Climate Fund invests in Betolar’s digital platform— great potential for accelerating emissions reductions in the concrete industry

The Climate Fund has granted a EUR 7 million capital loan to materials technology company Betolar Oyj. The investment — the Climate Fund’s first in a digital solution — will be allocated to a digital platform with major emissions reduction potential.

Cement production is one of the greatest emission sources caused by human activity, accounting for roughly 7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions annually. The significant emission reduction potential of Betolar’s solution is based on replacing virgin raw materials with existing industrial side streams, which could reduce emissions caused by the raw materials of concrete by up to 80 per cent compared to traditional concrete products. Betolar’s binding agent uses side streams from, for example the metal, mining and energy industries, along with chemical activators specifically tailored to each side stream.

The innovation in Betolar’s solution lies in making these cement-replacing side streams, other raw materials and the recipes for combining them available on a digital platform. This can enable significant emission reductions to be realised sooner and on a larger scale.

Betolar has an ambitious global business development plan, which requires significant funding to implement. In addition to negotiating on funding with the Climate Fund, Betolar has gathered approximately EUR 5 million in equity funding in 2021. On 18 November 2021, Betolar announced its intentions to seek listing and implement a share issue to raise a total of EUR 30 million in additional financing for its growth strategy.

A company seeking strong growth always involves major funding needs and risks. Betolar’s financing plan is very well put together in terms of allocation and risk distribution. The Climate Fund’s investment will be allocated to the commercialisation of the digital platform and implemented gradually as the company achieves key milestones in the commercialisation process. Betolar is the Climate Fund’s first digital investment. The solution has significant global emission reduction potential if it succeeds”, says Climate Fund CEO Paula Laine.

Betolar seeks to complement its business model with a business ecosystem based on data accumulated from our geopolymer technology. Betolar’s AI platform will play a key role in building this emission-reducing digital solution. The Climate Fund’s investment has a very specific role in our business and financing plan. We’ll strive to ramp up our R&D work and thus realise the positive global climate impact of our solution more quickly”, says Betolar’s CEO Matti Löppönen.

Betolar’s solution:

Established in 2016, Betolar is a growing Finnish materials technology company. The company has developed the geopolymer-based Geoprime® binding agent, which can cut the carbon dioxide emissions of the raw materials of concrete up to 80 per cent compared to traditional concrete products. The company has analysed the usability of over 400 side stream materials from various industries. In addition to reducing emissions, the use of these side streams can contribute to resolving the global waste problem and reduce the consumption of virgin raw materials.

There is a global market for Betolar’s solution, offered as an alternative to traditional cement-based solutions especially in Asia and Europe, which account for 80% of the more than four billion tonnes of cement produced annually in the world — an industry that amounts to almost 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions caused by human activity.

The digital platform designed by Betolar is intended to cut the time needed for establishing a new customer relationship to almost half, expedite the development of new recipes and enable process automation. In combination, these factors strive to enable the realisation of emission reductions sooner and on a larger scale.

The company is aiming to achieve cumulative carbon dioxide emission reductions of up to 150 million tonnes by 2030. Without the data and AI platform, the maximum cumulative emission reductions achievable by the industry in the same period would be a fraction compared to with the platform. Achieving this goal depends among others on the company’s success in developing and commercialising its platform, as well as the successful implementation of its business and R&D plans.

The Climate Fund’s seven-million-euro capital loan will be allocated to the commercialisation of Betolar’s digital platform. The loan will be withdrawn in three instalments based on the achievement of mutually agreed commercial milestones for the platform. The loan is priced at the market rate listed in the EU reference interest rate table and also includes an interest rate premium.

For additional information, please contact:

Saara Mattero, Communications Director, tel. +358 400 114 777 

Matti Löppönen, CEO, Betolar Oyj, tel. +358 50 306 6335,

Riikka Ylikoski, Chief Financial Officer, Betolar Oyj, tel. +358 40 828 2632,

The Finnish Climate Fund is a Finnish state-owned special-assignment company. Its operations focus on combating climate change, boosting low-carbon industry and promoting digitalisation. The Climate Fund invests in large-scale projects in which the fund’s investment is crucial to enable the project’s realisation in the first place, on a larger scale or earlier than it would with funding from elsewhere.

Betolar is a Finnish materials technology company offering a sustainable and low-carbon solution for concrete production with its Geoprime® product. The solution converts several major, previously unused industrial side streams into a substitute for cement. By optimising existing manufacturing processes, Betolar’s AI-driven innovation can achieve considerable carbon dioxide emission reductions at a competitive price compared to traditional concrete manufacturing methods relying on cement. Betolar’s mission is to enable the global green transition in various industries, particularly in the construction, process and energy industries, with solutions based on its unique materials technology.

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