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Circulor Pushes for Greater Raw Materials Traceability
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Circulor Pushes for Greater Raw Materials Traceability

By Boris Kamchev - Jun 11, 2021

Lubricant blenders, automakers and mining companies are increasingly asking third parties to manage their supply chains. One such firm is London-based Circulor, which uses proprietary software to help source raw materials, reduce emissions and improve sustainability.

The company closed a U.S. $14 million funding round on Thursday. It hopes the cash will accelerate rapid growth, drive ongoing innovation and extend its presence in North America and Asia.

Circulor’s first developed its software to trace tantalum, a conflict mineral used in consumer electronics, using a combination of blockchain and machine learning. It has since expanded to trace materials such as nickel, copper, plastics and leather.

According to Circulor, the software assigns a digital identity to commodities and tracks it along the supply chain, calculating embedded carbon at each stage of production, recycling and end-of-life.

Circulor has partnerships with Mercedes and Volvo, which uses the platform to track cobalt used in the Swedish carmaker’s XC40. Volvo spinoff Polestar uses it to assess any environmental and human rights risks posed by the cobalt, nickel, lithium and mica in its high-performance electric vehicles.

In addition to carmakers, the company also works with Australian company Vulcan Energy Resources, a producer of battery-grade lithium hydroxide, and extraction company BHP.

“We are on a mission to make the world’s most complex industrial supply chains more transparent, and help prevent the exploitation of people and our planet,” said Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor. “Traceability-as-a-Service is becoming a requirement for the world’s leading brands. This funding will help us accelerate our revenue growth and impact.”

The Westly Group, an American venture fund, led the round with participation from Salesforce Ventures, BHP Ventures, Future Positive Capital, 24Haymarket and Sky Ocean Ventures, alongside existing investors in the company Boeing, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Total Energies, Plug and Play, and BHP Ventures.

The Westly Group was an early investor in Tesla and Luminar and is enthusiastic about Circulor’s ability to drive supply chain visibility and environmental, social and governance best practices.

“Circulor has established itself as a leader in helping manufacturers source responsibly and measure carbon emissions,” said Steve Westly, founder and managing partner of The Westly Group, who will join the Circulor board. “It has the most commercial traction and mature and complete solution in the space. We’re thrilled to partner with the team.”