Norwalk, Connecticut-based Xerox Ventures, the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Xerox Holdings Corp., has invested in the $7M Series A financing round of Li Industries, an early stage lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling company in Blacksburg, Virginia. The round was led by Khosla Ventures, with further participation from Xerox Ventures and Shell Ventures.
“The support and partnership with Xerox Ventures is a huge step forward for the Li Industries team,” says Zheng Li, Li Industries CEO, co-founder and primary inventor of the recycling process. “Combined with their wealth of materials expertise and industry network, Xerox’s backing will ensure our vision for a new age of battery recycling is brought to fruition.”
According to a news release, investment in the recycling startup aligns with Xerox Venture’s efforts to back the next generation of business solutions across industries, including enabling green enterprises of the future. Driven by increasing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries and reshoring the supply of critical battery materials, battery recycling is poised to be a valuable circularity solution for a complex supply chain sensitive to geopolitical dynamics.
Li Industries says it has developed a process of automated battery sorting by chemistry type and a novel direct recycling process that recovers battery electrode materials suitable for direct reuse by battery manufacturers. The recycled battery electrode material can then be supplied directly back to battery manufacturers at a lower cost than virgin materials or recycled materials obtained through existing recycling approaches. This is a significant breakthrough in recycling and ensures true circularity for critical materials central to the EV revolution.
“Given the impressive technical backgrounds of Li Industries’ founding team, it’s no surprise that they’re at the forefront of such important sustainability advancements,” says Chris Fisher, managing director of Xerox Ventures. “As demand for EV batteries continues to grow, and emerging chemistries rapidly take hold, including batteries with little to no cobalt or nickel content, Li Industries’ novel technology will be the most efficient and economical path towards recycling batteries at scale.”
Li Industries is the latest addition to the Xerox Ventures portfolio this year on the heels of investments in Anvilogic, LimaCharlie, Seurat Technologies and LinkSquares.