22nd Sep 2021

Recycleye raises £3.5 million Seed round to continue using AI and robotics to solve the world’s waste epidemic

We're excited to be backing the Recycleye team again as they raise this new round of funding from Promus Ventures (through its Orbital Ventures space fund), Playfair, Atypical Ventures, and Creator Fund.

The recent IPCC (UN) report on climate change, ahead of COP26 in November, has further highlighted that solving the recycling epidemic is one of the world’s most pressing global challenges, with 2 billion tonnes of waste produced annually, according to World Bank. In the UK, more waste is now burned rather than recycled, with 11.6 million tonnes incinerated in 2019 compared to the 10.9 million tonnes sent for recycling.

Using advanced machine learning to train the world’s most powerful recycling robots, Recycleye prevents valuable recyclates from being downcycled, a result of inefficient and ineffective manual labour, with human workers facing dangerous, dull and dirty working conditions, and unreliable machinery.

Having developed the world’s largest visual AI database of waste items, the company empowers recycling facilities to increase the purity and subsequent value of their output, increasing the resale value of bales fivefold. By lowering operational expenditure, Recycleye can save facilities up to £2M each year. The company counts Microsoft, NVIDIA, Imperial College London, and FANUC as key technological and strategic partners.

“Waste is not recycled when the cost of recycling exceeds the value of the sorted material. By lowering the cost of recycling with artificial intelligence and robotics, we’re breaking this threshold and building a world where our removal chains are fully integrated back into our supply chains.” Victor Dewulf, CEO and cofounder

Watch Recycleye in action

Already relied upon by waste management leaders Biffa and ReGen in the UK, and three of the five largest waste management companies in Europe, Recycleye will use the funding to scale and enhance the accuracy, scope, and capabilities of its world-leading machine learning and robotics technology. In addition, it will continue to bolster its team, expand into new European markets, and further consolidate within existing territories (including the UK, France, and Italy), and expand its product line beyond vision systems.

Read more on the funding via UKTN and Sky News.

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