“Gigacorn” microbial cement startup raises $65 million

February 28, 2022 |

In North Carolina, a startup developing a cement alternative produced using microbes has raised $65 million in a Series C funding. 

Biomason’s patented technology uses natural microorganisms to grow biocement at ambient temperatures without emitting carbon dioxide. The process mimics nature’s use of carbon as a building block, creating cement in a biological, circular system, rather than relying on the 200-year-old climate-intensive Portland cement production process. 

The funding will accelerate development of Biomason’s platform to reach its goal of eliminating 25% of global carbon emissions from the concrete industry by 2030.

The round was led by 2150, which considers Biomason a “Gigacorn,” a company whose technology can impact global CO2 emissions by 1 gigaton of CO2 per year while being commercially viable. The term is a play on “unicorn,” which venture capitalists use to refer to a privately held startup with a value of over $1 billion.  

“When we started 2150, the hunt for Gigacorns began,” says Christian Jølck, founding partner at 2150. “We had not imagined then that it was possible to harness nature and combine it with human technology by using bacteria to solve one of our biggest climate challenges—the cement industry.” 

The Portland process for producing cement accounts for over 8% of global carbon emissions. Concrete, of which cement is the key ingredient, is the second-most consumed material in the world after water. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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