With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events in coastal cities, ECOncrete has announced a more than $5 million Series A funding round as it seeks to broaden its solutions for ecological, carbon-storing marine construction.
The round was led by Impact investor Bridges Israel, with new investors including Barclays and a North American family office with an interest in ocean health.
ECOncrete creates environmentally sound concrete blocks that enhance the biological and ecological value of urban, coastal, and marine infrastructure while increasing their strength and durability.
“With over half of the world’s population concentrating along coastlines, accelerated coastal development which inflicts severe stress on natural ecosystems is inevitable,” the company writes.
“Combined with growing threats of sea-level rise and increased storminess, coastal and urban environments worldwide require development, retrofitting, and intensive maintenance. The chemical composition, plain design [of most current infrastructures] are not surrogates to natural materials, therefore “gray” infrastructure are typically dominated by nuisance and invasive species,” ECOncrete said.
The company said that it hoped that the investment would enable rapid expansion into new markets and scaling operations into large-scale projects.
“Ocean health and human health are entwined, and as such, we need both resilient coastal structures and thriving marine ecosystems, [while] our technologies bridge development and sustainability,” said Dr. Ido Sella, ECOncrete CEO, and co-founder.
ECOncrete’s solutions can be applied to any concrete marine infrastructure, such as breakwaters, ports, and offshore structures, to increase strength and durability while transforming it into the base for a thriving marine ecosystem and active carbon sink.
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It achieves this while attempting to reduce the ecological footprint of ports, marinas, coastal protections schemes and urban waterfront projects, while adding to their structural integrity.
As a company, ECOncrete develops sustainable concrete for constructing ecologically active infrastructures in coastal and marine environments as well as in urban landscapes. It adapts the concrete to the environment’s particular fauna and flora, and its biological traits encourage biogenic buildup. The concrete offers increased stability and longevity as well as a reduction in maintenance costs.
James Ferrier, Director, Principal Investments at Barclays, said ECOncrete is “solving a key environmental challenge for the coastal and marine industries, materially improving the health and resilience of surrounding ocean life. We are thrilled to be supporting ECOncrete’s growth ambitions through our £175m Sustainable Impact Capital Initiative, designed to support innovative companies tackling environmental challenges, just like this.”
Meanwhile, Sandrine Montsma, Managing Partner at Bridges Israel, said: “Our continued support for ECOncrete is aimed at scaling up the penetration of their unique, proven, IP protected, breakthrough technology into new markets such as offshore infrastructure.
ECOncrete is an award-winning company, and was selected as one of the Bloomberg New Energy (NEF) Pioneers for 2021. For the last decade, the BNEF Pioneers award has been essential in highlighting exciting innovations in clean, energy, transportation, and more.