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UP Catalyst raises €4M to power Europe with green graphite

Estonian startup UP Catalyst, which produces green graphite from CO2 emissions, has closed a €4 million seed round to enable European raw materials autonomy.

Estonian startup UP Catalyst, which builds sustainable carbon material production directly from CO2 emissions, successfully closed a €4 million seed round. This will help to advance its ground-breaking technology amid the rising need for sustainable solutions in the carbon reduction sector.

The timing is just right. China’s recent curbs on graphite export spurred Europe’s need for local battery raw material substitutes. UpCatalyst will build an industrial pilot reactor capable of transforming 100 tons of CO2 yearly into 27 tons of carbon materials to answer this demand.

This will make Estonia an even more crucial player in European quest to strategic autonomy. Last year the country welcomed a €100 million magnet factory in Narva. Now, there’s one more success story in the making.

World leaders in green graphite

UpCatalyst’s new reactor will have a production capacity ten times larger than the current setup and marks an important milestone before the construction of a full-scale industrial reactor unit. Soon, the company plans to become the world’s biggest supplier of green graphite.

This round was led by Berlin-based climate tech VC fund Extantia and supported by Estonia’s state fund SmartCap, along with the continued participation of existing investors Sunly, Little Green Fund, Scottish Baltic Invest and UniTartu Ventures.


Yair Reem, Partner at Extantia, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership by saying, “UP Catalyst is redefining the conventional approach to graphite production by turning away from environmentally detrimental fossil fuel methods. We perceive China’s export restrictions not as a barrier but as a catalyst for European green innovation. UP Catalyst stands at the forefront, ready to deliver a dependable, price-competitive and sustainable solution to address the growing global demand for battery manufacturing.”

Gary Urb, CEO of UP Catalyst, expressed his excitement about the investment: “We are thrilled to have secured this funding, bringing us one step closer to empowering 4 million car batteries with graphite sourced from CO2 emissions by 2030. This carbon supply can cover approximately 20% of the EV battery market’s yearly carbon need in Europe.”

With new support, UP Catalyst is primed to transform European battery production by replacing fossil-based graphite. This shift could avert up to 118.7 megatons of CO2 emissions annually by 2030, making a noteworthy environmental impact. Then, the sky is the limit — global graphite demand is expected to exceed supply by 700,000 tons yearly by 2030.

Interested in investing in Estonia?  Read more about the GreenTech opportunitiesEstonia offers and use our 1:1 e-Consulting service to get started.

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