Blockchain circular economy startup Circularise secures €11 million funding

With the fight against climate change now reaching a critical tipping point, circular economy blockchain Circularise banks €11 million to allow more goods to be recycled.
Blockchain circular economy startup Circularise secures €11 million funding

It's surprising that once you've left a gadget to be recycled, a waste management company may decide to take it to landfill anyway.

That's because the waste specialists don't have time to probe complex discarded goods to see what is inside, and how to recycle the object most effectively.

Fresh from raising €11 million in series A funding, Circularise, a blockchain providence startup in The Hague, wants to address more landfill waste with its "digital product passports".

The round was led by VC fund manager Brightlands Venture Partners, whose other circular economy bets include upcycling startup Greencovery as well as Pectof, which turns coffee discards into feedstock into "functional" food ingredients.

At Circularise, founders Mesbah Sabuh and Nordi de Vos have spent the past six years commercialising a concept that was devised in their days at Delft University of Technology.

With their digital product passport, Sabuh and de Vos aim to store all relevant materials data on blockchain, eliminating privacy and confidential risk that arises when sharing the information to third-parties.

For example, the vendor is likely to have carried out lifecycle testing before selling the product now headed to the rubbish tip, to evaluate likely environmental impacts.

A whole web of chemicals, plastics, metals and other critical raw materials might have went into the product, and this could all be loaded onto the Circularise blockchain.

Circularise faces several competitors; the UK's waste and water management provider Suez has its own circular economy blockchain, for instance, as does Norwegian startup Empower.

The company says its public blockchain will enable "unparalleled" verifications of data correctness and trust, while also tracking manufacturing emissions, reining in energy consumption — a key concern for pretty much all climate tech startups  —  and giving suppliers full control over which data they choose to share.

In its series A round, Circularise has also won corporate support in the form of oil refiner-turned waste recycling specialist Neste, and also the Japanese conglomerate Asahi Kasei whose main dealings cover chemicals, plastics and materials science.

Circularise's existing investor 4impact Capital also participated, and the concept has also secured European Commission grant funding.

Co-founder de Vos says the new funds will allow the business to scale, particularly in regards to its international presence. The startup is also marking the launch of a new product for what it calls "mass balance bookkeeping", allowing plastics and chemicals producers to substitute oil and gas-derived materials more easily.

"This funding round enables us to scale our business operations, product, R&D as well as to expand our international team

"It will not only accelerate our growth as a leading software provider for supply chain traceability, but also support the transition to a circular economy on a global scale." de Vos said.

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