Robert Niven: 'This round to me is really about market pull.'

Robert Niven: 'This round to me is really about market pull.'

CarbonCure Technologies has landed a funding round from an investment group comprising Bill Gates and some of the world’s richest people, and will use the money to expand internationally.

The Dartmouth-based company said in a statement today that it has received a Series C round of investment, led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, one of the world’s most sought-after clean technology investment partners. The investment group is chaired by Microsoft Co-Founder Gates, and the investors include multi-billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.

CarbonCure would not place a dollar amount on the round, but in an interview CEO and Co-Founder Robert Niven said it was the largest round yet for the company that has raised a total of about $10 million in several rounds. The other investors in the latest round include Toronto-based GreenSoil Building Innovation Fund and previous investor BDC Venture Capital.

What the world’s richest people are investing in is a technology that cures concrete by injecting it with CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. The technology, which is being used in 105 concrete plants in the U.S. and Canada, reduces builders’ costs while producing a strong concrete.  

“We’ve made it simple and profitable for the construction industry to build resilient structures with lower CO2 emissions,” said Niven in a statement. “Every tonne of CO2 utilized in concrete production with the CarbonCure Technology results in a multiplier effect that saves an additional 28 tonnes of CO2 and over $3,100 in production efficiencies.”

CarbonCure Grows in San Francisco

With its expanded portfolio of technologies and entry into international markets, CarbonCure said it has the potential to reduce up to 700 megatonnes of embodied carbon emissions each year.

In an interview, Niven said the company plans to use the new investment to increase its research into new products, and to expand internationally. The company has had success in gaining clients in Canada and the U.S., but now wants to increase its penetration in Asia and Europe.

“This round to me is really about market pull,” said Niven. “These two partners (Breakthrough and GreenSoil) have the ability to influence governments and end-users and accelerate demand for our products.”

CarbonCure, which employs about 25 people, is one of 10 finalists for the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Challenge. It aims to recognize companies that find commercial uses for carbon that would otherwise be sent into the atmosphere. CarbonCure has already received US$500,000 as a finalist and could win a further US$7.5 million next year.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund was created by some of the world’s most influential business leaders to accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy.

Said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough: “Breakthrough Energy Ventures invests in technology with the potential to eliminate a half gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions per year. CarbonCure represents a triple threat in achieving this goal: compelling economics with a solution that delivers value for customers from day one, products in market today, and a measurable impact on reducing carbon emissions in the built environment.”

Following the investment, Breakthrough gained a seat on CarbonCure’s Board.

CarbonCure’s other investors from prior rounds include Pangaea Ventures, 350 Capital, Innovacorp, Brightpath Capital Partners, Neo Ventures, the Shaw Group, Power Generations, and Carmanah Management.