MZT closes USD $5M Seed fundraise from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Anglo American

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Today MZT is excited to announce the close of our USD $5M seed financing round with investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Anglo American. MZT will use the new investment to expand and accelerate its scale-up R&D activities and business operations, and to support its delivery of both the designed 120 tons/year pilot plant and a subsequent planned first commercial project. As part of the current round, the company welcomes two experienced additions as Board members: Dr Mark Hartney from BEV and Mark Freed from Anglo American to provide expert steering for the company’s rapid growth.

MZT was created in 2020 from a collaboration between global mining company Anglo American and venture creators Deep Science Ventures (DSV), whereby the two partners joined forces as part of a framework dedicated to identifying impactful ideas and creating transformational ventures with the aim to accelerate decarbonization pathways across key industries. Prior capital was provided through pre-seed investment from Anglo American and DSV. MZT has also received a grant from the payments company Stripe for carrying out early-stage R&D, and via non-dilutive funding provided by the UK's Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to design a first pilot plant. Most recently, MZT’s 1000 t/y carbon removal collaboration with carbon sequestration company 44.01 entitled Project Hajar was awarded $1M as one of fifteen Milestone Prize winners for the XPRIZE Carbon Removal, a $100M competition backed by entrepreneur Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation.

“Going from concept to pilot and then to commercial scale in less than half a decade speaks volumes about how the world views our market’s potential as hyper-critical. This milestone is the first of many in our journey to fulfilling that potential aided with early backing from government, industry, and society.”
Dr Shiladitya Ghosh, Mission Zero co-founder and COO
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Engineered carbon removal approaches such as DAC are critical for meeting global Net Zero ambitions as they can counterbalance industrial emissions that are the most difficult to directly abate, such as those associated with aviation and shipping. To achieve this, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - expects that global DAC capacity to the tune of at least 5 gigatonnes/year will be required before 2050, necessitating a multi-trillion-dollar carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry. MZT projects that its solution, at scale, will play a major role in this market by capturing atmospheric CO₂ at well under $100/ton and delivering it on-site to end users or sequestration facilities.

“It goes without saying that climate change is the existential crisis of our time - anthropogenic emissions are slowly baking us all to death. We need to get really good at capturing and using our own emissions and channel them into a Gigatonne-scale supply chain of CO₂ to feed the growing opportunity of CCUS – this is ultimately what is required to decarbonise our lives. We’re thrilled to bring on BEV alongside our existing investors in our shared vision of a world where CO₂ emissions are an opportunity not a threat. Fundamentally CO₂ must become the carbon backbone of everything we make, do, and consume.”

— Dr Nicholas Chadwick, Cofounder & CEO of MZT

From a technical perspective, MZT’s brand of electrochemical DAC sets out to eliminate scale-up constraints from the get-go. It is fully electric to leverage growing renewable and low-carbon electricity supply globally, it can continuously provide high-grade CO₂ that easily integrates downstream, and it has a highly compact footprint allowing greater utilisation of available land. Their innovations also enable drastically reduced energy footprints, minimise plant complexity by reducing the number of unit operations in their process, and bring in the stability of existing manufacturing supply chains to de-risk the growth of their technology.

“MZT has combined mature technologies with innovative yet simple chemistry to create a heat-free, modular, and energy-efficient DAC process that is economical and works at ambient conditions. By making use of existing technology and widely available chemicals, we can rapidly scale-up and deploy our plants to contribute to the large-scale removal required within our tight planetary deadline.”

— Dr Gael Gobaille-Shaw, Cofounder & CTO of MZT

The onboarding of one of the world’s premier clean energy and climate-aligned funds in BEV puts MZT in the esteemed company of other portfolio members that are also leading the development of parallel carbon removal approaches or building out critical carbon utilisation and sequestration pathways. This is combined with the continuing support from Anglo American's team working specifically to accelerate decarbonization pathways through targeted investments and venture building activities.

“Mission Zero’s solution has the potential for the lowest energy required to capture CO₂ since electricity rather than heat is used to recover the CO₂. This makes it easy to site anywhere so it’s a very flexible application and its core process is the same at almost any scale. We’re looking forward to working with the Mission Zero team to help add their product to the DAC arsenal of solutions to meet the goal of global net zero emissions.”

— Dr Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures

“Whether we’re thinking about servicing the voluntary market or supplying pure, green commodity CO₂; engineered approaches to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere are critical. It’s no coincidence that Mission Zero appears to break traditional trade-offs associated with DAC. The whole company, from team to technology, was designed from first principles to circumvent the critical constraints in these markets specifically, using less heat, using fewer bespoke components, occupying a smaller footprint: built not from a research discovery but specifically designed to fulfil a present and growing market need. We have the greatest respect both for the team and the new investors joining us on the journey.”

— Dominic Falcao, Founding Director at DSV

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