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Carbon counter Carbonetworks grabs funds

At the confluence of clean tech and information technology, Carbonetworks nabs $5 million to expand sales of its carbon-accounting software package.

Software company Carbonetworks on Monday is expected to announce it has secured $5 million in series A financing, led by clean-tech venture firm NGEN Partners.

The company's software could be described as a carbon accounting package. It allows corporations to do an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions and provides them with an application to manage a program to cut down on those emissions.

Carbonetworks' applications provide companies with a way to account for their carbon emissions as they would other assets and liabilities. Carbonetworks

A company could, for example, achieve reduction goals by making data centers operations more efficient or purchasing carbon offsets.

There are already regulations in Europe to restrict emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. But for the most part, most corporations around the world aren't mandated to reduce emissions.

But Carbonetworks CEO Michael Meehan said that demand for his company's software is already high, noting that billions of dollars worth of carbon is being traded every year.

That's because companies are voluntarily tracking their pollution or they anticipate regulations will be put in place in the next few years.

"The U.S. market dwarfs anything in the world. So even if it takes a long time, it's worth waiting for," Meehan said.

Even without a federal mandate to reduce greenhouse gases in the U.S., existing state climate laws represent half of the country's gross domestic product, he added. "We still believe things will happen much sooner than five years."

For NGEN, the investment in a software company represents something of a departure. The clean tech venture fund is focused primarily on energy generation and energy efficiency.

Meehan said the equity investment will be used to expand the company's sales staff and operations.

Separately, another carbon-trading start-up, CarbonFlow, is expected to announce initial funding on Monday.

CarbonFlow's software is aimed at project developers looking for a way to record and manage carbon emission reduction projects by following regulated market guidelines, according to the company's Web site.