On Tuesday 24 October 2023, Circu Li-ion, a Luxembourg-based European battery recycling startup, announced the successful closing of a €8.5 million seed financing round.
The recent funding included €4.5 million in equity, which was led by BonVenture and saw additional backing from an undisclosed group of battery, AI and industry experts, and a significant participation of the company’s management team. The investment is complemented by €4 million in grants from the European Innovation Council Accelerator (EICA) and collaborations with recyclers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
According to the startup, Circu Li-ion’s vision of bringing urban mining to life through an automated upcycling platform for end-of-life batteries has been reinforced by the support and confidence of its new strategic partners. Contracts with market-leading OEMs from the electric vehicles (EV), micromobility and power tools industries, as well as leading European recyclers, add expertise that will support Circu Li-ion’s further development. These partnerships highlight the collective goal of facilitating a circular battery value chain in Europe, especially considering the EV market's surge to become a trillion-dollar market by 2030.
Circu Li-ion has reported its commitment to sustainability and recycling benchmarks with the final goal of upcycling three billion batteries by 2035. Accordingly, it reported aiming to utilise the new funding towards:
- the enhancement of its upcycling platform with machine-as-a-service products, integrating advanced AI algorithms to optimise processes and minimise environmental impact as well as dissasembly-as-a-service, enabling clients to cleanly upcycle batteries on demand (with Circu Li-ion’s certified facility in Karlsruhe, Germany);
- amplifying its proprietary battery data library by employing real-time data collection and analytical algorithms, from the “world’s largest battery recycling data repository”;
- bolstering collaborations with EV OEMs and recyclers and working closely with partners towards building a circular battery economy;
- exploring methods for direct recycling of battery components to reduce waste and promote material reuse.
Alongside the company’s functional growth, Circu Li-ion plans to expand its main production facility near Karlsruhe, Germany to 2,000 m2, while further growing its Berlin satellite office.
Antoine Welter, CEO and Co-Founder of Circu Li-ion, said: “We're happy to double down on our development speed, turning this fresh funding into smarter, data-focused solutions that make battery recycling economically and ecologically viable for everyone. For this, the key is a great team – we will further invest in our team and double our size of currently 34 colleagues within the next twelve months.”
Xavier Kohll, CTO and Co-Founder at Circu Li-ion, added: “We are evolving our products with the agility and adaptability the swift-moving battery market demands. It's more than creating relevancy – it's about pioneering flexible solutions that carve out new possibilities for cleaner battery recycling.”