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Be optimistic and resilient

Riverse, a Paris-based startup focused on accelerating the development of industrial decarbonisation technologies in Europe

Please introduce yourself and your startup Riverse to our readers!

I’m Ludovic Chatoux, CEO and co-founder of Riverse, a Paris-based startup focused on accelerating the development of industrial decarbonisation technologies in Europe. With my co-founders, Grégoire Guirauden and Clément Georget, we established Riverse in December 2021 to support industrial GreenTech SMEs in Europe in their development, by enabling them to access the voluntary carbon market and issue highly verifiable carbon credits. We have developed a carbon credit standard and a digital Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) platform making it possible to issue carbon credits 20 times faster and at a cost 3 times lower than current market standards.

How did you get the idea of Riverse?

The idea for Riverse came from recognizing the need for a more efficient and accessible way for European GreenTech SMEs to participate in the voluntary carbon market, to accelerate the financing of meaningful high-impact climate solutions here in Europe. While existing carbon credit standards primarily focused on offsetting in developing countries, we saw an opportunity to target European green technology players, specifically SMEs operating in fields such as Biogas, CO2-intensive equipment reconditioning, Biochar, and Bio-based construction materials. By providing these companies with access to voluntary carbon markets, we aim to accelerate the transition to a circular and sustainable economy.

Why did you decide to start Riverse?

Clément, Grégoire and I decided to found Riverse to stand up to the main challenge our society faces, which is the environmental transition. We studied industrial decarbonization technologies in depth in 2021, and quickly came to the conclusion that there is an urgent need to accelerate their financing to scale their activities and impact to meet our society’s climate targets.

To do so, we saw a gap in the voluntary carbon market for a solution that could streamline and simplify the process of issuing highly verifiable carbon credits for European GreenTech SMEs

What is the vision behind Riverse?

Our vision is to accelerate the transition to a circular and sustainable economy, and we are driven by the ambition of orienting more than 1 billion euros into solutions to climate change by 2030. By providing carbon markets with the tools and tech to foster their development, we can have a significant impact on avoiding and removing CO2 emissions. We aim to be a catalyst for positive change by digitizing the measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) process for carbon credit issuance, making it more efficient, affordable, and transparent. 

How difficult was the start and which challenges did you have to overcome?

As early movers in industrial carbon credit standardization in Europe, one of our main obstacles was establishing credibility within the carbon credit market and gaining the trust of major credit resellers. We successfully overcome these hurdles by showcasing the value of our product and forming partnerships with esteemed organizations.

To ensure alignment with international accreditation standards, we meticulously developed our carbon credits certification methodology (our Standard Rules) and sought input from industry experts through public consultations. Furthermore, we assembled an independent advisory board and a technical committee consisting of recognized scientific and market experts to refine and optimize our certification methodology, guaranteeing the credibility and quality of the carbon credits issued through our platform.

Who is your target audience?

On the supply side, we target industrial Greentech SMEs in Europe, in high-impact sectors. We currently focus on SMEs operating in the fields of Biogas, reconditioning of CO2-intensive equipment, Biochar, and Bio-based construction materials. Some of our customers include Ecodair, Cycle Up and Be Energy.

On the demand side, we target large, reputable carbon credit resellers and brokers. Some of our existing partners include Ceezer, Sweep and Greenly.

What is the USP of your startup?

The unique selling proposition of Riverse lies in our ability to offer European GreenTech SMEs a fast and frictionless experience in accessing the voluntary carbon market. Our platform digitizes the measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) process, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with issuing carbon credits. Notably, we are developing a life cycle assessment engine focused on industrial processes which is unique on the market. Compared to current market standards, we can enable these companies to issue credits 20 times faster and 3 times lower costs. 

On the other hand, we respond to demand by offering buyers of carbon credits access to high-quality, transparent and verifiable credits from industrial projects close to their value chain and their own activities.

Can you describe your typical workday?

As the CEO of Riverse, my typical workday is dynamic and involves various responsibilities. I start my day by reviewing emails and addressing any urgent matters. I then hold meetings with my co-founders and the team to align on our priorities and discuss ongoing projects. Throughout the day, I engage in business development activities, such as meeting potential partners or investors. I also dedicate consequent time to strategic planning and HR efforts, to build an amazing team aligned with our mission and willing to have impact. Overall, my workday is a mix of operational tasks, strategic decision-making, and networking.

I am fortunate to be joined by two exceptional co-founders who possess very complementary skills. Clément leads the climate and tech aspects of our operations, leveraging his expertise in these areas and in the industrial field. On the other hand, Grégoire spearheads our business development efforts and ensures our brand is effectively represented in the market. Together, our combined strengths create a well-rounded team that drives the success of our company. 

Where do you see yourself and your startup Riverse in five years?

In five years, we envision Riverse as a leading player in the decarbonization of the European industrial sector. We aim to have a strong presence in the market, with a significant number of European GreenTech players using our platform to issue highly verifiable carbon credits. We anticipate expanding our operations beyond France, starting with Germany and the UK, reaching a broader customer base. By then, we expect to have established further strategic partnerships with key industry stakeholders, notably carbon credit resellers, enhancing our position in the market.

Our ultimate goal is to contribute significantly to the avoidance and removal of carbon emissions and be recognized as a trusted and innovative solution provider in the climate tech space.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

Stay focused on a specific scope: As an early stage start-up, your aim is to quickly find a specific problem, for a specific audience, to which you respond with a tailored solution. To do this, it’s important to focus on a limited scope of problem types and customer types, so that you can test quickly and leave yourself room to iterate just as quickly. You can then broaden your scope and your offer at a later stage!

Build a strong network but follow your instincts: Surround yourself with a diverse network of mentors, advisors and industry experts who can guide, support and enlighten you. But you’ll hear lots of very different stories and advice from lots of different people and, at the end of the day, what really matters is where you and your team want to go.

Be optimistic and resilient: It’s very common to say this, but the path of a start-up is strewn with pitfalls and a lot of walls smashed in. It’s important to be resilient in the face of obstacles, and to remain optimistic and motivated by the mission you’ve set yourself. Everyone drools over it, but entrepreneurship is a great opportunity, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.

And if I may add a fourth: watch your carbon footprint!

Thank you Ludovic Chatoux for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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