idea of using methane-eating microbes to combat climate change.

Market and Scalability: Biological systems are well suited for large-scale solutions, they are the best tools available for a global-level solution. Also, the production cost is low as the reactors are dirt (so low-value inputs). The mems grow in dirt and are happy in this space. The potential of scalability combined with the TAM of all dilute methane, which is over $100Bn, represents an immense opportunity for impact and financial return.

Decisiveness: Reducing methane emissions is the fastest and most effective path to reverse global warming.

--

--

Positive Ventures

A Bcorp investment management firm focused on impact tech and purpose driven entrepreneurship.