A group of mobility and impact venture capital funds, including BMW i Ventures as lead investor, has completed a US$35m investment in sustainable lightweight material specialist Bcomp, as the Swiss company closed its Series B financing round this month. The new funding will help Bcomp scale its business to a global commercial and production footprint, maximizing its sustainability impact.
Bcomp is currently active in the automotive and mobility, motorsports, marine, sports and other industry sectors. Its proprietary reinforcement technologies, ampliTex and powerRibs, are used for making light and stiff composites that enable reduction of the environmental impact of products. This is achieved through weight reduction, dematerialization, use of renewable raw materials, and viable end-of-life recycling options. They offer significantly higher vibration damping and can reduce the risk of sharp shattering.
“The success of this investment round is testament to the many years of hard work from the whole team, paving the way for us to scale Bcomp to an entirely new level. We put a very strong focus on attracting strategic investors, but never could I have imagined closing the round with some of the most prestigious Venture Capitalists from the automotive, aerospace, mobility, impact and finance sectors,” said Christian Fischer, Bcomp CEO.
“The strong interest from our targeted large-scale mobility markets is clear. Now is the time to scale our production and deploy our global strategy. We are very excited to open this new chapter with the great support of our new partners, developing Bcomp as the global leader of sustainable lightweight material solutions, and making our contribution to the circular economy.”
BComp notes that the flax fibers used to produce ampliTex and powerRibs sequester CO2 during their growth and act as a rotational crop to improve soil health and subsequent harvests. They are also indigenous to their growth areas, which results in low water and fertilizer requirements for long-term sustainability. Once the parts are no longer needed, the mono-material can be recycled or used for energy recovery in incineration plants.
A number of OEMs are looking to use BComp materials for interior applications. For example, Volvo Cars, one of the investors in the current round, first worked with Bcomp in 2018 on its Ocean Race Recycled Plastics Demonstrator Vehicle, followed by its most recent concept car, the Recharge in 2021. The latter used Bcomp’s natural fiber composites for the lower storage areas, back of the headrest and the footrest. Volvo is actively exploring the use of natural fiber composites in its next generation of pure electric cars.
Furthermore, Volvo Cars’ strategic affiliate Polestar aims to adopt Bcomp materials for most of the interior panels of the Polestar 5, the production evolution of the Polestar Precept concept, which is expected to be launched in 2024.