Aether has raised $18 million (£13.45m) in its latest funding round to scale up production of its carbon-negative diamonds made from captured CO2.
The investment was led by Helena, an organisation which develops projects that take on critical societal problems, and co-led by TRIREC, with participation from SOUNDWaves, Khosla Ventures and Social Impact Capital.
Aether, which started shipping its products to consumers in mid-2021, transforms air pollution into gem-quality diamonds by capturing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The company uses clean energy throughout its supply chain and its proprietary diamond production process is said to be the first commercialised process to have a net negative carbon footprint.
It has committed to removing 20 metric tonnes of CO2 from the air for every carat of diamond sold, enough to offset the average American’s carbon footprint by more than a year.
Says Henry Elkus, Founder and CEO of Helena: “Fundamental to Helena’s climate goals is getting carbon capture to truly global scale. This can only happen if we move beyond underground sequestration and create viable commercial use cases for captured carbon. Aether has done this by creating an entirely new category of diamond using direct air carbon capture technology.
“Beyond supporting an industry critical to the climate crisis while simultaneously addressing multiple problems in the diamond space, Aether has forged an astounding product that stands alone. We are proud to share in such a monumental achievement and bring this more sustainable solution to consumers around the world.”