VALIS Raises an Oversubscribed Seed Round to Deliver AI-Powered Software Tools for Metal Recycling
Massachusetts-based startup is creating a circular economy for metals powered by data.
Oct. 10, 2023, Worcester, MA – VALIS Insights, Inc. (VALIS), a company advancing a circular economy for metals, oversubscribed its seed round investment early in September. The round was led by Closed Loop Partners’ Ventures Group, with participation from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), GS Futures, REFASHIOND Ventures, the WPI Commercialization Fund, and Angels from Launchpad Venture Group and Wire Group. This funding follows the pilot-scale launch of VALIS’s flagship product, VALI-Sort, with Radius Recycling (formerly Schnitzer Steel Industries), from earlier this year and will accelerate team and technology growth.
Today, metal production accounts for 10% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions will continue to grow as demand for major metals is expected to nearly double by 2050. Maximized recycling of post-consumer metals––material recovered from used consumer goods––is critical to sustainable material consumption. Recycled metal generates approximately 80% fewer emissions compared to primary metal, extracted from mined ore. However, the recycling industry is currently limited by inefficiencies along the value chain, leading to the significant loss of valuable metals worth over $50B each year. New technology is needed to work alongside human decision-making to keep up with market volatility and uncertainty.
VALIS’s groundbreaking technology is advancing metal recycling by working to make existing infrastructure more efficient, a key solution to a healthy supply chain and a drastic reduction in emissions associated with metal production. VALI-Sort increases transparency around material separation at recycling facilities by integrating directly with sensor-based sorting equipment to provide plant and sales managers with high value insights into the quality and value of material flowing through the system. VALI-Sort is the first step in VALIS’s long-term vision to create an integrated platform that bridges gaps along the entire recycling value chain. This technology aims to enable data sharing between facilities, offer visibility for manufacturers on their products at end-of-life, and incorporate optimization along every point of the recycling process to ensure the materials of yesterday are effectively recovered to meet the demand of tomorrow.
“Recycling facilities are generating a wealth of data that is currently going to waste. This data has the power to transform how process decisions are made, material quality is assessed, and recyclable metals are sold. At VALIS, we’re putting AI-powered tools in the hands of recyclers by integrating directly with their equipment and current operations. We’re enabling data driven decision-making so they can be confident their processes are optimized even as material and market trends shift” says CEO, Emily Molstad.
The VALIS team has been researching and developing AI capabilities for the recycling space since 2019, with support through Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and officially incorporated in July of 2022. Efforts are led by co-founders, Emily Molstad (CEO) and Caleb Ralphs (CTO), who bring a unique blend of expertise in metals processing, recycling, data science and machine learning. Product Director Ben Longo brings an extensive skillset in SaaS product development and system integration. The team plans to continue its growth and advance the circularity of metal processing.
“Existing metal processing is opaque to most of us. When a car or an appliance reaches the end of its useful life, we trust that the valuable metals make their way back into new products. That is often not the case – nor do we have the tools today to know exactly where and why materials are falling out of the system,” says Aly Bryan, Investor with Closed Loop Partners’ Ventures Group. “The team at VALIS is committed to building out that transparency, and with it, greater economic value for metal processors and everyone within the metals recycling value chain. We are excited to support them on that journey.”
Investment funds will be targeted toward expansion of the VALIS team including software development, sales, and operations to support at-scale rollout of the solution across the metals recycling ecosystem. Interested in being a part of the journey? Visit our careers webpage for available positions https://www.valisinsights.com/careers or reach out to email@example.com to explore partnership opportunities. Follow along with our quarterly newsletter and on LinkedIn.
About VALIS Insights, Inc.
VALIS is building AI-powered software that makes recycling more profitable, material supply chains more sustainable and closes the loop on a circular economy for metal fabrication. With VALIS technology metal recyclers gain visibility into their material quality and make data-driven process decisions to extract more value. Founded in 2022 by experts in metal recycling and data science, VALIS is dedicated to maximizing the recovery of valuable metals while supporting the profitability and stability of the recycling value chain. For more information visit us at https://www.valisinsights.com/.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is at the forefront of building the circular economy. The company is comprised of three key business segments. Closed Loop Capital Management manages venture capital, buyout and catalytic private credit investment strategies on behalf of global corporations, financial institutions and family offices. The Center for the Circular Economy unites competitors and partners to tackle complex material challenges and implement systemic change to advance circularity. Circular Services employs innovative technology within reuse, recycling, remanufacturing and re-commerce solutions to improve regional economic and environmental outcomes, and build resilient systems that keep food & organics, textiles, electronics, packaging and more, in circulation and out of landfill or the natural environment. Closed Loop Partners is based in New York City and is a registered B Corp. For more information, please visit www.closedlooppartners.com.