2024, some new EU regulations are expected to come into effect, tightening the obligation for electric vehicle manufacturers and resellers to recycle batteries at the end of their natural life. German battery recycling start-up Cylib jumped at the opportunity and raised a total of €11.6 million ($12.6 million) to build a recycling plant.
“For too long, battery recycling hasn’t been efficient enough for businesses to take advantage of,” said Cylib co-founder and COO, Gideon Schwich. “We need to create awareness among various stakeholders to ensure that battery recycling gets the attention it deserves to enable a circular economy in battery use.”
The company says it will work over the next six to 12 months to recycle the first batteries delivered by its trial partners – demonstrating the company’s process is scalable, alongside the challenge of building out its supply chains and customer base .
“The purpose of this fundraiser was to accelerate the industrialization of our sustainable recycling process, which has been developed over years of research. We now want to scale up the process to reach industrial levels, with plans to set up a state-of-the-art recycling facility so it can serve more customers across Europe,” says Cylib co-founder and CEO Lilian Schwich in an interview with australiabusinessblog.com.
The lead investor of this round is World Fund, while previous investors include Vsquared Ventures and Speedinvest. 10x Founders also participated for this round. The current round is an €8 million extension, bringing the total amount raised for the company’s seed round to €11.6 million.
“World Fund offers strong climate capability, deep technical knowledge and operational expertise with an extensive network. That is why we are very pleased that Dr. Mark Windeknecht joins as an observer of the board,” said Schwich. “World Fund only invests in start-up technologies that can save at least 100 megatons of CO2e annually by 2040. World Fund is also joined by 10x Founders, bringing a wealth of knowledge to a founder’s path and will help make the company even stronger.”
The company strives for the most efficient and sustainable recycling process for lithium batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles. The company has developed a process that makes it possible to use waste batteries, recover the resources and produce new raw materials. The idea is to close the loop and ensure that the mobility sector can run on electrified, regenerative energy. The company says it has a recycling efficiency of 90%.
“By doing this, we can also make it possible to trace all sources and ensure supply chain transparency, drastically reduce the environmental footprint of batteries and advance the decarbonisation of mobility and transport,” says Lilian Schwich, noting that this is the need to mine extra lithium. “This will enable true green and circular mobility.”