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Amazon’s first five climate fund investments include Redwood Materials, Rivian – TechCrunch





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 Supplies is one among a handful introduced Thursday that stems from the e-commerce large’s $2 billion Local weather Pledge Fund. Amazon introduced in June that it might decide to invest $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 first recipients of its $2 billion fund additionally embrace CarbonCure Applied sciences, which developed expertise that consumes carbon dioxide in concrete, local weather expertise firm Pachama, electrical automaker Rivian and Turntide Applied sciences. Amazon didn’t disclose the quantity of the investments.

At the very least one among these investments has already been introduced, though with out the precise element that the funds have been coming from the local weather fund. For example, Amazon, an present investor in Rivian, was a named a participant within the electrical automaker’s $2.5 billion round in July. Rivian mentioned 2019 it was creating an electrical supply van for Amazon utilizing its skateboard platform. Amazon ordered 100,000 of those vans, with deliveries beginning in 2021.

Whereas Amazon’s curiosity in Rivian has been public for greater than a yr, the opposite investments have been unknown till now.

Nevertheless, there have been hints earlier this month that Amazon might need an curiosity in — and on the very least an consciousness of — Redwood Supplies. The startup, which launched in 2017, just lately raised $40 million from buyers, together with Capricorn Funding Group and Breakthrough Power Ventures, the environmental-focused fund launched by Invoice Gates that features Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as a board member. It’s doable that Amazon participated in that $40 million increase.

What’s maybe extra vital than the funding quantity is the connection that has been established. Redwood Supplies will even assist Amazon recycle lithium-ion batteries from its electrical automobiles in addition to  e-waste from different components of Amazon’s companies and reuse their parts.

Redwood Supplies, a recycling startup based mostly in Carson Metropolis, Nevada, is aiming to create a round provide chain.

“We’ve made possibly extra progress than some folks might imagine and we’re truly working recycling operations and have income from these,” Straubel instructed TechCrunch. “When it comes to prospects, now we have prospects  on each side of our firm — on the incoming facet there may be materials we recycle for corporations after which on the outgoing facet there are chemical compounds and supplies that we promote again into the provision chain.”

Redwood already has prospects on each 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 corporate additionally has prospects — which have but to be named — on the patron electronics facet, Straubel mentioned.

“We’re recycling and processing issues as various as cellphone batteries, laptop computer computer systems, energy instruments, energy banks, scooters and electrical bicycles,” he mentioned. “So it’s a form of a tremendous variety of small- to mid-range functions that right this moment actually wrestle to discover a good resolution. The recycling charges of these supplies specifically are actually atrocious out there.”





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Author

Kirsten Korosec