Oct 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The latest VC money for cleaner concrete

An illustration of a money bag made of concrete
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CarbonBuilt, a Los Angeles startup with tech to embed CO2 in concrete, just raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Why it matters: It's among several startups attracting capital to make climate-friendly concrete and cut the massive emissions from the production of cement, a key concrete component.

Driving the news: Neglected Climate Opportunities, a VC arm of the Grantham Environmental Trust, led the funding round. Other backers include Tony Pritzker, Lime Street Ventures and Climate Capital.

How it works: CarbonBuilt, spun out of UCLA, has developed a concrete mixture that requires less cement, and a curing process that embeds CO2 captured from industrial streams but could also come from direct air capture.

  • "Together, these changes result in a 10 to 30 percent reduction in raw material costs and a 60 to 90 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions," the company said.

The big picture: Multiple companies are developing and commercializing climate tech in the concrete and cement sectors. They include...

  • Solidia Technologies, which has a lower-CO2 cement-making process and embeds CO2 in concrete curing, announced $78 million in new funding in April. Backers include Imperative Ventures, Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures, BP, John Doerr and others.
  • In May, the Ireland-based "green cement" company Ecocem Materials announced a $27 million investment by Breakthrough. CarbonCure, another company that embeds captured CO2 into concrete, is backed by Amazon, Microsoft and Breakthrough.
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