Image: Cylib Portraits 224.04.2024

Cylib Closes €55M Series A For Industrial Scaling

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The investment round is the largest ever raised by a European battery recycling company

  • Leading automotive, industrial, climate and deep tech investors join forces for the first time to back next-generation battery recycling technology company cylib to support a resilient and sustainable battery infrastructure in Europe
  • World Fund, Porsche Ventures, Bosch Ventures, DeepTech & Climate Fonds, NRW.Venture, Vsquared Ventures, Speedinvest, 10x Founders and established business angels join historic funding round
  • Founded in 2022, the company offers market-leading proprietary technology for end-to-end recycling of lithium-ion batteries and has already delivered a successful pilot line and completed projects with major automotive OEMs as well as battery manufacturers
  • Funds will be used to scale production capacities to an industrial level and to add key hires to the expert team

AACHEN, GERMANY — Sustainable end-to-end battery recycling firm cylib today announced the completion of its €55 million Series A funding round in equity financing. The round, which is the largest round ever raised by a European battery recycling company, was completed less than 24 months after the company started operations. cylib will use the funds to power the industrialization of its proprietary technology, which is already used by leading OEMs and battery manufacturers, by scaling up its operations at an already-secured brownfield industrial facility in Germany.

Co-led by the leading European climate tech VC World Fund, and Porsche Ventures, the venture arm of sports car manufacturer Porsche AG, the round was joined by Bosch Ventures, DeepTech & Climate Fonds, NRW.Venture, existing investors Vsquared VenturesSpeedinvest10x Founders and established business angels. Notably, cylib’s funding round is the first venture co-investment from industrial giants Porsche and Bosch in Germany.

The landmark funding round marks the first time that major investors from climate and deep tech venture, corporate automotive and industry backgrounds as well as public investment funds have joined together in consortium to support a battery recycling company. This further signals the breadth of significant stakeholders now dedicated to building a resilient and sustainable battery infrastructure in Europe.

cylib was founded in 2022 in Aachen following nearly a decade of research at renowned German technical university, RWTH Aachen University, by: CEO Lilian Schwich – a female founder widely recognized as one of Europe’s leading battery recycling researchers — CTO Paul Sabarny, and COO Dr Gideon Schwich.

Lilian Schwich, CEO of cylib: “The funding round we announced today will empower us to embark on our next phase of expansion and deepen existing collaborations, as we grow our next-generation battery recycling at an industrial scale. The past year-and-a-half has been a truly remarkable journey of growth, and we are immensely grateful for the trust of our partners and the successful projects we have conducted together. We look forward to offering our superior technology to even more customers and partners.”

Demand for battery recycling is soaring. With the rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs), global sales soared by 35% to almost 14 million in 2023 and expected to reach 17 million in 2024. In order to ensure the move away from fossil fuels does not entail switching dependence onto other scarce mineral resources, recycling of minerals used in electric batteries must improve. According to Fraunhofer ISI, the volume of lithium-ion batteries to be recycled in Europe will reach 2.1 million tonnes by 2040. In order to keep up with the rising demand for battery materials and ensure resilient battery supply chains in Europe, locally available raw materials are instrumental. Today’s milestone funding into cylib is pivotal for achieving this goal and reflects the significant interest from a wide stakeholder base in enabling a much-needed European battery recycling infrastructure.

Danijel Višević, General Partner at World Fund: “cylib is a role model for the lightspeed industrialization of world-leading climate tech research coming out of Europe. This company has created a market-leading, highly efficient battery recycling process that offers real climate gains, and which is already delivering for major clients – a huge feat for a business launched not even two years ago. This is the still missing piece of the emerging battery value chain for the decarbonization of mobility and energy.”

Patrick Huke, Partner and Head of Porsche Ventures: “We at Porsche Ventures are thrilled to co-lead the Series A financing round of cylib together with climate tech VC World Fund. cylib is a perfect example of how leading scientific research can be commercialized at a rapid pace. We are excited to partner with the cylib team to industrialize their innovative end-to-end recycling process with the aim to drive the European Raw Material Ecosystem to become more sustainable and resilient. This fits perfectly to our sustainability ambitions and helps in striving for a decarbonized and circular supply chain.”

Dr. Mark Windeknecht, Principal at World Fund: “We have continually been impressed by the cylib team’s tireless determination and sheer execution speed, from before making our initial investment in January 2023 and ever since. We are delighted to be doubling down on supporting them as they expand into a global leader in this space.”

cylib’s proprietary process offers world-leading battery recycling sustainability credentials. It enables every component in a lithium-ion battery to be recycled, making it the only company on the market to offer clients a way to recover all elements from production scraps, EV or micro mobility batteries. cylib already outperforms long-awaited industry break-even points by reaching a recycling efficiency > 90% while reducing the environmental footprint (GHG-potential) of the recycling process due to cylib’s water-based Lithium and Graphite recovery by 30% in comparison to competitors.

Notably, cylib also stands out for its remarkably swift path to industrialization. The company initially raised €11.6m in seed funding, which enabled delivery of a successful pilot line in September 2023. cylib has since completed battery recycling projects for automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and refineries, and is now poised to take its innovative process to an industrial scale and become Europe’s primary battery recycler. The company, which already wields a team of over 60 professionals, will also use funds to make further key hires.

Paul Sabarny, CTO of cylib: “Thanks to our exceptional team, we have not only launched operations at our Aachen facility in just nine months, we have also improved our research-backed process. This achievement is a testament to the dedication, brilliance and drive of our remarkable team.”

Through offering a locally-delivered, end-to-end battery recycling solution, cylib can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the battery value chain, while helping to ensure the resilience of European EV supply chains. The EU has already ranked the materials inside EV batteries as strategic critical raw materials and set its latest stringent battery recycling regulations accordingly. cylib’s market-leading process enables battery producers, automotive OEMs and all companies operating in the battery value chain to recycle elements locally and overachieve these requirements

Press release from Cylib.

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