The Fintech Espresso Break Ep. 10 – Jahed Momand, Co-Founder and Normal Companion of Cerulean Ventures


Hello guys. Welcome to the Fintech Espresso Break. I’m your host, Isabelle Castro, and at the moment I shared my espresso break with Jahed Momand, co-founder and common companion of Cerulean Ventures

jahed momand
Jahed Momand, Co-Founder and Normal Companion of Cerulean Ventures

Cerulean Ventures is an funding agency that believes pure property will unlock the subsequent $50 trillion in development whereas incentivizing the regeneration of Earth by way of new applied sciences with a selected concentrate on internet three and blockchain. 

We delve deep into the world of carbon credit and the local weather disaster. And why decentralized monetary instruments have the potential to make an affect the place ESG Investing is missing. 

Isabelle Castro – Hello, how are you doing?

Jahed Momand – Good. Good to see you once more.

Isabelle – Yeah, good to see you, too. It’s been some time.

Jahed – Yeah, it’s been just a few months. Proper. So much has occurred. 

Isabelle – Yeah, lots has occurred. So to begin off, I wish to know what will get you up within the morning?

Jahed – Oh, that’s a superb query. I might say, my son possibly will get me up within the morning. And actually, I believe, extra figuratively, I do assume simply getting on the market and assembly people who find themselves attempting to do one thing in opposition to the local weather disaster with both open supply instruments or typically blockchains? or what have you ever. Aggregating capital for actually necessary causes all that that will get me up within the morning? I find it irresistible. I do it daily.

Isabelle – Properly, it’s a good trigger. I imply, it’s one of many largest points proper now. Proper? Why? When did you resolve that this was what you needed to focus your life on and type of go into VC funding focus in direction of that?

Jahed – I believe it was across the time, , I used to be working with a platform cooperative, a expertise cooperative that was principally engaged on sharing the fruits of their labor with their cooperative platform with all of the members. And I simply bought to see actually, , up shut, what occurs if you share the upside with the people who find themselves additionally doing the work. And I used to be simply pondering like, how do you really begin a VC fund that does this as a result of cooperatives are actually highly effective, however they’ve issues with financing and a bunch of others for very apparent causes, which we gained’t get into. 

Then I began to go searching and say, like, who else is doing stuff like this? Who was experimenting in, , stakeholder incentives, stakeholder governance, and getting folks to take part in large issues by innovating on governance, and a whole lot of that stuff is going on in open supply software program and Web3 and what have you ever.

So for me, it ended up being an attention-grabbing, form of closing focus for me. After which the local weather disaster shouldn’t be solely only a technical subject, it’s not a technological one. It’s a social and political one. And it’s an issue of coordinating giant and small our bodies of individuals to do issues. And in order that ended up being the clincher for me, I used to be like, nicely, if individuals are constructing new instruments that assist folks coordinate round points, incentivize folks, and attempt to drive towards collective outcomes. Properly, that looks as if a great spot to focus funding on.

Isabelle – Yeah, completely. I agree. And so is that the explanation why you centered on Web3 applied sciences? Since you already noticed it there? Or what was the transfer to Web3?

Jahed – I believe it was undoubtedly that as a result of it’s the chance so that you can depart behind a little bit little bit of the, like, financing baggage that cooperatives have. As a result of if you’re speaking about you may… in fact, this might change any day now, relying on how the USA and the SEC really feel about it…. However principally, in case you’re in a position to have a look at when design incentive techniques round tokens, and accounting techniques that principally say, , what can we worth? How can we worth it? How does it how is worth exchanged? With who, beneath what insurance policies KYC? What have you ever? that I believed was a extremely fascinating concept. And I noticed lots of people experimenting with that. And each, I might say, we now have for this viewers to be clear, like 98%, unhealthy experiments, issues that in case you’re simply taking a minute to learn historical past, there’s a motive even current, and you might have prevented some actually apparent errors. 

However on the identical time, I believe there are some actually attention-grabbing new improvements occurring in incentivizing upside for exhausting coordination issues. And in order that was actually what made me assume, yeah, this seems like an attention-grabbing place. As a result of basically, not solely on incentives, you may simply do lots with an information bus right here that the infrastructure individuals are constructing for knowledge, that knowledge provision, and then you definitely have a look at local weather. Among the local weather downside can be an information downside. Like we actually don’t know a whole lot of issues about biodiversity, biodiversity collapse, ocean well being, the air high quality. We all know this stuff on a world degree, it’s exhausting to know them on precisely like pinpointed native degree after which additionally be capable to tie worth and outcomes to that. And so I believe that’s actually the issue with a whole lot of these things.

