Redwood Materials, the recycling startup based by Tesla’s longtime CTO and co-founder JB Straubel, has landed Amazon as a brand new investor and buyer.
Amazon’s funding in Redwood Materials is considered one of a handful introduced Thursday that stems from the e-commerce big’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund. Amazon introduced in June that it might commit to speculate $2 billion in sustainable applied sciences and providers that can assist it attain its dedication to have net-zero carbon operations by 2040.
Amazon mentioned Thursday that the primary recipients of its $2 billion fund additionally embrace CarbonCure Technologies, which developed know-how that consumes carbon dioxide in concrete, local weather know-how firm Pachama, electrical automaker Rivian and Turntide Technologies. Amazon didn’t disclose the quantity of the investments.
At least considered one of these investments has already been introduced, though with out the particular element that the funds had been coming from the local weather fund. For occasion, Amazon, an current investor in Rivian, was a named a participant within the electrical automaker’s $2.5 billion spherical in July. Rivian mentioned 2019 it was growing an electrical supply van for Amazon utilizing its skateboard platform. Amazon ordered 100,000 of those vans, with deliveries beginning in 2021.
While Amazon’s curiosity in Rivian has been public for greater than a 12 months, the opposite investments have been unknown till now.
However, there have been hints earlier this month that Amazon might need an curiosity in — and on the very least an consciousness of — Redwood Materials. The startup, which launched in 2017, lately raised $40 million from buyers, together with Capricorn Investment Group and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the environmental-focused fund launched by Bill Gates that features Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as a board member. It’s potential that Amazon participated in that $40 million increase.
What’s maybe extra essential than the funding quantity is the connection that has been established. Redwood Materials can even assist Amazon recycle lithium-ion batteries from its electrical autos in addition to e-waste from different elements of Amazon’s companies and reuse their elements.
Redwood Materials, a recycling startup primarily based in Carson City, Nevada, is aiming to create a round provide chain.
“We’ve made possibly extra progress than some folks might imagine and we’re really operating recycling operations and have income from these,” Straubel advised TechCrunch. “In phrases of shoppers, we’ve clients on either side of our firm — on the incoming aspect there’s materials we recycle for corporations after which on the outgoing aspect there are chemical compounds and supplies that we promote again into the availability chain.”
Redwood already has clients on either side of the enterprise, Straubel mentioned, though Panasonic and now Amazon are the one two which were publicly named. Redwood is recycling the scrap from Panasonic’s battery cell manufacturing operation on the so-called Gigafactory it operates with Tesla in Sparks, Nevada. The firm additionally has clients — which have but to be named — on the buyer electronics aspect, Straubel mentioned.
“We’re recycling and processing issues as various as cellular phone batteries, laptop computer computer systems, energy instruments, energy banks, scooters and electrical bicycles,” he mentioned. “So it’s a type of a tremendous variety of small- to mid-range purposes that at the moment actually wrestle to discover a good resolution. The recycling charges of these supplies particularly are actually atrocious available in the market.”