AlterBiota closes $4-million seed round in mission to decarbonize concrete

Invest Nova Scotia, BDC-backed AlterBiota has developed a sustainable concrete additive.

Sydney, Nova Scotia-based cleantech startup AlterBiota has secured $4 million CAD in seed financing to develop, test, and commercialize its sustainable concrete additive.

The round, which closed in late February, was led by Invest Nova Scotia, with support from BDC Capital’s Climate Tech Fund. Each firm put $1.5 million into AlterBiota, and other undisclosed investors provided the remaining $1 million. Invest Nova Scotia previously participated in AlterBiota’s pre-seed round.

AlterBiota plans to invest this capital into industrial product trials, a commercial-scale plant, and hiring as the company gears up to refine and commercialize its biographene admixtures, which aim to help reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

AlterBiota plans to put this money toward industrial product trials, engineering of a commercial-scale plant, and hiring.

“A great deal of work has gone into the [minimum viable product] development of our core product, hydrous Bio Graphene Oxide (hBGO), which is a liquid admixture that strengthens concrete and greatly reduces its carbon footprint,” AlterBiota co-founder and CEO Mark Masotti told BetaKit. “We’re building out the team we need to evolve from strictly [research and development] into commercialization and recently moved into a 3,000 square-foot plant outside Sydney, Nova Scotia.”

$3.15 million of this $4 million total—including the $3 million from Invest Nova Scotia and BDC and another $150,000 from undisclosed investors—consisted of new equity funding. The remaining $850,000 was comprised of simple agreement for future equity financing and convertible debentures from throughout 2023 that converted at the close of this round.

Masotti told BetaKit that the all-primary round gives AlterBiota a post-money valuation of approximately $16.4 million. It brings AlterBiota’s total funding to $6.5 million, a figure that includes more than $1 million in non-dilutive capital.

Founded in 2018, AlterBiota is a green materials company that focuses on cost-effective concrete decarbonization. Making concrete is a carbon-intensive process. Biographene, a form of graphene made from organic materials, is a particularly strong carbon-based material that can be used as a low-carbon ingredient for concrete and cement.

AlterBiota has developed a natural biographene admixture—and an environmentally friendly process for making it—that enables concrete producers to use less Portland cement (the type of cement used in most concrete). Using byproducts from the forestry industry, AlterBiota claims to produce a carbon-negative, easy-to-use, liquid additive that makes concrete stronger.

“AlterBiota’s proprietary, water-based, one-pot-synthesis process creates a novel concrete admixture with virtually no waste that not only ensures superior performance but also helps to green the construction industry,” BDC Climate Tech Fund partner Pascal Lanctot said in a statement.

For her part, Invest Nova Scotia investment principal Jennifer Fuccillo argued that AlterBiota has “the right mix of novel technology, industry know-how, and business acumen” to succeed.

AlterBiota plans to add another 10 to 15 employees to its nine-person team. Masotti noted that the company also intends to invest in intellectual property, product and carbon market development, and continue to build out its network of industrial partners and future customers.

Feature image courtesy Careers in Sustainability. Screenshot via YouTube.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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