Isabelle – And so Web3, I imply, I keep in mind your discuss that you simply had been speaking about Web3 capacity to type of concentrate on the smallest scale. Let’s take a look at how that works, particularly with regenerative, regenerative finance.

Jahed – Positive, I believe like, , the place does it have essentially the most affect? The place are you able to type of see it, there’s a variety of locations, there’s a whole lot of exercise within the carbon markets. And I believe, really, it is a nice time to speak about it too. As a result of, , like, I’m undecided in case your listeners and Fintech Nexus may be taking note of it or not. However simply to the background, the context for that is that within the earlier three to 4 weeks, there have been a variety of investigative journalism items that had been centered on the, , if you wish to know in case you’re known as fraud essentially, it is a actually tough measurement downside, it’s really a tough scientific downside to say how a lot carbon did a tree seize. However then, in some situations, there are some issues that you might say are approximate. 

So for us, , we checked out this and mentioned, that is really a terrific alternative. As a result of whether or not or not it’s fraud, there’s a state of affairs right here the place you should utilize new applied sciences, not simply Web3, we’re speaking about issues like, , new machine studying algorithms that may tie collectively, , soil knowledge, Landsat knowledge, flood danger, fireplace danger, and provide you with extra of an correct image about what’s happening the bottom with a brand new nature based mostly resolution, and, , plantation or what have you ever. 

So for us, , wanting on the carbon markets, there’s a whole lot of actually apparent impacts right here. And the affect is measured by how a lot internet new provide of carbon credit which can be being introduced both on chain or to market, and energy. 

How are we constructing belief in these? How are we constructing monitoring applied sciences that may have a look at this stuff and incentivize actors on the bottom to say, hey, are these timber nonetheless there? Proper, Sounds humorous, however that’s an precise factor that occurs with the greenwashing on this market. So we had been like, Hey, we planted a bunch of timber. I do know, we went again 11 years later, and people timber are 90% are gone however the carbon has been bought. 

So yeah. And so it is a actual area the place you may say, hey, what if as a substitute of sending, just a few folks just a few occasions a yr with clipboards and measurements, and numerous verification verifiers, proper, verifies your requirements. So it is a very sophisticated area proper right here, our challenge builders, there are corporates who’re buying issues, there are requirements homeowners, there are verifiers of these requirements. It’s very fraught, proper. However , the zooming out right here, in case you can automate some of these things efficiently, even present it as a proof of idea. After which additionally, for the purchaser, say, Hey, right here’s a, right here’s a factor that represents the credit score you bought that with provenance that shall be always up to date with monitoring applied sciences that inform you if the factor occurred or not. That’s a fairly attention-grabbing area to be in. So I believe that’s the place you may even have a whole lot of affect by saying it’s not simply concerning the blockchain, it’s about what you’re placing on and the way and who’re the events which can be in collaborating in that new technology of social details. However with science, in fact.

Isabelle – Yeah, Simply to type of like reduce a bit. Quite a lot of your focus is on the carbon market. Why don’t you type of give in layman’s phrases, a type of overview of what carbon markets are for our listeners, and the way it differs to type of carbon offsets or issues like that?

Jahed – Positively. Properly, principally, the carbon market, you may say is principally made up of carbon offsets. So we’ll discuss a variety of issues. 

A credit score represents a tonne of carbon prevented. So principally, and the prevented it’s all within the prevented half. It might be that it was captured by a newly planted tree, it might be that it was captured by a tree that you simply stored round, prevented deforestation, that has a variety of classifications. 

After which, , I discussed the events to this market. There are the requirements proprietor so I’m speaking about folks like Vera, gold commonplace. However the voluntary carbon market, there’s a whole different carbon market known as the World compliance market, which is roughly, I’d say 200 occasions bigger- a lot greater. However each of them, they function in considerably related methods. It’s simply that on the finish of the day, and one in every of them they’re closely regulated and within the different they don’t seem to be there type of self policing. 

