ecoLocked secures seven-figure investment to make climate-positive concrete a reality


Berlin, Sep 21, 2022 — German carbon tech startup ecoLocked, a developer of innovative materials to decarbonize the construction industry, has announced the closing of an initial funding round of € 1.8M.

The round was led by London-based carbon removal VC Counteract with additional contributions from SFO, better ventures (a German Impact Angel Club), and further climate-oriented Business Angels and industry players.

Counteract’s Managing Partner Andy Bonsall said: “We are delighted to back this stellar team developing a solution to turn concrete, the most widely used construction material and responsible for almost 8% of emissions according to IPCC, into an effective carbon removal pathway. What’s most exciting is how seamlessly and cost-effectively this solution fits into current concrete production processes, while even improving key properties of the finished product.

ecoLocked’s core activity lies in developing CO2-optimized recipes for concrete based on the carbon-negative material biochar (or “biocarbon”). The company will use the fresh funds to deliver its first pilot projects and to accelerate the 2023 market launch of its first CO2-reduced formulations for biochar-based precast concrete products. With further investments in its R&D team, ecoLocked is set to build an inhouse technology platform enabling the quick formulation of climate-friendly recipes for all major applications of concrete and other building materials.

A massive scale-up of carbon removal via biochar production in the next years is inevitable.” said ecoLocked’s CEO Mario Schmitt. “Concrete structures are best fit to make use of all that carbon and its potential to reduce emissions in multiple areas across a building’s lifecycle, including through better thermal insulation. ecoLocked is developing a simple way to integrate modified biochar in building materials for maximum impact, and we are commercializing the first functional zero-carbon concrete mixes imminently.

About the Company

ecoLocked was founded in 2021 by Mario Schmitt (né Vaupel), CTO Micheil Gordon, and CCO Stefanie Gerhart. Early support came from the climate tech venture builder 1.5° Ventures and Sunfire’s CTO Christian von Olshausen. The company is operating from Berlin.

ecoLocked will provide its construction customers both with CO2-optimized recipes for concrete and with the biochar admixes (“ecoLocked materials”) to implement them. Those admixes get integrated directly at the concrete plant without the need for major additional investments. ecoLocked’s drop-in solution provides multiple benefits to real estate developers and other construction sector companies:

  1. It tackles the CO2 footprint of concrete by both reducing emissions from cement clinker production and incorporating a carbon-negative material into the structure;
  2. It reduces lifetime building emissions by improving thermal insulation and thus energy efficiency; and
  3. Recipes can be optimized for further performance characteristics such as compressive strength, weight, and fire resistance.

The company is already preparing their first recipes and products for certification in major European markets. ecoLocked’s long-term goal is to use their recipes to enable a climate-positive built environment and lock away more than >500Mt of CO2 a year.

ecoLocked Media Contact
Mario Schmitt
CEO ecoLocked GmbH
[email protected]
+49 175 7858921

Team

The August 2022 ecoLocked team – left to right: Chinmay Save, Mario Schmitt, Steff Gerhart, Nsesheye Priebe, Micheil Gordon; Photo credits to Annette Koroll Pictures