Company news

cylib closes €55M Series A for industrial scaling

Published on
May 16, 2024

The investment round is the largest ever raised by a European battery recycling company

  • Leading automotive, industrial, climate and deep tech investors join forces for the first time to back next-generation battery recycling technology company cylib to support a resilient and sustainable battery infrastructure in Europe
  • World Fund, Porsche Ventures, Bosch Ventures, DeepTech & Climate Fonds, NRW.Venture, Vsquared Ventures, Speedinvest, 10x Founders and established business angels join historic funding round
  • Founded in 2022, the company offers market-leading proprietary technology for end-to-end recycling of lithium-ion batteries and has already delivered a successful pilot line and completed projects with major automotive OEMs as well as battery manufacturers
  • Funds will be used to scale production capacities to an industrial level and to add key hires to the expert team

15.05.24: AACHEN, GERMANY - Sustainable end-to-end battery recycling firm cylib today announced the completion of its €55 million Series A funding round in equity financing. The round, which is the largest round ever raised by a European battery recycling company, was completed less than 24 months after the company started operations. cylib will use the funds to power the industrialization of its proprietary technology, which is already used by leading OEMs and battery manufacturers, by scaling up its operations at an already-secured brownfield industrial facility in Germany.  

Co-led by the leading European climate tech VC World Fund, and Porsche Ventures, the venture arm of sports car manufacturer Porsche AG, the round was joined by Bosch Ventures, DeepTech & Climate Fonds, NRW.Venture, existing investors Vsquared Ventures, Speedinvest, 10x Founders and established business angels. Notably, cylib’s funding round is the first venture co-investment from industrial giants Porsche and Bosch in Germany.  

The landmark funding round marks the first time that major investors from climate and deep tech venture, corporate automotive and industry backgrounds as well as public investment funds have joined together in consortium to support a battery recycling company. This further signals the breadth of significant stakeholders now dedicated to building a resilient and sustainable battery infrastructure in Europe.

cylib was founded in 2022 in Aachen following nearly a decade of research at renowned German technical university, RWTH Aachen University, by: CEO Lilian Schwich - a female founder widely recognized as one of Europe’s leading battery recycling researchers - CTO Paul Sabarny, and COO Dr Gideon Schwich.

Lilian Schwich, CEO of cylib: “The funding round we announced today will empower us to embark on our next phase of expansion and deepen existing collaborations, as we grow our next-generation battery recycling at an industrial scale. The past year-and-a-half has been a truly remarkable journey of growth, and we are immensely grateful for the trust of our partners and the successful projects we have conducted together. We look forward to offering our superior technology to even more customers and partners.”

Demand for battery recycling is soaring. With the rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs), global sales soared by 35% to almost 14 million in 2023 and expected to reach 17 million in 2024. In order to ensure the move away from fossil fuels does not entail switching dependence onto other scarce mineral resources, recycling of minerals used in electric batteries must improve. According to Fraunhofer ISI, the volume of lithium-ion batteries to be recycled in Europe will reach 2.1 million tonnes by 2040. In order to keep up with the rising demand for battery materials and ensure resilient battery supply chains in Europe, locally available raw materials are instrumental. Today’s milestone funding into cylib is pivotal for achieving this goal and reflects the significant interest from a wide stakeholder base in enabling a much-needed European battery recycling infrastructure.

Danijel Višević, General Partner at World Fund: "cylib is a role model for the lightspeed industrialization of world-leading climate tech research coming out of Europe. This company has created a market-leading, highly efficient battery recycling process that offers real climate gains, and which is already delivering for major clients - a huge feat for a business launched not even two years ago. This is the still missing piece of the emerging battery value chain for the decarbonization of mobility and energy."

Patrick Huke, Partner and Head of Porsche Ventures: “We at Porsche Ventures are thrilled to co-lead the Series A financing round of cylib together with climate tech VC World Fund. cylib is a perfect example of how leading scientific research can be commercialized at a rapid pace. We are excited to partner with the cylib team to industrialize their innovative end-to-end recycling process with the aim to drive the European Raw Material Ecosystem to become more sustainable and resilient. This fits perfectly to our sustainability ambitions and helps in striving for a decarbonized and circular supply chain.”

Dr. Mark Windeknecht, Principal at World Fund:We have continually been impressed by the cylib team's tireless determination and sheer execution speed, from before making our initial investment in January 2023 and ever since. We are delighted to be doubling down on supporting them as they expand into a global leader in this space."

cylib’s proprietary process offers world-leading battery recycling sustainability credentials. It enables every component in a lithium-ion battery to be recycled, making it the only company on the market to offer clients a way to recover all elements from production scraps, EV or micro mobility batteries. cylib already outperforms long-awaited industry break-even points by reaching a recycling efficiency > 90% while reducing the environmental footprint (GHG-potential) of the recycling process due to cylib’s water-based Lithium and Graphite recovery by 30% in comparison to competitors.  

Notably, cylib also stands out for its remarkably swift path to industrialization. The company initially raised €11.6m in seed funding, which enabled delivery of a successful pilot line in September 2023. cylib has since completed battery recycling projects for automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and refineries, and is now poised to take its innovative process to an industrial scale and become Europe’s primary battery recycler. The company, which already wields a team of over 60 professionals, will also use funds to make further key hires.  

