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Software startup reaches impressive milestone in high-value venture — here's why Walmart and General Mills are involved

"15 years in the making, and now it feels like it's arriving all at once."

"15 years in the making, and now it feels like it's arriving all at once."

Photo Credit: iStock

A climate tech startup called Watershed Technology just raised $100 million in its Series C fundraising, bringing its total valuation up to $1.8 billion, as Bloomberg reports.

Watershed, which was founded by three former engineers from the payment processing company Stripe, is seeking to help corporations become more planet-friendly by supplying them with special software that can track their planet-overheating gas pollution and identify changes to their businesses that could mitigate the harm they cause.

Watershed's client list includes Walmart, BlackRock, General Mills, Stripe, the Carlyle Group, and Bain Capital.

The effort to get corporations to take stock of the pollution and environmental degradation their businesses are responsible for has been "15 years in the making, and now it feels like it's arriving all at once," Taylor Francis, one of Watershed's co-founders, told Bloomberg.

Although Watershed is providing companies with the tools to do this type of accounting, the impetus for their "all at once" interest is at least partly the result of several recently changed laws.

In California, new legislation mandates all businesses that operate in the state and make more than $1 billion in revenue each year to report all direct and indirect planet-warming pollution, which the Associated Press described as "the most sweeping mandate of its kind in the nation."

And these types of laws aren't just limited to California, as the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently passed the PROVE IT Act, which will require the Department of Energy to track and publicize the planet-overheating pollution from various commercial products.

And outside of the United States, the European Union adopted new standards in 2022 (with updates since then) that will require large companies to publish regular reports on their social and environmental impacts.

The high valuation of a company like Watershed suggests that while companies may be unlikely to stop polluting on their own recognizance, they may be more inclined to take action when faced with financial and legal consequences.

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