Climate Tech Platform Watershed Opens London Co-HQ

American firm seeks European action and will triple its employee headcount by the end of 2023.

It’s a Watershed moment as a San Francisco-based climate tech company has announced its dual headquarters in London.

Watershed, which welcomed Al Gore as a personal investor two weeks ago, is a software platform that wants to help companies get to net-zero carbon. The London move is part of its European expansion plans.

“Europe is leading the world in the fight against climate change, setting ambitious targets and legislation across multiple policy areas, and binding emissions targets for key sectors of the economy,” says Taylor Francis, Co-Founder of Watershed. “We’re investing heavily in Europe to help businesses get the data, software, and support they need to accelerate decarbonisation efforts.”

The tech firm says its software and data analytics platform is built by a team of engineers and operators who previously worked at companies like Airbnb, Apple, Stripe and Meta.

The product ingests unstructured data from invoices from across business operations and enables collaboration with in-house teams and third-party suppliers to get carbon figures.

Watershed also offers a marketplace of pre-vetted carbon removal partners who are actively developing technologies to permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Along with the co-HQ, the tech company says its new Head of Europe is Ellen Moeller. She spent six years leading EMEA Partnerships and Operations at Stripe. Moeller will grow the European headcount to 30 employees by the end of 2022 and will triple that figure by the end of 2023, hiring across go-to-market, product, climate strategy, policy and analytics.

Watershed already has some notable clients within the European tech scene. Names include Monzo, Wise, Revolut, Kainos and Hopin based in the UK; Spotify and Klarna, based in Sweden; and Dataiku, based in France.

The company seems to attract famous names. Gore was mentioned above and Watershed also recently brought on two advisors who will support its European aspirations. They are Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England, current UN Climate Envoy and founder of TCFD; and Christiana Figueres, architect of the landmark Paris Agreement as former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

Watershed raised $70 million (£53 million) at a $1 billion (£763.5 million) valuation in its Series B funding round in 2022.

In the UK, the subjects of climate change and sustainability are popping up more and more frequently in the tech sector.

Yesterday (5 April), asset manager abrdn and the University of Edinburgh revealed a Centre for Investing Innovation with funding of £7.5 million over five years from abrdn. Three core priorities will shape the initial work of the centre – and sustainability is one of them.

As reported last month, the theme of sustainability’s genesis formed part of the discussions at the Tech Show London event.

Plenty of UK tech startups are alive to the possibilities. In a variety of scoops, eWeek UK has discovered ReforestPay’s tree-loving launch; carbon insurer Kita; sustainability data platform Supernova; and Expect’s decarbonisation management platform.

Other names looking for action – and which recently got funding – include Climate X and Connect Earth.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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