Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Sortera Alloys Inc., a scrap metal sorting and recycling company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) imagery, data analytics and advanced sensors to produce aluminum packages from shredded automobiles, has received $10 million in funding led by Assembly Ventures, with additional funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and aluminum producer Novelis.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Kirkland, Washington, previously invested $10 million in Sortera, which operates from a 10-acre production facility in Fort Wayne, with plans to expand through the end of 2022.
Sortera says its AI-powered technology allows it to separate existing streams of mixed-alloy aluminum scrap into individual alloys. The upgraded metals can then be recycled back into the highest value applications, ranging from automotive cast and flat-rolled products to building, construction and aerospace materials extrusions. The company says its low-cost, scalable production process enables customers to reduce their CO2 footprints and achieve sustainability and circular production goals because recycled aluminum requires roughly 95 percent less energy to produce than aluminum produced from virgin raw materials.
“We are thrilled to have this important investment from Assembly, together with additional funds from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Novelis,” says Michael Siemer, CEO, Sortera Alloys. “The funding will be used to help scale our operations, grow the team and provide high-quality metal recycling from automobiles.”
"Sortera Alloys is a technology-driven startup that could only be created in the industrial heartland," says Chris Thomas, co-founder and partner at Detroit-based Assembly Ventures, in a news release about the investment. "For decades, automotive and manufacturing companies the world over have been working to implement truly circular supply chains. Sortera is poised to power efficiencies in industrial and manufacturing supply chains and create true circularity of manufacturing inputs, across the Western world.”
Sortera says the funding round follows a significant partnership with Novelis that will see Sortera deliver high-quality, recycled alloy derived from automotive scrap to Novelis, which will remanufacture the material into high-recycled content-aluminum sheet for the automotive industry.
“The partnership with Sortera will allow Novelis to further increase the recycled content in our products, in particular, our automotive materials,” says Derek Prichett, senior vice president, corporate development, at Novelis. “This will enable us to meet our own ambitious goals of reducing our carbon footprint, as well as help our customers achieve their own sustainability goals.”