The funding round also saw participation from Speciale Invest, Theia Ventures, and angel investors like Log9 Materials’ Akshay Singhal and fwdSlash Capital’ Archana Priyadershini
Metastable Materials said it will use the fresh funds to hire talent to support its manufacturing and industrial engineering functions and for managing supply chain and day-to-day operations
Metastable Materials is among the seven early-stage Indian startups part of the eighth cohort of Sequoia Capital’s accelerator programme Surge
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery recycling startup Metastable Materials on Monday (April 3) said it has raised funding from Sequoia Capital’s accelerator programme Surge. However, the startup didn’t disclose the funding amount.
The funding round also saw participation from deeptech venture capitalist Speciale Invest, Theia Ventures, and angel investors including Log9 Materials cofounder and CEO Akshay Singhal, fwdSlash Capital cofounder Archana Priyadershini, and Unitus Ventures’ partner Sanjeev Rangrass.
In a release, the startup said it will use the fresh funds to hire talent to support its manufacturing and industrial engineering functions and for managing its supply chain and day-to-day operations.
Founded in October 2021 in Bengaluru by Shubham Vishvakarma, Manikumar Uppala, and Saurav Goyal, Metastable Materials claims to have developed the world’s first, chemical-free integrated carbothermal reduction process for recycling and extracting valuable materials, such as copper, aluminium, cobalt, nickel and lithium from Li-ion batteries.
The startup opened a 21,000 sq ft urban mining facility located on the outskirts of Bengaluru in October 2022. The facility can process 1,500 tonnes of material annually, which accounts for up to 6% of India’s recycling demand for Li-ion batteries.
Metastable Materials is among the seven early-stage Indian startups which are part of the eighth cohort of Surge. Sequoia Capital earlier said it would invest up to $3 Mn in seed to pre-Series A rounds of Indian and Southeast Asian startups selected for Surge 08 cohort.
Metastable Materials claims that its technology significantly reduces capital and operational expenditure in comparison to the conventional battery recycling practices. It also enables a recovery rate of over 90% of materials from the batteries.
“Natural resources are finite and our collective vision of a more sustainable future will depend on our ability to first recycle and second, to do so in a way that is cost efficient, scalable and environmentally friendly,” said Vishvakarma, founder of Metastable Materials.
Vishvakarma said that Metastable Materials is pioneering a solution that enables providing a sustainable supply of metals for manufacturing batteries of electric vehicles (EVs) and sets new benchmarks for the way metals are recycled, which ultimately paves the way for new technologies and innovations in fighting climate change.
It is pertinent to note that efficient metal extraction from Li-ion batteries is a complicated process that involves disassembly, separation and recovery, and requires substantial investments into facilities and engineering, which has been difficult for companies to carry out profitably at scale. As per various studies, 95% of Li-ion batteries still end up in landfills with only 5% recycled and reused due to these issues.
For a country like India, which is heavily dependent on import of Lithium for batteries as it does not have ore of the metal, urban mining could be an ideal solution.
“Battery materials are both scarce and expensive, which makes re-mining critical metals from batteries a business necessity. We strongly believe re-mining metals from batteries is the path to solving for self-sufficiency of rare metals for India,” said Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner at Speciale Invest.
The number of EVs on Indian roads are on the rise, helped by the government’s push to promote their adoption. India had 21.7 Lakh registered EVs at the beginning of March. Two-wheeler EVs are currently leading this growth, resulting in increasing demand for batteries.