Material Evolution raises $3.4m to create Smart Concrete solutions

Material Evolution, a Middlesbrough-based company that applies machine learning to the construction industry for the formulation of smart and sustainable concrete, announced that it has raised $3.4m in its Seed round of funding.

The company’s total funding includes $1.7m in Seed investment and $1.7m in grant funding.

The round was led by London-based Playfair Capital with participation from At One Ventures, The Heritage Group, and SkyRiver Ventures. A number of angel investors from the construction industry including The Applebridge Construction Group and Milestone Construction also participated in this round.

Speaking on the development, Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen says, “From carbon capture to developing hydrogen as a fuel of the future, Teesside is ground zero for net zero. In research centres and startups across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool, we are developing the technologies that will be pivotal to reaching the Government’s ambitious goal of the UK being net zero by 2050.

“By investing in cleaner, healthier and safer industries we’re securing thousands of high-skilled, well-paid jobs for local people.”

The grant award came from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, and their Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge.

Founded in 2017 by Dr. Elizabeth Gilligan, Material Evolution uses patented geopolymer technology and proprietary algorithms to create the “most” sustainable materials on the planet. It is focused on creating a sustainable alternative to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) through the development of geopolymers.

The company claims to have developed a product that is made from 95 percent industrial waste which is stronger, more durable, and reduces the carbon consumption of concrete by 85 percent when compared to equivalent products that use OPC.

The proceeds from this round will help Material Evolution to build its materials science team, develop future products, and set up batch production.

Dr Gilligan says: “Concrete is the second most used material in the world after water and cement, and equates to about 8 percent of our global CO2 emissions. We need to build much more sustainably if we are to meet our ambitious NetZero goals.

“We were delighted to have a heavily oversubscribed funding round and investors on board who share our vision and our passion to decarbonise the foundation industries through advanced materials. We have also received funding from Innovate UK who are fully dedicated to transforming the foundation industries in order to meet NetZero by 2030.”