Orbia Ventures Invests in Battery Recycling Startup

By Elijah Labby Thursday, April 22, 2021

Recycling is crucial to maintaining the health of the environment, and now venture capital firm Orbia Ventures is investing heavily in a company that wants to make recycling lithium-ion batteries easier.

That company is called Battery Resourcers, and the mission of the startup is an important one.

Lithium ion battery.

Some Background on the Battery Recycling Business

Right now, says the American Chemical Society, less than 10% of lithium-ion batteries are being recycled. That’s a problem for the environment. Lithium-ion batteries contain ingredients that, if released into water systems or otherwise released from their containers, would be fatal. However, these same batteries are proving crucial to an electric vehicle industry that is growing rapidly.

The startup company says the number of electric vehicles (EVs) that will hit the road is expected to grow by more than 800% by 2030. However, market trends aren’t so easily changed.

Battery Resourcers wants to meet this new demand for electric vehicles with a solution to the problem of battery disposal. Essentially, instead of attempting to dispose of the batteries’ internal chemicals, the startup company uses original processes to make them reusable for any other battery company or automobile business.

What Investors in the Startup Business Have to Say

Investors bought the idea. Led by Orbia, investment firms put a total of $20 million into the startup business. The startup company also announced that Orbia executives would join its board.

Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia's venture capital investment firm, said the startup company was on the right track, doing important work, and was an important part of the environmentally-conscious mission of the company.

“Lithium-ion battery technologies are key ingredients in an electrified world,” he said. “....We are excited to invest in and partner with Battery Resourcers: a company that shares our vision for a clean, circular future run on innovative solutions that advance life around the world.”

For its part, the Battery Resourcers startup company said it was excited to have Orbia on board and that the investment from the business would assist the startup with its mission to help the environment.

“BR is committed to changing the dynamics for processing end-of-life lithium-ion batteries,” said Mike O’Kronley, CEO of Battery Resourcers. “Orbia Ventures was key to enabling this. They led an incredibly strong and diverse investor syndicate and provided critical feedback to help de-risk the company before making their investment. We are pleased to have them on our Board.”

The Value of the Battery Recycling Business

The market for battery recycling is growing at a steady pace. In fact, it’s anticipated that the battery recycling industry will grow from $17.2 billion in 2020 to over $23.2 billion by 2025. That’s a compounded annual growth rate of over 6% — healthy growth for any industry.

What’s more, one could see a future in which the rapid growth of the EV industry leads to a rise in battery recycling. In such a scenario, it’s likely that Battery Resourcers will be at the front of the pack.

About the Author

Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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