Deep-tech Recycling Startup Metastable Materials Raises Seed Funding by Sequoia India
Metastable Materials has announced seed funding led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s rapid scale-up program, which included participation from deep-tech VC Speciale Invest, Theia Ventures and other angels.
April 03, 2023. By News Bureau
Millions of vehicles around the world are equipped with or directly powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, and demand continues to rise rapidly every day. The industry for Li-ion battery recycling, which is today valued at US$4.6 billion, is thus expected to grow at least five times by 2030, as corporations search for a proper way to handle end-of-life Li-ion batteries.
Furthermore, many nations – including the EU – plan to introduce regulations to ensure that batteries can be repurposed or recycled at the end of their life.
However, current recycling methods to extract and reuse metals from end-of-life Li-ion batteries are plagued by a myriad of challenges. This includes logistical challenges of transporting large Li-ion batteries to recycling facilities, which can be costly due to Lithium’s highly flammable nature and strict regulations around packaging.
Efficient metal extraction is also a complicated process that involves disassembly, separation and recovery, and requires significant investments into facilities and engineering, which has been difficult for companies to carry out profitably at scale.
Meeting these issues head on, Metastable has developed the world’s first, chemical-free Integrated Carbothermal Reduction™ process for recycling and extracting valuable materials, such as copper, aluminium, cobalt, nickel and lithium from Li-ion batteries.
The technology used significantly reduces capital and operational expenditure in comparison to the conventional battery recycling practices, along with a recovery rate of over 90%.
"Natural resources are finite and our collective vision of a more sustainable future will depend on our ability to first recycle and second, to do so in a way that is cost efficient, scalable and environmentally friendly. We’re proud to be pioneering a solution that safeguards our future, from providing a sustainable supply of metals for the manufacture of EV batteries to setting new benchmarks for the way metals are recycled, paving the way for new technologies and innovations that will have the power to truly move the needle in fighting climate change,” said founder Shubham Vishvakarma.
"Battery materials are both scarce and expensive, which makes re-mining critical metals from batteries a business necessity. Metastable Materials builds on its founders' domain and proprietary approach to re-mining batteries that are chemical-free and capital efficient, as a result of low capital and operating expenditure with industry-class yields. We strongly believe re-mining metals from batteries is the path to solving for self-sufficiency of rare metals for India,” said Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest.
"We are thrilled to partner with Metastable Materials on their exciting journey as they build an innovative, scalable and greener process for rare material extraction from electronic waste. The business is excellently positioned to cater to the rapidly growing demand for these recycled materials into batteries for electric vehicles, which forms an important part of the climate tech, decarbonization and circular economy agenda for India and globally,” said Priya Shah, General Partner, Theia Ventures.
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