- Battery-recycling startups are popping up to try and solve booming demand.
- Singapore’s Green Li-ion bagged $11.55 million for its process to recycle used cells without wastage.
- We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used for the Series A funding round.
Singapore-based Green Li-ion wants to stop rechargeable batteries from going into landfills.
Global uptake of smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles, and other devices have boosted demand for batteries — which rely on a dwindling supply of precious metals. The market for battery cell production is expected to reach $360 billion by 2030, according to an analysis by McKinsey.
But the batteries that power our devices can only be recharged for a certain number of times. Once they reach the end of their life cycle, or when the devices are discarded, the batteries become waste.
If thrown away, these can end up seeping toxic metals and chemicals into the ground.
Battery recycling plants can give spent batteries a new lease of life, but the process is expensive and inefficient. Current processes can only handle certain types of lithium batteries, according to Leon Farrant, cofounder and CEO of Green Li-Ion.
“We throw away 95% of spent batteries into landfill. With our technology, we can recover that. If we don’t, we cannot progress with the energy transition to a greater reliance on renewable batteries,” said Farrant.
Farrant and chief technology officer Reza Katal cofounded Green Li-ion in 2020 to rejuvenate spent batteries into new ones without wastage, selling machines that make the process easier for recycling plants.
Green Li-ion is not alone, with battery-recycling startups emerging all around the world, Insider previously reported, with rivals including Nevada-based Redwood Materials and Canada’s Li-Cycle.
Farrant said he believes Green Li-ion’s technology can set it aside from the competition.
Farrant said Green Li-ion’s technology allows its clients to recover the most valuable part of the battery — the cathode. It also lessens its clients’ reliance on manual labor to sort battery parts in the process. The result, Farrant said, makes it more worthwhile for recycling plants to recycle batteries.
The firm raised $11.55 million in late April. The Series A round was led by energy-tech venture capital outfit Energy Revolution Ventures. Other clean tech co-investors include the corporate venture capital arm of world’s fourth-largest renewable energy producer EDP (EDP Ventures), TRIREC, SOSV, Entrepreneur First, MB Energy Partners, Ilshin Holdings, Envisioning Partners, and GS Holdings.
The sum Green Li-ion raised will go into upgrading its recycling technology, Farrant said. It will also be used to help construct and run operations at its first modular processing plants.
The startup currently has a pilot system in Singapore and is completing a recycling system in Houston, Texas for LiNiCo Corp, a battery recycling firm, in Nevada, he said.
Funds will also be used to expand the company to Europe, and other markets like Malaysia, Australia, and India, said Farrant.
“We need to find a way to recover the materials out of the spent batteries, otherwise we’re just going to run out of raw materials to manufacture rechargeable batteries. That is Green Li-ion’s biggest existential risk,” said Farrant.
Read on to see the pitch deck Green Li-ion used for its funding round below: