Bill Gates invests in startup aiming to reduce methane from cow burps

Bill Gates invests in startup aiming to reduce methane from cow burps

  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Bill Gates, led a $12 million seed funding round in Rumin8.
  • The Perth-based startup is developing a seaweed-based feed with the aim of reducing methane from livestock emissions, such as cow burps and farts.
  • A byproduct of the digestion process, methane, is the most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide.

What do a billionaire philanthropist, a climate tech company, and fewer cow burps have in common?

Just ask Bill Gates, whose investment firm Breakthrough Energy Ventures, or BEV, led a $12 million seed funding round at an Australian climate-tech firm working to reduce methane emissions, like those from cows.

Rumin8, a Perth-based startup, said Monday it has closed a Phase 2 seed funding round, bringing its total funding to A$25 million, or $17.7 million. The company is developing a seaweed-based feed that would reduce methane, a byproduct of the feed digestion process, from livestock emissions.

Rumin8 plans to use the $12 million for activities such as commercial trials and the development of a pilot manufacturing plant.

Methane is the most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It’s also 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

With livestock accounting for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, there are now global efforts to raise these animals more sustainably.

“Demand for sustainable protein has never been more evident, which is why BEV is very interested in reducing methane emissions from meat and dairy,” said Carmichael Roberts, business lead on BEV’s Investment Committee, in a statement. press.

Last week, Gates was bullish on sustainable meat in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session.

“There are companies making ‘beef’ in new ways and people working to keep using cows but reducing methane emissions,” Gates wrote in the thread. “I think eventually these products will be very good, although their share is small today,” he added.

And Gates’ BEV isn’t the only one looking to reduce methane emissions from livestock. Last week, French food giant Danone pledged to cut methane emissions from its milk-supplying farms by about a third by the end of this decade.

New Zealand, a major beef producer, is also proposing to tax cattle burping from 2025.

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