And so going again to it, you could have your requirements homeowners, then you definitely additionally produce other people who find themselves verifiers, they’re both employed instantly by the requirements homeowners, or that’s outsourced to an area group. So typically we’ve seen cooperatives, , community-based land belief folks like that, who’re on the bottom who’re employed to go and confirm a few of these issues. After which you could have firms who’re, , polluters, for essentially the most half, who had been keen on buying offsets credit to say, Hey, we’re legally required, or, or not, we really simply had a dedication. And can we wish to understand how a lot we emit. No, that’s additionally a tough factor to level is to determine. And so as a result of we declare that we now have made it this a lot, we’re gonna purchase this different quantity of credit on the open market and the voluntary carbon market. 

After which you could have challenge builders, these are the individuals who construct numerous tasks of various sorts, there’s about 4 or 5 main sorts. So you may go on the market, and you may flip, you may flip coal into biochar, there’s, there’s the that’s one of many main methodologies is principally how can we take our leftover burn stuff and seize it with put it someplace the place it might probably seize carbon and hopefully haven’t do it for a very long time. That’s known as Burn minutes. After which there are people who’re utilizing factor, there’s a bunch, there’s a variety of teams engaged on one thing known as enhanced rock weathering, which is simply taking baths, all rocks, spreading them on fields, making them moist. And when they’re moist, they soak up carbon dioxide, then we use these rocks to regenerate agricultural, principally, regenerative agriculture, farm, stuff like that. 

After which what you are able to do is there’s additionally nature-based options, which is the place all of the controversy is correct now, that’s fairly blunt, proper? And so there’s a whole lot of variables there, too, you are able to do a monoculture, you are able to do a local indigenous tradition, you are able to do a bunch of issues right here. After which there’s prevented deforestation, which principally you’re saying, Hey, there’s this nationwide park, this crap tonne of timber right here, we’re gonna defend them, we’re gonna ensure you don’t get lower down. And by doing that, they’re gonna seize this a lot carbon. And this is likely one of the issues that’s being a little bit contentious, as a result of this, this was the first focus of that article, in some methods, as a result of folks, there’s a variety of different suppliers on this provide chain, proper, and there’s worth chain of carbon, one in every of them. So one group that gives monitoring, reporting, and verification applied sciences. And so these, that is MRV. And there are a pair. They declare in these articles is that individuals had been principally sitting, no person’s incentivized to retract credit from the market. So once they observe issues in satellites and go, Hey, as a result of these timber aren’t there anymore. Individuals are like, Hey, shut up, simply transfer the polygon over right here. And we’ll simply fake that the timber are nonetheless there. Proper. So that is the exercise at its worst, proper? I’m not saying folks did this, this is rather like, , folks marvel why the polygon has modified, proper? And so I’m not accusing anybody in crimes right here, simply type of a abstract of summarising rapidly, , go on the market and browse the Guardian posts and the unique paperwork your self, you’ll type of see like, that’s type of the image that’s forming. Proper? Yeah, these are the present market gamers. We’re not solely involved within the carbon markets is much more than carbon. That’s necessary. However that’s simply type of that carbon market burned down.

Isabelle – Yeah, since you guys are additionally I imply, refi regenerative finance is an enormous focus for you. And carbon markets type of goes inside that, proper. 

Jahed – I believe like for us, , simply to provide the regenerative finance factor, I don’t actually know if this factor shall be round in a yr or so. This can be a new motion. What it truly is attempting to do is make the financial system pay its full hire, in case you type of put it that means. Proper, as a result of there are a whole lot of since we had the division into the general public, personal sphere of possession, , property rights. There are giant actors, states, there are different giant actors, personal landowners, and firms what have you ever who’ve sure rights that proper together with their property. The issue with that’s that nobody is de facto incentivized to have frequent possession across the externalities that consequence from financial exercise. 

In fact, you may regulate them. Some are saying they’re not truthful sufficient. You recognize, you’re within the EU, a whole lot of this stuff are regulated. Nevertheless it’d be even higher in case you might construct a system that does what a whole lot of the EU parliamentary members and all the parents who talked about round economies would have you ever really understood what are the inputs and outputs of the financial system? And the way can we make them illegible to not possibly you get a central actor, simply a variety of individuals who might say, hey, there’s a huge quantity of plastic runoff on this a part of the financial system. Can we incentivize the creation of , a organisms that that remediated? Can we discover funding for these issues? Can we shut that loop? 

So regenerative finance is de facto all about saying, how can we make a extra round financial system how can we value externalities and the way We guarantee that anybody who’s constructing merchandise, taking them to market doing all of the issues that an financial system does, pays for its full affect on the financial system on the air we breathe on the freshwater, we’re depending on all that type of stuff.

