Sortera Technologies secures $30.5 million in funding to propel full commercialization of cutting-edge upcycling facility

AL Circle

In a Series C funding round, Sortera Technologies, Inc., a company that offers artificial intelligence data analytics for recycling, secured a stunning $30.5 million. The primary investor leading this round is RA Capital Management-Planetary Health, and the participation includes certain funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., as well as the Mineral Resources Group, a division of Mitsubishi Corporation's Business Incubation Unit, and Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions ("MGETS"). Existing investors like Assembly Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Chrysalix have also contributed to this funding milestone.

Sortera Technologies secures $30.5 million in funding

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This substantial investment is poised to propel Sortera's expansion and solidify its prominent position within the domestic upcycling sector. Moreover, it will testify to the company's unwavering dedication to crafting innovative solutions that establish fresh upcycling avenues, foster a circular economy, and make meaningful strides towards a more sustainable future.

Michael Siemer, the CEO of Sortera Technologies, said, "To have secured interest and commitments from globally recognized high calibre investors such as RA Capital Management, T. Rowe Price, Mitsubishi Corporation, and MGETS, along with our existing investors Assembly Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Chrysalix, who understood the level of sophistication, effectiveness, and potential of our technology platform from the earliest stages, not only validates the importance of our technology for the domestic U.S. recycling market but its potential on a global scale."

"This funding round affirms our contributions towards global sustainable efforts and will be used to scale our operations to commercialization, grow our team, and, most importantly, continue to provide high-quality upcycled metal materials to our customer base." 

In just two and a half years of active operations, Sortera has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of its advanced technology platform in swiftly and accurately handling the intricate sorting of pre-production aluminium and mixed metals at the end of their lifecycle. Currently, Sortera's inaugural full-scale facility in Markle, Indiana, is in the final stages of commissioning, with the capacity to sort an impressive 220 million pounds of mixed metals annually.

By meticulously segregating mixed metals into distinct alloy categories, Sortera not only promotes the increased utilisation of recycled materials in manufacturing but also reduces the production costs of metals, enhances the availability of metals for domestic manufacturers, and mitigates pollution and greenhouse gas emissions typically associated with the production of virgin metals. The resultant high-quality upcycled materials from Sortera's operations will be reintroduced into the U.S. market, signifying a significant contribution to the circular economy movement and bolstering the nation's resource security.

The infusion of Series C funding will catalyse Sortera's expansion across North America, propelling the company's growth trajectory in the thriving metals and recycling markets, collectively representing a market worth over $1 trillion.

Sortera recently established an R&D facility in Austin, Texas, to focus on advancing its already robust sorting platform that uses advanced sensors and artificial intelligence. The company aims to transform the recycling industry by driving innovation and focusing on sustainability in the upcycling sector to build a network of world-class sorting and processing facilities. Sortera's technology allows it to capitalize on domestic feedstocks traditionally sent overseas to be recycled into lower-grade materials. Sortera will continue expanding its capabilities in metals and other recyclable materials critical to the economy's future growth.

Leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence technologies, Sortera is revolutionizing an age-old industry, introducing rapid transformations to establish a sustainable, streamlined, and fully automated recycling process.

Kyle Teamey, the Managing Partner of Planetary Health at RA Capital Management, said, "Sortera's technology advances the goals of a healthy environment and economy and does so in a critically important sector."

"Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and copper, are essential to the ongoing massive growth in renewable energy and electric vehicles at the core of the energy transition. Sortera enables the transition to a cleaner, more productive economy while providing an economic boon to metal producers."

Siemer concluded by saying, "We are perfectly situated to seize the momentum and success of our technology platform and talented research team to expand our recycling capabilities into additional key materials and industrial applications. This will expand Sortera's reach as a key player in the mixed alloy industry and establish our leadership role in the global circular economy movement. Perhaps equally as important is showcasing the sophistication, innovation, world-class execution, and dedicated focus of sustainability solutions that are coming out of the nation's heartland."

Digital Transformation in the Aluminium Industry

Sortera Technologies is gearing up for the full operational launch of its Markle, Indiana, plant in 2023. This state-of-the-art facility is poised to significantly bolster Sortera's processing capacity to an impressive 220 million lbs. of mixed aluminium scrap annually. This capacity increase is poised to divert an estimated 4 billion lbs. of scrap aluminium from the conventional overseas shipping route for processing.

However, Sortera's vision extends beyond aluminium recycling. The company is dedicated to advancing the recyclability of various other materials, all in a bid to reduce overall CO₂ emissions and further its customers' sustainability objectives. Sortera Technologies has recently changed from Sortera Alloys to Sortera Technologies to underscore its commitment to working with upcyclable materials beyond the realm of metal alloys. Sortera is taking the lead in revolutionizing the recycling industry and playing a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future for everyone.

Technology is indeed playing a critical role in revolutionising the aluminium recycling sector, addressing both environmental concerns and economic opportunities. Industry leaders increasingly recognise the importance of innovation in this field and focus on several key areas to shape the future of aluminium recycling. To know more, delve into AL Circle's e-Magazine, "Recycling - Reshaping the Future of the Aluminium Value Chain".

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