By Tatiana Bautzer
SAO PAULO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - A Brazilian reforestation company backed by Brazilian banking billionaires is beginning to work on its first plot of land to reconstitute the native forest in the northeastern state of Bahia.
Re.green, a startup that aims to restore around 1 million hectares of pastures formerly occupied by native forests in 12 years has raised 389 million reais ($76 million) in its first funding round. The goal is to capture 15 million tonnes of Co2 per year and to produce certified wood.
Among its backers is billionaire banking family Moreira Salles, shareholders in Brazil's largest bank, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, through their family office and asset manager Gavea Investimentos, controlled by former Brazil central banker Arminio Fraga, re.green Co-CEO Bernardo Strassburg said.
Strassburg estimates the first round should be enough to fund the first two years of re.green, founded in 2022. The company has just acquired 800 hectares of land in Bahia and is in talks to buy 12 farms to reach its goal of acquiring 6,000 hectares of degraded land in the first year. The company aims to reconstitute the original Brazilian native forests and generate carbon credits to be sold in the voluntary market.
Co-CEO Thiago Picolo expects the company to get around $20 to $30 per tonne of CO2 captured. re.green expects to reconstitute the forests in an average of 20 years, and donate the land after that to create protected areas.
($1 = 5.1163 reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, Editing by William Maclean)