HomeFundingMiddlesbrough-based Material Evolution bags €17.3 million to scale production of low-carbon cement

Middlesbrough-based Material Evolution bags €17.3 million to scale production of low-carbon cement

Material Evolution, an advanced materials company producing smart, low-carbon cement from industrial waste streams, has raised €17.3 million in Series A funding. The investment will be used to scale the production of its breakthrough low-carbon cement, which has an 85% lower carbon footprint compared to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). 

The round was led by KOMPAS VC, an early-stage VC firm focused on the decarbonisation of the built environment and the manufacturing industry, with participation from Norrsken VC and CircleRock Capital, all of whom join Material Evolution’s existing institutional investors including Playfair Capital, At One Ventures, SkyRiver Ventures and HG Ventures. The oversubscribed round also attracted strategic investment from SigmaRoc, which Material Evolution has partnered with to develop a range of low carbon concrete products.

Founded by Dr. Elizabeth Gilligan and Sam Clark, Material Evolution has developed an innovative low-energy, low CapEx manufacturing process which uses zero heat and solves the high CO2 emission problem in conventional cement production. 

Dr Elizabeth Gilligan, Co-founder and CEO, Material Evolution, says: “What makes Material Evolution different is that we don’t believe it will be one material that saves the world. We believe that to rapidly scale across the industry we need to have localised material sources. We have created a product that not only produces lower emissions but is also lower in cost and has a higher performance. There is no silver bullet solution, but we believe that by decentralising cement production and using previously inaccessible waste we can scale our solution on a global level and truly change the cement industry. We have spent our time on factory floors with customers building a solution that fits into the existing industry infrastructure and limitations. This is how Material Evolution wins in the race to decarbonise the cement industry.’” 

The cement industry is currently responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions and is facing increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint. Founded in 2017, Material Evolution’s proprietary process replaces the need for energy-intensive kilns with an alkali-fusion process. This produces cement at ambient temperatures from a variety of industrial wastes and feedstocks, eliminating the use of fossil fuels. 

Sam Clark, Co–founder and COO, said: “Since closing our seed round in September 2021, Material Evolution has achieved significant market traction from advanced offtake agreements amounting to over 35,000 tonnes of our product now entering the market after selling out our first year of production. The investment will primarily be used to scale up production facilities and invest into further R&D to develop additional products for different construction use cases. The funding will also allow us to create blueprints for scaling and licensing our technology across the UK, Europe and beyond.” 

Commenting on the investment, Sebastian Peck, Partner, KOMPAS VC, adds: “Decarbonising building materials like cement and steel are core to our investment focus. The cement industry produces between 800 to 950 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement it produces, which is unacceptable. Material Evolution is the best kept secret in this space and has demonstrated that by taking a fundamentally different approach to product development. The carbon footprint of cement can be dramatically reduced and eventually eliminated, without compromising on product performance. Material Evolution is therefore perfectly placed to meet the rapidly growing market demand for low carbon cement and accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment.” 

European Impact fund Norrsken VC’s General Partner, David Frykman, comments:  “We are thrilled to invest in Material Evolution, a company with an exceptional team, inspiring founders, and a game-changing proprietary product and vision needed to revolutionise the construction industry. Material Evolution’s breakthrough cement, with its significantly lower carbon footprint, has the potential to transform the way we build globally.”

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.
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