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Carbon negative construction powered by AI and robotics bags $21M, appoints ex-Lilium boss as its CEO

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It is estimated that 39% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from housing. Of this, one-third is from the raw materials production of concrete and steel and two-thirds is from heating and cooling our buildings.

Several companies are looking forward to bring about sustainability in this sector. Luxembourg-based carbon-negative construction company LEKO Labs is one of the companies in this sector. It is committed to revolutionise the way buildings are created.

$21M funding

Now, LEKO Labs just announced that it has picked up $21 million Series A funding in a round led by urban sustainability-focused fund 2150 with participation from the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Tencent, AMAVI, Rise PropTech Fund, Extantia and Freigeist. This is among the most substantial capital raises in the sustainable building sector in Europe, which is a segment that was underfunded by VC investors for a long time.

The VC fund 2150 closed its first $310 million fund in October 2021 with the mission to invest in technologies addressing the planet’s most pressing climate change problems.

The funds will enable LEKO Labs to scale its advanced software and robotics construction solution throughout Europe, including Germany, the Nordics and the UK. Also, it will supply finished walls from its factory in Luxembourg.

Francois Cordier, CTO and Founder at LEKO Labs said, “I’m delighted to welcome Remo as our new CEO and our new investors to help deliver our vision towards a more sustainable building sector. Together we have a strong shot on the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in 2040 by 1% using the LEKO Labs advanced building technology. His experience in scaling companies and capitalising them will be instrumental for the success of the company.”

Christian Hernandez, co-founder at 2150 said: “The LEKO Labs team is on an important mission to help decarbonise the built environment with a fundamentally different and scalable approach. We are delighted to partner with LEKO Labs bringing our climate tech and strong European property investor basis to play and help adoption of a groundbreaking new approach.”

Appoints ex-Lilium CCO

LEKO Labs has appointed the former Lilium (air taxi company) CCO, Dr. Remo Gerber as its CEO. He will replace the current CEO and founder Francois Cordier who will become the CTO and docus on furthering its groundbreaking sustainable building materials, robotics and software development.

Dr. Remo Gerber, CEO at LEKO Labs said, “I could not be more excited to join the journey with Francois and the entire LEKO Labs team, it’s such an important and critical mission. We are making a difference today, each of our walls saves several tons of CO2 here and now. By scaling up our solution with automotive robotics we will achieve global impact in the coming years.”

Saves CO2 emissions!

LEKO Labs was founded by Francois Cordier in 2017 with the vision to accelerate the adoption of sustainable building materials in the built environment. It has grown to over 30 FTE in Luxembourg. Recently, the company opened a subsidiary in Switzerland and is all set to open an office in London.

The company has developed a groundbreaking wood composite structure capable of replacing concrete-bearing walls in any type of building up to 100m tall. These buildings delivered in the company’s home market (BENELUX) save thousands of tons of CO2. Furthermore, the company has plans to expand across Europe in 2022.

LEKO Labs’ sustainably-sourced wood-based building materials solution replaces up to 75% of concrete and steel used in a single building. Eventually, it reduces the carbon footprint during construction. The wall system is highly insulating and can reduce the heating and cooling needs of a building by up to 87% as compared to the existing standards.

The company’s 5L walls are commercially attractive to build. When combined with inbuilt insulation, it can reduce the thickness of the wall by up to 40%, thereby creating more property floor space. Besides reducing the building time, it can also minimise noise and waste at construction sites to a minimum. Eventually, LEKO Labs is almost close to carbon neutral. It is suitable for most building settings such as single-family homes, apartment or office buildings and industrial warehouses or data centres.

What does LEKO Labs do?

The software platform calculates and optimises the thermal, acoustic and static properties of the buildings, resolving moisture and noise problems typically associated with wooden buildings. Its algorithm optimises each building reducing wood usage vs traditional builds by up to 50%, making the best use of the precious natural resource.

By introducing a robotics-driven approach to the manufacturing of buildings, more can be delivered in a relatively shorter time and at higher quality in comparison to traditional construction approaches. This benefits the construction companies and workers can perform their duties in a safe and clean environment.

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