Isabelle – You talked about the controversies. There’s clearly lots happening in America as nicely in opposition to ESGs. Are you involved about this? And the way is that this affecting what you do?

Jahed – I’m not terribly involved about it. As a result of I believe that like America? Sure, in some methods, it does prefer to set them it does make the climate as they are saying, proper, like, it type of units the tone for the world in a whole lot of methods. 

I believe it’s going to catch as much as ESG. Truthfully, there’s only a small cabal of proper wing. I don’t wish to insult all of them. However there’s a small cabal of proper wing servants, who’re very, , he was scoring Ivani, as you’d have. 

Look, right here’s the factor, I really, in some ways agree with them. As a result of I believe that if ESG motion is high down, led by capital solely, it won’t find yourself doing the issues that ought to. And I believe that’s an issue. Nonetheless, I don’t assume that any of the individuals who criticise this are doing it out of excellent religion. They’re not keen on lowering emissions, they usually’re not keen on environmental degradation. They’re not within the biodiversity disaster, they simply wish to guarantee that enterprise can management on goes on, as normal. Proper. So I principally don’t pay any of these criticisms of mine, as a result of I don’t assume they’re in good religion. 

Nonetheless, for people who find themselves keen on in good religion critiques of ESG, there are a lot, proper? Like one is that the G is possibly for my part, a very powerful one, and it’s the least considered, for my part, , if you begin to have a look at the ESG frameworks on the market, it’s like, oh, nicely, gee, like is your for the G and ESG? Is your is your board half? Proper? Like, , and I might have, it’s like, it doesn’t actually get on the core incentives of the principal agent issues of boards and firms like that, such as you. And what I imply by this particularly, is that you simply’re seeing within the US, which is why I believe the US I nonetheless have hope for it is rather not too long ago, they simply principally made it unlawful so that you can sue board members instantly for issues like environmental degradation and labour rights abuses. That I believe is de facto necessary, as a result of it addresses the principal agent downside, you may’t simply write it off, like, oh, yeah, no matter, like, let’s simply go do this factor that everybody is aware of is unhealthy. And I’m on the board, I don’t care, I’m shielded from the businesses which can be certain by restricted legal responsibility. 

So I believe like, issues like which can be necessary. And, and I believe that ESG, whereas possibly he’s having a little bit of a disaster second, I believe it wants to vary for certain. And I believe he must focus extra on incorporating extra folks with extra voice and extra. Not simply voice like they want to have the ability to really, for us, , as a fund, we take into consideration internet new demand, we take into consideration internet new provide, proper for carbon credit, eco credit. And internet new demand, are we originating? Are we making a transparent case of trusted audible case for buying these credit, and when folks come to them, or firms come and do this. 

The third one for us is de facto necessary when he talks about affect is, how a lot of that cash goes to the palms of the people who find themselves really doing the work. And type of happening a rant her however I’ll provide you with an an instance. One of many main gamers on this area is South Pole. South Pole is a carbon challenge developer. And one of many largest and there was a current research executed on I believe it was a bunch imply, you may I can ship you the fitting research for it afterwards. However they had been a challenge of South Poles, I imagine in Paraguay. And in Paraguay, what they’d executed was principally they’d issued one thing like 440 40 million credit or one thing for an prevented deforestation challenge. And once they went and type of ran the numbers, I’m not going to get into the opposite controversies of the polygons once they simply ran the numbers on like, what had been the CO advantages co advantages is stuff like creating jobs for girls biodiversity, improve all this type of stuff. What had been the CO advantages on the funds to the land homeowners and staff aspect of roughly half a billion {dollars}, that income that that challenge, however out about 110k went to the palms of the folks on the bottom. So we expect that’s like a disgrace, proper? Like, it’s simply embarrassing. 

So for us, we expect that it is a key a part of what we’re speaking about right here is ensuring that there’s governance and economics, that proper together with a whole lot of the techniques which can be being constructed right here and with three and so we’re seeing higher numbers than that, by the best way on chains, by way of issues like Tucan Protocol, Regen Community, all these different people who find themselves, , really closing offers with folks like Microsoft. There, you’re seeing there one thing like 20% to 43% of the cash and having the ability to deal with the individuals who really do the work, who’ve the land who’re scraping collectively the folks to do the character based mostly options themselves, proper?

