Posted / August 30, 2023
Sortera Technologies Closes $30.5 Million in New Funding to Fully Commercialize Its State-of-the-Art Upcycling Facility
Funding Sets Stage to Build Industry-Leading Sorting and Processing Facilities Across North America to Serve the $10 Billion Mixed Aluminum Scrap Market
Sortera Technologies, an innovative material sorting company with a recycling platform powered by artificial intelligence, data analytics, and advanced sensors, today announced the close of a $30.5 million Series C funding round led by RA Capital Management-Planetary Health with participation from certain funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., the Mineral Resources Group, which is a part of Mitsubishi Corporation’s Business Incubation Unit, and Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions (“MGETS”). Additional existing investors include Assembly Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Chrysalix. This funding will fuel Sortera’s growth as a major player in the domestic upcycling space. Additionally, it will help to affirm the company’s commitment to solutions that create new upcycling streams, enable a circular economy, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
In just two and a half years of operations, Sortera has demonstrated that its technology platform can accurately and rapidly handle complex sorting of pre-production aluminum and end-of-life mixed metals. Sortera’s first full-scale facility, located in Markle, Indiana, is currently being commissioned to sort up to 220 million pounds of mixed metals per year. By sorting mixed metals into single alloy streams, Sortera enables greater use of recycled material in manufacturing, lowers the costs of metals production, increases the availability of metals for domestic manufacturers, and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with virgin metals production. The resulting high-quality upcycled materials from Sortera’s operation will be put back into the U.S. market, representing a significant contribution to the circular economy movement and to the security of domestic resources. The Series C funds will be used to expand Sortera’s operations in North America and accelerate the company’s growth in the more than $1 trillion metals and recycling markets.
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 that have traditionally been sent overseas to be recycled into lower-grade materials. Sortera will continue to expand its capabilities in metals and other recyclable materials that are critical to future growth of the economy.
“To have secured interest and commitments from globally recognized high caliber 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,” said Michael Siemer, CEO, Sortera Technologies. “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.”
By using the latest advancements in artificial intelligence, Sortera is bringing lightning-speed changes to a centuries old industry and is creating a sustainable, efficient, and automated recycling process.
“Sortera’s technology advances the goals of a healthy environment and a healthy economy, and does so in a critically important sector,” said Kyle Teamey, managing partner, Planetary Health at RA Capital Management. “Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum and copper, are essential to the ongoing massive growth in renewable energy and electric vehicles that are at the core of the energy transition. Sortera enables the transition to a cleaner, more productive economy while also providing an economic boon to metal producers.”
Mr. Siemer concluded, “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 both expand Sortera’s reach as a key player in the mixed alloy industry, as well as 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.”
The company’s Markle, Indiana plant is expected to be fully operational in 2023. Once up and running, the Markle facility will increase Sortera’s overall processing capacity to 220 million lbs. of mixed aluminum scrap annually, which would otherwise be sent overseas along with an estimated 4 billion lbs. of scrap aluminum that has been traditionally shipped abroad annually for processing. Sortera is focused on advancing the recyclability of a variety of other materials, which will contribute to the reduction of overall CO₂ emissions and advance customers’ sustainability goals. Sortera is committed to leading the charge in revolutionizing the recycling industry and creating a more sustainable future for all. Recently, the Company changed its name from Sortera Alloys to Sortera Technologies to reflect its intentions to work with upcyclable materials beyond just metal alloys.