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AMP Robotics, a company creating robots that can organize recycling, brought in $91 million in corporate equity in a Series C funding round. This brings the company’s total raised funding to date to about $165.5 million.
AMP Cortex, AMP Robotics’ robotic system, can automate the identification and sorting process for recyclables from mixed material streams. It picks out plastic from other materials, like cardboard, paper, cans and cartons. AMP Cortex can perform up to 80 picks per minute with up to 99% accuracy.
The high-speed system relies on the AMP Neuron AI platform, which constantly trains itself by learning different colors, textures, shapes, sizes, patterns and brand labels to better identify materials and their recyclability.
AMP Robotics hopes that its system can help solve a large issue in recycling. Of the estimated 44 million metric tons of plastic waste managed in the U.S. in 2019, only about 5% was recycled, according to a report from the Department of Energy. AMP Robotics’ high-speed system could help sort more plastics to be recycled.
The company plans to use the funding to scale its business operations, continue expanding internationally and build up its manufacturing capacity to support a fleet of 275 robots. AMP Robotics also hopes to further drive the growth of its secondary sortation business in the U.S. with the funding.
“Our focus from the outset has been our application of AI-powered automation to economically and sustainably improve our global recycling system,” Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics, said. “We’ve been fortunate to attract a passionate team, loyal customers, and visionary investors along the way. With this new funding, we’ll accelerate our efforts to modernize and expand our recycling infrastructure, aiding society’s path to a circular economy.”
Congruent Ventures and Wellington Management led the funding round. The round also included participation from new and existing investors, like Blue Earth Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Tao Capital Partners, XN, Sequoia Capital, GV, Range Ventures and Valor Equity Partners.
“Advancements in robotics and automation are accelerating the transformation of traditional infrastructure, and AMP is seeking to reshape the waste and recycling industries,” Michael DeLucia, sector lead for Climate Investing at Wellington Management, said. “By bringing digital intelligence to the recycling industry, AMP can sort waste streams and extract additional value beyond what is otherwise possible.”
Earlier this year, AMP Robotics announced that it was expanding its partnership with Evergreen, a producer of food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). In March, the companies announced that Evergreen was deploying 15 of the company’s sorting systems. Before the announcement, Evergreen had six robots deployed in its Clyde, Ohio facility, six in its Riverside, California facility, and will add three to its Albany, New York facility.