Paul Sabarny, CTO of cylib: "Thanks to our exceptional team, we have not only launched operations at our Aachen facility in just nine months, we have also improved our research-backed process. This achievement is a testament to the dedication, brilliance and drive of our remarkable team."

Through offering a locally-delivered, end-to-end battery recycling solution, cylib can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the battery value chain, while helping to ensure the resilience of European EV supply chains. The EU has already ranked the materials inside EV batteries as strategic critical raw materials and set its latest stringent battery recycling regulations accordingly. cylib’s market-leading process enables battery producers, automotive OEMs and all companies operating in the battery value chain to recycle elements locally and overachieve these requirements.  

Press Contact
cylib GmbH
Michelle Torrico
+49 (0) 241 9457360

‍About cylib
cylib is a research-based German company for holistic battery recycling. cylib enables the green energy transition by ensuring the supply of green battery materials for the battery industry and a true circular economy. cylib’s proprietary end-to-end recycling technology was developed over several years of research at the renowned RWTH Aachen University. cylib’s process is characterized by an efficient, resource- and climate-friendly recovery of raw materials, including lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and manganese from battery packs, black mass, or production scraps. The company was founded in 2022 in Aachen, Germany, by Lilian Schwich (CEO), Paul Sabarny (CTO) and Dr Gideon Schwich (COO). As of May 2024, cylib has over 60 employees. Total funding to date amounts to approx. €74 million.

About World Fund
World Fund is the leading Europe-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Tim Schumacher, and Craig Douglas. World Fund is investing in scalable businesses with significant climate performance potential (CPP). The focus is on the sectors with the greatest need for decarbonization technologies: energy, buildings, manufacturing, transport, food, agriculture, and land use. World Fund is backing those entrepreneurs who are building tech for a regenerative world.

About Porsche Ventures
Since its foundation in 2016, Porsche Ventures has been tasked with investing within selected fields of fascination: Car & Mobility, Intelligent Enterprise, Sustainability, and Beyond. Within that, Porsche Ventures has been able to build a diverse portfolio of more than 50 companies ranging from topics within the fields of battery technology, energy transition to digital lifestyles, space-tech, enterprise AI and other promising future technologies.  

About Bosch Ventures
Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (Bosch Ventures) is the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services. Bosch Ventures invests worldwide in innovative start-up companies at all stages of their development. Its investment activities focus on technology companies working in areas of business of current and future relevance for Bosch, above all, automation and electrification, energy efficiency, enabling technologies, and healthcare systems. Bosch Ventures also invests in services and business models that are relevant to the above-mentioned areas of business. Furthermore, Bosch Ventures enables co-innovation between Bosch and startups through the Open Bosch Program.

About DeepTech & Climate Fonds
The DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF) invests up to € 1bn in the growth of transformative tech companies in the coming years. As an anchor investor and partner of long-term European investors, the DTCF helps to expand the technology ecosystem and to develop new technology-based SMEs. It is financed by the German Future Fund as well as the ERP Special Fund.  

About NRW.Venture
NRW.Venture is NRW.BANK’s response to the scarce supply of financing for young, innovative and often technology-oriented companies that frequently do not have adequate access to loans. Their key asset is a new market idea – this is why their chances of success are often hard to assess. Together with private-sector investors, NRW.Venture invest up to fifteen million euros of equity in such start-ups over several financing rounds. NRW.BANK acquires minority stakes over a term of three to seven years. NRW.Venture does not only provide capital – its experienced team is the key to joint success. The investment professionals with many years of venture capital experience and often also technology and start-up experience use their expertise and network to ensure that start-ups have the best chances of success.

About Vsquared Ventures
Vsquared Ventures backs bold entrepreneurs engineering seemingly impossible solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Investing in deep tech companies, Vsquared Ventures focuses on new space, new computing, energy transition, robotics and manufacturing, new computing and sensing, AI and next-gen software and tech-bio. Vsquared Ventures has built one of Europe’s strongest deep tech portfolios, including industry disruptors Isar Aerospace, IQM Quantum Computing,, Customcells, Neura Robotics and The Exploration Company.

About Speedinvest
Speedinvest is a leading early-stage venture capital firm with more than €1 billion AuM and 40+ investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, and Vienna. Our dedicated sector-focused teams are the first to fund Europe's most innovative technology startups and our in-house operational experts are on hand to offer founders ongoing support with growth, HR, market expansion, and more. Wefox, Bitpanda, GoStudent, Wayflyer, Open, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and TWAICE are among our portfolio of 300+ companies.

About 10x Founders
10x Founders is a network-powered early-stage investor that unites more than 200 entrepreneurs to back the most ambitious tech startups. We are founder-led and invest across sectors in selected entrepreneurs worldwide, with a focus on Europe. Over the last 16 years, our partners have made over 300 investments (16 unicorns, 40+ exits and 8 IPOs). With 10x Founders they successfully continue these early-stage investments. Previous investments include Magic, cylib, Ivy, FERNRIDE, simpleclub, Ixana and Floy.