Green concrete startup CarbonCure Technologies Inc., backed by investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures LLC, Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., has raised another $80 million and plans to expand globally.
A bulk of the new investment will be made in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia, said CarbonCure Founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert Niven.
Concrete is one of the world’s most widely used building materials and cement, a key element in concrete, creates about 8% of global CO2 emissions. Green concrete is an increasingly crowded space, with many companies offering to deliver much larger emissions reductions than CarbonCure and others even promising carbon negativity.
So far, none have reached the scale of commercialization achieved by CarbonCure, which was founded in 2012 and has since sold about 775 systems to concrete producers, 80% of them in North America.
The Halifax, Canada, company’s technology injects CO2 into concrete, a process that makes the concrete stronger and reduces by about 5% the amount of carbon-emitting cement required, said Niven. Combined with the carbon sequestered inside the concrete, the company’s technologies are able to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted during the concrete’s life cycle by about 5% overall, he said.
“What’s particularly attractive about CarbonCure is that it’s relatively easy to retrofit, so it doesn’t disrupt the business, and it’s commercially attractive to concrete companies,” said Kayode Akinola, head of private equity at Blue Earth Capital AG, which led the equity round. “Those things help materially, especially in a time of economic volatility.”
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