Berlin Climate Tech Startup, BlueLayer, Secures $10M to Revolutionize Carbon Credit Management

By Grace Williams | Interview

January 30th, 2024.

From reforestation to direct air capture, BlueLayer’s end-to-end software streamlines the processes of carbon removal projects.

Under the Climate Action Programme 2030, the German government made a binding undertaking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.

Large companies are under pressure to achieve net-zero commitments. In their pursuit of net-zero goals, companies buy carbon credits from the market to neutralize and balance their environmental impact. Carbon credits are created and sold by companies who are developing carbon avoidance or removal projects. BlueLayer’s innovative software platform is helping the companies and people scaling those carbon reducing projects.

In an exclusive interview, I spoke with two of the three co-founders, namely Alexander Argyros and Vivian Bertseka, with the third co-founder being Gerardo Bonilla.

From Stealth Mode to $10m

Operating in stealth mode since its establishment in 2022, BlueLayer, headquartered in Berlin, has successfully raised $10m as part of two funding rounds.

Their most recent seed round of $5.6m was led by European Software VC Point Nine, and supported by a group of families and individuals with expertise in carbon markets. Their pre-seed round, held in 2022, was raised by over 50 contributors, including notable figures from Generation Investment Management, ICE NYSE, BloombergNEF, and others.

What did you work on during stealth? 💪

“We partnered with two of the largest organizations issuing carbon credits and designed our product for their needs through regular calls and feedback sessions. Today we have the most comprehensive end-to-end platform meeting the real needs of project developers.” Alexander Argyros, CEO.

BlueLayer is also supported by over 50 industry veterans, subject matter experts and climate leaders, who together form a supportive community available to their customers.

“While it’s not the panacea to decarbonise the economy, we do believe that the carbon project developer market will (and needs to) grow tremendously to reach our decarbonisation goals. We are looking forward to supporting Alexander, Vivian, Gerardo, and their team as they build a core infrastructure for this important industry”. Louis Coppey, Partner at Point Nine.

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From Athens to Berlin 🇬🇷 🇩🇪

Alex and Vivian went to the same high school in Athens, they kept in touch through their studies in the US and came together as a founding team with Gerardo two years ago.

Together, CEO Alexander Argyros, COO Vivian Bertseka, and CPO Gerardo Bonilla have built a strong founding team that combines decades of experience in climate and software.

Before BlueLayer, Alex and Gerado worked together at Moonfare, a platform for PE investing that Alex co-founded. Vivian spent 13 years as a climate investor and set up climate-led investment platform, Just Climate.

“Having spent the past decade investing in climate solutions, including working closely with both nature-based and industrial climate projects, I have an appreciation for the challenges that the industry is facing.” Vivian Bertseka, COO and Head of Climate.

Who are Carbon Developers? 🤔

Carbon credit management for carbon project developers, that’s a mouthful! 😵‍💫

Who are Carbon Project Developers? Individuals or organizations focused on projects to reduce or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

What projects are they developing? Sustainable projects like reforestation, forest conservation, mangroves, enhanced rock weathering, peatland restoration, direct air capture, and other nature-based or technology-driven solutions.

BlueLayer’s role: Streamlining workflows, managing carbon credits, and facilitating certification for seamless project scalability.

Rooting for Reforestation!

Empowering Carbon Project Developers

With a sole focus on the project developers, who are currently using spreadsheets and out-of-date systems to organize their operations, BlueLayer’s platform enables developers to streamline workflows, manage carbon credits, and simplify certification processes for smooth project expansion.

BlueLayer’s singular focus is to empower carbon project developers worldwide with the necessary tools to scale and deliver high-quality carbon credits to the market.

What advice would you give early-stage founders? 🌱

“Choose your co-founders very thoughtfully. Before founding BlueLayer, we spend 6 months in ideation. We spoke to each other’s family members, former colleagues, and each answered a 100 question questionnaire. When choosing new team members now, we are careful about selecting impact-driven team members.”

Alexander Argyros, CEO.

What do you like most about Berlin?

“I’ve lived here for 5 years, and I love that it’s the capital of one of the largest, perhaps most powerful European countries, but it’s still up and coming. So you feel you’re part of building the city as well as BlueLayer.”

Alexander Argyros, CEO.

“Berlin has been a fantastic surprise for me. It attracts people from all over the world, but it doesn’t have the un-sustainable vibe that London and New York have, or a heavy finance culture. It feels more egalitarian and people are more socially conscious. It’s a very sustainable city and people live in a way that is quite aligned with the values we have as a company.”

Vivian Bertseka, COO and Head of Climate.

More trees than skyscrapers

To learn more about BlueLayer, visit their website.

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