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Material Evolution secures £15M to revolutionise cement industry’s decarbonisation efforts

Material Evolution funding
Picture credits: Material Evolution

The cement industry is currently responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions and is facing increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint. UK-based Material Evolution comes as a game-changer in this sector as it produces smart, low-carbon cement from industrial waste streams. 

Funding to boost low-carbon cement production

Now, Material Evolution has raised £15 million in Series A funding. The round was led by KOMPAS VC, an early-stage VC firm that invested in Prewave and Fruitcore Robotics, with participation from Norrsken VC and CircleRock Capital. The round also saw participation from 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.

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). 

Dr Elizabeth Gilligan, Co-founder, and CEO, Material Evolution, said: “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.’” 

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 in 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, added: “Decarbonising building materials like cement and steel are core to our investment focus. 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.” 

European Impact fund Norrsken VC’s General Partner, David Frykman, commented:  “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.”

Produces decarbonised cement

Founded by Dr. Elizabeth Gilligan and Sam Clark in 2017, Material Evolution has developed an innovative low-energy, low-CapEx manufacturing process. This uses zero heat and solves the high CO2 emission problem in conventional cement production. 

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. The resulting cement is economical and is produced with less energy. With a low capex, this process fits into the industry’s existing infrastructure.

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