Woodoo is creating decarbonized wood-based supplies

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Woodoo, a startup engaged on different supplies for varied industries, has raised $31 million. The corporate is manufacturing composite supplies primarily based on wooden in order that they’ll exchange widespread supplies like glass, leather-based and metal.

Round two-thirds of the quantity raised is an fairness funding spherical led by Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital with One Creation, Purple and varied enterprise angels additionally taking part. Money owed and grants symbolize one third of the entire quantity.

Woodoo founder and CEO Timothée Boitouzet initially studied to turn into an architect. He began his profession working for a number of well-known architectural companies. Amongst different issues, he labored on Stamford Bridge, the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris and the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne.

As is usually the case with giant initiatives like these ones, Boitouzet’s architectural companies relied closely on glass and metal. However he began questioning about low-carbon, high-performance supplies that would exchange these twentieth-century constructing supplies.

Might wooden be the proper candidate? Whereas it’s plentiful, inexpensive and it naturally absorbs carbon emissions, “it burns, it rots and you may’t construct very excessive buildings as a result of it’s not very inflexible,” Boitouzet mentioned.

Primarily, Woodoo needs to handle these drawbacks in order that wood-based supplies turn into a viable different to extra conventional supplies.

“There are three elements in wooden. All the issues of wooden are as a result of lignin, which is the glue between the wooden fibers. It’s eliminated and changed by a binding agent that creates a lot stronger molecular bonds. This additionally makes the wooden utterly inert to its setting,” Boitouzet mentioned.

Wooden is submerged in a number of liquids to detach and extract lignin. The result’s then fused with filling compound in order that “the entire is larger than the sum of its components,” Boitouzet mentioned.

After 5 years of analysis and growth, the corporate has filed for 50 patents and created three totally different supplies. Woodoo Slim is a translucent and touch-sensitive wooden panel that can be utilized in automobiles for dashboards and tactile buttons. It’s a lot lighter than glass.

An instance of Woodoo’s materials utilized in a automotive inside

The second materials is an alternative choice to leather-based. It’s a versatile materials that also options a number of the distinctive design components of wooden. It has loads of potential within the trend and luxurious trade because it’s an animal-free leather-based with a a lot decrease carbon footprint. Specifically, it doesn’t require as a lot water to provide.

Woodoo’s different to leather-based

The third materials is a light-weight but robust structural materials that may very well be utilized by the development sector. Ideally, development firms may use this materials as a substitute of metal.

Woodoo already has two industrial websites to provide these supplies with a particular deal with three verticals — the luxurious, automotive and development industries.

Relating to its provide chain, Woodoo depends on wooden from widespread timber, like poplars. Whereas the corporate is headquartered in Paris, Woodoo created its first industrial website close to Troyes as a result of the Troyes space is likely one of the largest European areas for poplars.

“Both they aren’t exploited, or they’re exploited for wooden power or supplies with very low added worth,” Boitouzet mentioned. “However these are species that develop very quick, so that they retailer essentially the most CO2.”

With right now’s funding spherical, the corporate needs to double down on its current merchandise and industries. “What made this necessary funding spherical potential is that we now have been capable of self-finance with out exterior money thus far. I injected fairly a bit of private cash, we gained 44 innovation awards and naturally we promote merchandise to clients,” Boitouzet mentioned.

Woodoo has already signed offers with luxurious manufacturers (LVMH), automotive markers (Volkswagen and Mercedes) and extra not too long ago the primary deal within the development trade (Garnica). And with some contemporary money in its checking account, Woodoo can now scale its manufacturing and ship on its imaginative and prescient.

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