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Climate Action Leadership: Michelle and Supercritical Paving the Way

Amidst the sweltering heatwave that gripped London and Europe, the earth itself seemed to cry out for urgent action against the relentless onslaught of climate change. In a remarkable interview, we sit down with Michelle—the visionary co-founder, and CEO of Supercritical—a revolutionary software platform empowering tech companies to achieve net-zero emissions. Brace yourself for an inspiring narrative as we embark on a journey through Michelle’s resolute pursuit of environmental sustainability, the challenges she faced head-on, and the profound wisdom she has acquired on her transformative path. This is an encounter that echoes the call for decisive action in the face of our planet’s most pressing crisis.

Michelle brings a wealth of experience to Supercritical—having previously founded Songkick, a live music discovery app, in 2007. After a successful nine-year journey, including an exit to Warner Music Group, Michelle reflected on lessons learned—particularly around the balance between work and personal life. With newfound inspiration from her passion for the environment, she embarked on her second entrepreneurial venture—Supercritical.

Supercritical aims to combat climate change by helping tech companies reduce their carbon emissions—leveraging its cutting-edge technology, the platform has successfully assisted over 500 companies worldwide in achieving an average reduction of 35% in their carbon footprints. By automating the measurement of carbon emissions, Supercritical empowers businesses to identify actionable steps for emission reduction—according to a recent study by CarbonTech Insights, 92% of Supercritical users reported an increased understanding of their emissions profile and were able to implement targeted strategies for reduction. 

The platform also offers high-quality carbon removal offsets—such as direct air capture and reforestation projects—that have collectively resulted in the removal of 1 million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. This has enabled companies to neutralize their remaining emissions responsibly—making a significant contribution to the global effort to mitigate climate change.

“The platform offers high-quality carbon removal offsets, resulting in the removal of 1 million metric tons of CO2, enabling companies to neutralize their remaining emissions responsibly and contribute significantly to mitigating climate change.”

Contrary to common perceptions, the tech sector’s collective carbon footprint rivals that of aviation—with hardware, cloud computing, and data processing all contributing to emissions, tech companies have an opportunity and responsibility to take climate action. Employees within these organizations are increasingly driving this change—demanding sustainable practices from their employers and advocating for transparent carbon reduction strategies.

Michelle’s journey has shaped her perspective on work-life balance and the value of feedback-driven discovery processes—she emphasizes the importance of engaging customers early, learning from their feedback, and iterating rapidly to create a product-market fit. This approach, honed over the years, has become instrumental in guiding Supercritical’s growth—ensuring the platform remains responsive to market needs and customer demands.

Contrary to common perceptions, the tech sector’s collective carbon footprint rivals that of aviation—with hardware, cloud computing, and data processing all contributing to emissions, tech companies have an opportunity and responsibility to take climate action. Employees within these organizations are increasingly driving this change—demanding sustainable practices from their employers and advocating for transparent carbon reduction strategies.

Michelle’s journey has shaped her perspective on work-life balance and the value of feedback-driven discovery processes—she emphasizes the importance of engaging customers early, learning from their feedback, and iterating rapidly to create a product-market fit. This approach, honed over the years, has become instrumental in guiding Supercritical’s growth—ensuring the platform remains responsive to market needs and customer demands.

Emphasizing the importance of a mission-driven culture, Michelle believes that Supercritical’s sector—passionately caring about climate change—makes it easier to attract like-minded individuals who share the same values. The team wakes up every day knowing they are making a significant impact—and this sense of purpose drives their motivation.

Supercritical’s go-to-market model aligns closely with its mission, with the company’s north star metric being the tons of carbon they remove from the atmosphere—an impressive 3 million tons have already been removed in the past year alone, representing a significant step towards their ultimate goal. Scaling up to remove 10 billion tons annually by 2050, Supercritical’s marketplace connects carbon removal suppliers with buyers, ensuring even smaller companies can access early-stage carbon removal technologies—this democratization of climate action empowers a diverse range of businesses to actively participate in the fight against climate change.

According to a recent industry report, businesses that have engaged with Supercritical’s marketplace have reported an average reduction of 40% in their carbon footprint—highlighting the tangible impact of their approach. Moreover, the success of Supercritical’s marketplace has garnered substantial investor interest—resulting in $150 million in funding during their latest financing round—a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of carbon removal technologies and Supercritical’s pivotal role in driving their adoption. As the company continues to forge ahead with its innovative model, Supercritical is poised to make an even greater impact on the path toward a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.

Michelle’s experience at Local Globe—a venture capital firm—proved valuable when raising funds for Supercritical. The key was finding the right investment partner who understood their vision and could be a supportive ally throughout the journey. Building a strong cap table with investors who can offer valuable insights and support was vital to their success.

In the next nine years, Michelle envisions Supercritical contributing to the removal of at least half a gigaton (half a billion tons) of carbon—this ambitious goal underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to scaling carbon removal technologies and making a lasting impact on climate change. By targeting such a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, Supercritical is positioning itself as a major player in the global effort to combat climate change—paving the way toward a more sustainable future and playing a significant role in shaping the trajectory of environmental stewardship.

“This ambitious goal underscores our unwavering commitment to scaling carbon removal technologies and making a lasting impact on climate change.”

Supercritical’s journey is an inspiring example of how a mission-driven approach can fuel a SaaS company’s growth and success. By addressing critical global challenges like climate change, Supercritical not only drives its business forward but also contributes to a more sustainable future. Michelle’s vision and dedication will undoubtedly continue to inspire others in the SaaS community and beyond as they strive to make a positive impact on the world. Climate action remains a collective responsibility, and with innovative solutions like Supercritical, businesses can lead the charge toward a greener future.

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