ImpactAlpha, February 7 — London-based Recycleye has raised $17 million for its AI-powered robots that scan and identify plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard waste from households and businesses at 60 frames per second. Each item is seen an average of 30 times, increasing the chances it is accurately identified.
Recycleye launched in 2019 to meet the sorting needs of global waste management companies, which face labor shortages and high operational costs as demand grows for quality recycled materials. The company says its robots can operate 24/7, 365 days a year, and can each pick and sort at least 33,000 contaminants and valuable items over a 10-hour shift. Recycle’s robots have been retrofitted for existing sorting facilities in Europe and the U.S.
The opportunity for AI-based waste sorting technology is staggering, with only 8% of global waste recycled today, said Recycleye’s CEO Victor Dewulf. The addressable market for recycled materials stands at $114 billion globally, he said, but has “potential to increase by 14 times to $1.6 trillion when the cost of sorting is reduced.”
The company has an order waiting list with facilities in Italy and Belgium. DCVC led the Series A round, with participation from Creator Fund, Atypical, Playfair Capital and others.