Isabelle – Yeah, no, I imply, every part that you simply guys do, and I keep in mind seeing you discuss as Barcelona, I used to be type of very, very hopeful. After listening to what you mentioned, and what there’s a chance to do. I do know we don’t have that a lot time. So I’m simply going to ask you a pair extra questions. What’s one piece of recommendation that you’ve got obtained that you’d give to another person?

Jahed – Oh, that’s a superb one. You recognize, it’s humorous. I believe it goes again to one in every of your questions, and also you’re like, why did you resolve you wish to focus your life on VC funding? Truthfully, I haven’t. Who is aware of? Who is aware of if I’ll be doing this in 10 years. However I believe like, one piece of recommendation that I give another person, man, I’d say, like, at all times be open to at all times be capable to change. 

That’s been the one key factor in my life, proper? Like if you say, Oh, you wish to focus your life on this? And the opposite. I’m like, yeah, that’s, that’s proper now, proper in, I got here to this from expertise was working in Africa, , seven or 10 years. After which I used to be like, wait a minute, like, this isn’t the true downside, proper. And in case you are lucky sufficient to the one piece of recommendation, I’ll provide you with that in case you are lucky to be born in a Western nation, or one in every of these, , quote, unquote, developed nations, don’t simply go work for some expertise firm that, , strikes numbers from one spreadsheet to a different, or places out one other type resolution or one thing, please, like we virtually have, I’d say you could have a duty to attain one thing higher than that for your self. 

And , local weather proper now could be a extremely good spot to be $35 billion of recent funds raised in 2022, for earmarked for local weather funding, there’s going to be an absolute tonne of recent jobs a tonne of recent interventions, we don’t know if these things goes to work. However why work on farms when you may, , a CRM is or one thing the place you may really do one thing like this, particularly in case you had been fortunate to be born and born and one of many locations just like the US or the , the UK, what have you ever like I used to be?

Isabelle – And I’m gonna finish with a curveball query. Who do you admire essentially the most? And why?

Jahed – Oh, crap for that. Query. Who do I like essentially the most? And why? Let me take into consideration this one, who do I like? Truthfully? This can be a exhausting one. You recognize, really, I like individuals who come from a lot and who realised that both they didn’t do something to earn it, or that they need to be doing, they need to Blaze their very own path. 

So one individual I believe, too on this regard, one in every of my favorite folks is a he was a late nineteenth century naturalist Peter Kropotkin. evolutionary biologist earlier than there was one. And was he made actually eager insights, found actually eager insights on cooperation in biology and in amongst animals that persist to today, he was born a prince, proper. And within the, in the middle of his life, he renounced all of his titles realised how completely British it’s to be royal, and, and have become a scientist and principally, labored in solidarity with individuals who had been, , ostensively, not princely for the remainder of his life. 

I actually admire that. Individuals who have that type of self-awareness, and reflexivity, And go, I’m not simply going to speak about I’m going to do it. Proper. I’m actually honoured folks like that.

Isabelle – I’m with you on that one. How can folks come up with you?

Jahed – You’ll find me on Twitter @againstutopia, and you may message me and ask me what it means. I’m completely happy to inform you what the Twitter deal with means. However in case you message me or what have you ever, and you may also discover me on LinkedIn and your head second. I do a whole lot of …Are we allowed to cuss on this podcast?

Isabelle – Yeah, certain.

Jahed – I do a whole lot of LinkedIn shitposting so you may see me there. I’ve been loving this very controversy in case you discover me there. So in case you’re or curious, discover me. They’re completely happy to speak with you. 

Isabelle – Yeah, I comply with you. And I take pleasure in your posts lots. So thanks maintain doing it. Superior. All proper. Properly, thanks a lot to your time. I actually loved our dialog. 

Jahed – Yeah, as at all times. 

Isabelle – As at all times, you may attain out and chat with me or my private LinkedIn or Twitter at @IZYcastrowrites 

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For extra Fintech podcast enjoyable, take a look at the web site, the place yow will discover extra fascinating conversations hosted by Peter Renton and Todd Anderson. 

That’s it from me. Till subsequent time, take pleasure in your downtime.

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  • Isabelle Castro Margaroli

    With over 5 years within the artwork and design sector, Isabelle has labored on numerous tasks, writing for actual property improvement magazines and design web sites, and challenge managing artwork trade initiatives. She has additionally directed unbiased documentaries on artists and the esports sector.

    Isabelle’s curiosity in fintech comes from a craving to grasp the fast digitalization of society and the potential it holds, a subject she has addressed many occasions throughout her tutorial pursuits and journalistic profession.


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