Climate tech
Q2 202411.04.2024

Circular Economy

Picture of Shubham Jaipuria

Shubham Jaipuria

at Sifted

In simple terms, circular economy means that products are made from recycled materials, and they are intended to be easily reused or recycled. But despite the hype around circular economy efforts, the Circle Economy Foundation reports that circularity attempts in the world are actually going in reverse, with only 7.2% of materials currently cycled back into the economy — down from 9.1% six years ago.

The potential is massive across different sector niches. On the cutting edge of things, you’ll find industrial materials such as concrete, plastic, foam, carbon fibre and even food all beginning to be created using carbon dioxide (CO2) pulled out of the air. And with the rising demand for Electric Vehicles, the need to establish an efficient system to recycle lithium batteries has become integral. Moreover, the fashion crisis is giving birth to a new wave of startups focusing on second-hand clothing and fashion apparel made using recycled materials. But in line with the overall slowdown in 2023, VC investment for circular economy startups in Europe totalled $1.6bn, a sharp drop from the $2.2bn raised in 2022. Series B+ funding in particular was lacklustre, while Series A did better in 2023 than in 2022.

20 startups to watch

  • METYCLE logo

    Sifted score

    8.56
    -

    METYCLE

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Year founded

      2022

    • HQ

      Cologne, Germany

    • Latest round

      Seed
      4.7m / Dec 2023

    • Total funding

      6.2m

  • Circu Li-ion S.A. logo

    Sifted score

    7.87
    -

    Circu Li-ion S.A.

    Battery lifespan extension for sustainability.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      Foetz, Luxemburg

    • Latest round

      Seed
      8.5m / Oct 2023

    • Total funding

      8.5m

  • Paebbl AB logo

    Sifted score

    7.4
    -

    Paebbl AB

    Carbon reduction through CO2 conversion.

    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      Rotterdam, Netherlands

    • Latest round

      Seed
      8m / Oct 2022

    • Total funding

      8m

  • one-five logo

    Sifted score

    7.33
    -

    one-five

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Year founded

      2020

    • HQ

      Holm, Germany

    • Latest round

      Seed
      10.5m / Mar 2023

    • Total funding

      10.5m

  • Fairmat logo

    Sifted score

    7.33
    -

    Fairmat

    Recycling carbon fiber for sustainability.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2020

    • HQ

      Paris, France

    • Latest round

      Series A
      34m / Nov 2022

    • Total funding

      42.6m

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