Carbon compliance platform kolum raises €2.1M Pre-Seed


Berlin-based B2B startup kolum has secured €2.1M in Pre-Seed funding for its carbon regulation compliance platform. The platform helps EU companies ensure CBAM compliance and aids third-country manufacturers in calculating and sharing emission data accurately using the CBAM-specific calculation method. The new capital will accelerate product development and support more companies within and outside the EU.

As of October 1, 2023, EU companies importing cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity, or hydrogen from non-EU countries must comply with the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) regulation, which prices the CO2 emissions of these imported products. While CBAM promotes fair competition and reduces carbon leakage, it poses significant challenges to importers, producers, and authorities. The regulation demands detailed data reporting and imposes hefty fines for non-compliance, making accurate and efficient reporting crucial.

Kolum addresses these challenges with its end-to-end software solution designed for simple and effective compliance with carbon pricing regulations in international trade.

The round was led by FoodLabs, with participation from notable business angels specializing in ClimateTech, Customs, and B2B SaaS, including Anna Alex (Co-Founder of Outfittery, Planetly, Nala Earth), Markus Sudhoff (Managing Partner of Climate Founders), Markus Linder (Founder of Zoovu, Inoqo), Janine Lampprecht (Managing Director of Grenzlotsen), among others.

“The EU CBAM alone is expected to save up to 100 million tons of CO2 annually when fully implemented. However, affected organizations face significant challenges in tracking supply chain emissions and managing carbon pricing costs. The kolum software integrates with existing processes to help organizations stay compliant and manage carbon costs efficiently,” said Marius Sprenger, Co-Founder at kolum.

“Currently, there is not only a lack of reporting solutions but an overall lack of understanding on how to report in a CBAM-compliant way. Kolum is one of the first players entirely focusing on this new regulation and we believe the team is in a strong position to establish a dominant role early on,” said Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs.

The European CBAM is the world’s first border adjustment mechanism for carbon pricing, linking direct costs to emissions across a company’s supply chain. Other regions, such as the UK, plan to implement similar requirements by 2027. In the long term, a substantial percentage of companies engaged in international trade will be impacted by carbon pricing, whether as importers, exporters, or both.

“Carbon taxes are a powerful tool for reducing global CO2 emissions, but they can be incredibly complex for organizations to navigate. When I met the team earlier this year, I was immediately hooked by their vision. The team’s deep domain expertise, swift execution, and clear product roadmap convinced me right away, and I’m thrilled to support them on their journey,” said Anna Alex, Co-Founder Outfittery, Planetly, Nala Earth.

Founded by Helge Wieggrefe and Marius Sprenger in late 2023, kolum has quickly gained traction. Wieggrefe, a PhD student researching the legal implications of the EU CBAM since 2021, began offering webinars for affected companies in early 2023. After engaging with hundreds of companies and learning about their challenges, he partnered with his university friend Sprenger to develop a minimum viable product (MVP). They launched the first product version in closed beta by January 2024 and have since scaled the company to address broader challenges.

Despite being operational for only six months, kolum is already collaborating with large enterprises and consultancies across Europe to manage CBAM effectively.