Single.Earth – Making nature the new gold

by Team Conscious Carma

Creating a  world where healthy ecosystems equal financial wealth

Merit Valdsalu & Andrus Aaslaid, founders  of Single.Earth, a fintech/deep tech startup, are making nature the new gold. From an online platform democratizing carbon and biodiversity offset markets, to a vision of a world where healthy ecosystems equal financial wealth, they are determined to change our relationship with nature for good.

Founded in late 2019 in Estonia, Single.Earth was started with a local problem of intensive forestry that was happening there. On investigating the underlying reasons for extensive clear-cuts, they realized that the problem lies in the economy: all financially feasible business models treat nature only as a source of raw material. 

“We realized that to create a systematic change in the way we treat nature, we need to monetize the ecological value of it – like the carbon it sequesters, and biodiversity it holds. These are the most valuable aspects of natural resources because that’s what keeps the ecosystem around us – and us – alive”, says Merit, the CEO and co-founder.  And once we’d figured out how to fix the forestry problem locally, we realized that we’d cracked how to heal our relationship with nature globally. 

An avid environmentalist and animal rights activist,  she believes that we need to integrate nature conservation and restoration into the existing, commonly known, and used financial market principles. Cutting-edge technology – combining satellite data, big data analysis, machine learning, and blockchain technologies – is the key to monetizing nature for its ecological value, not just as raw material.

The company plans to earn money from trees without cutting them.

“Single.Earth enables landowners to earn money by not cutting down trees. Instead, it monetize nature for its ecological value – like carbon sequestration and biodiversity. We are building global carbon and biodiversity models that show the ecological value of each particular place on the planet. Based on this digital twin of the world’s nature – that uses satellite data, big data analysis, machine learning – the company emits one MERIT token to the landowner every time 100 kg of CO2 is sequestered in biodiverse nature”, says Andrus Aaslaid, CTO & Co-Founder

These tokens can be bought as an investment instrument and traded; or  ‘used up’ as compensation for one’s ecological footprint or contribution to climate goals. In the latter case, once the tokens are used up, they can no longer be traded. While Single.Earth earns money from marketplace fees collected when the tokens are traded.

Andrus is a lifelong engineer with decades of experience in leading and building large-scale tech solutions. Being one of the masterminds behind the Estonian e-government systems,

at Single.Earth, he is implementing technologies like blockchain, AI, and satellite imagery to build a digital twin of the world’s nature to turn it into a liquid asset class and save the world. 

Single.Earth is a VC-backed startup that combines the worlds of greentech/cleantech, deep tech and fintech. They are currently in the product development phase and will launch the product later in 2021. 

The company has recently raised a $7.9 million seed funding round led by Swedish VC EQT Ventures to launch its marketplace for nature-backed MERIT tokens. The company says the market for carbon credits is estimated to be worth more than $50 billion by 2030.

Because of the traceability of blockchain and its link to a tradable token, payment to landowners would be immediate.

The vision of Single.Earth

“Nature conservation is scalable, accessible, and makes sense financially; what’s more, it’s vital to engineer a systematic change”, says the founders.

Our goal is to make nature conservation and restoration financially feasible business models so that people who take care of the ecosystem around us, would receive financial reward for their contribution. As a more short-term tangible goal, we’re planning to open the marketplace for trading MERIT tokens in late 2021. We’ve currently opened pre-registration for interest in MERIT token pre-sales at, and also started signing up landowners and the research community. 

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