Recycleye Secures Funding from DCVC

Recycleye, provider of an AI-driven solution for sorting dry mixed recycling, has announced a 17 million US-Dollar Series A financing round led by deep-tech venture capital firm DCVC.

The company with head offices in UK and France uses AI-powered waste-picking robots to lower the cost of sorting materials. “This ground-breaking technology is turning the world’s waste into resource and delivering data essential for dynamic decision-making in a Material Recovery Facility (MRF),” Recycleye pointed out. “The new investment will be used to further improve the uncommon accuracy of Recycleye’s sorting.” As reported, DCVC led the funding round, with existing investors increasing their stakes. Promus Ventures, Playfair Capital, MMC Ventures, Creator Fund and Atypical were joined by new Madrid-based investors Seaya Andromeda. The series A follows five million US-Dollar previously raised in 2021 and 2.6 million US-Dollar secured to date in European and UK government innovation funding.

The technology
Recycleye’s technology combines computer vision and robotics to pick with more consistent accuracy than a human does, the European company assured in a press release. “Using proprietary AI models, the robot ‘sees’ waste and is trained to pick an unlimited number of material classes such as plastics, aluminum, paper and cardboard.” Recycleye Robotics was “the most accurate and efficient AI robotic picking solution globally available today,” the company self-assuredly emphasized its competence. “Objects are scanned and identified at an unrivaled 60 frames per second. That is twice as fast as the industry standard and means that each item is seen on average 30 times as it passes along the conveyor belt, with double the chance of being accurately identified before picking.” As underlined, Recycleye was developed for use with the waste generated by households and businesses and can operate 24/7, 365 days a year, currently picking up to 33,000 items per robot over a 10-hour shift while capturing compositional data to enable strategic decisions by plant managers. The enterprise is working with a growing number of waste management companies facing the two-fold challenge of labor shortages and increased costs while responding to a growing demand for quality recyclates.

Installation into existing plants
According to the provider, a small team of its engineers can retrofit the company’s technology into existing sorting facilities and, over a weekend, if needed, minimize plant downtime. “Installed at the end of the sorting process, Recycleye robot models can pick contaminants and valuable objects, depending on client requirements, both of which may have been missed earlier in a plant’s sorting process.”

About the company
Recycleye was co-founded in 2019 by CEO Victor Dewulf and CTO Peter Hedley, and its technology is installed in facilities in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Australia, the US and France, with multiple robot orders confirmed in Italy and Belgium.

The firm’s team consists of 33 experts and includes graduates of Cambridge, Caltech, Imperial College London and the Universities of Bath, Warwick, Cardiff, Sheffield and Southampton. “The team boasts a wealth of experience in software, machine learning, robotics, engineering, project management, technical sales, HR, and marketing, drawn from sectors including oil and gas, energy, telecoms and technology.”

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2023, Page 42, Photo: Recycleye)