ecoLocked raises €4M to tackle the construction industry’s carbon footprint and enable 1Gt of carbon removal by 2040

ecoLocked develops carbon-negative building materials, turning the built environment into the largest human-made carbon sink

Berlin, June 03, 2024 - ecoLocked, a Berlin-based climate tech company, provides functional, carbon-negative building materials to reduce the net carbon footprint of construction projects. Now, the company has announced the closing of its €4M seed funding round. The round was co-led by climate-focused VCs Matterwave Ventures and Climentum Capital, with participation from existing investors Counteract, SFO, Sabanci Building Solutions, and Voyagers.

ecoLocked founders - left to right: Micheil Gordon, Steff Gerhart, Mario Schmitt; Photo credits to Audacious Studios

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies are a vital tool in combating climate change. Biochar carbon removal (BCR) accounts for 94% of delivered carbon credits in 2023. With their innovative approach of transforming solid atmospheric carbon into high-performing building materials, ecoLocked offers biochar producers access to a highly scalable end application and unlocks the built environment as the largest human-made carbon sink.

Their first product line, eLM Zero, is an admix material, enabling carbon-neutral concrete. Multiple concrete producers in the DACH region and the Netherlands have already embedded eLM Zero into their product portfolio. Additionally, they collaborate with prominent players in the cement industry and work with municipalities and real estate developers to bring down construction projects’ footprint.

"In order to stay well below 2 degree warming, emissions reduction won´t be enough: carbon will need to be removed from the air and stored safely. Biochar is among the cheapest and most scalable solutions to do it, and its addition to building materials provides an effective way to decarbonize the built environment, immediately" shares Ines Kolmsee, General Partner at Matterwave Ventures, an early stage VC firm investing in the sustainable future of European industry. “In this context ecoLocked plays the vital role of linking the biochar market to the building materials industry”.

“Emissions from building materials account for 15% of European carbon emissions and are one of the hardest to avoid. We looked at a broad range of technologies and decided to invest into ecoLocked as it offers a solution that works now and can be combined with future decarbonization technologies for concrete” notes Dörte Hirschberg, General Partner at Climentum Capital, a venture capital firm investing in European champions of decarbonization. 

ecoLocked will use the fresh funds to expand its production plant, launch additional product lines, and accelerate the offtake of its products. With investments in its R&D team, ecoLocked is furthermore set to expand its AI-driven platform which enables them to make use of the feedstock variability – generally the key challenge for the construction sector - to efficiently create consistent, high-quality products for specific segments.

"I firmly believe that the future of carbon removal lies in developing products that not only store captured carbon for long periods, but also become valuable resources for local industries, such as the construction sector. The fresh funding will allow us to expand our product portfolio and scale up ouroperations with the help of strong new partners.", says Dr. Mario Schmitt, CEO of ecoLocked.

About the Company

ecoLocked converts captured carbon into functional, carbon-negative building materials, thereby combining carbon storage and utilization for maximum impact and scalability. Their products permanently store carbon in the built environment, reduce the need for fossil raw materials, and deliver targeted functionalities such as thermal insulation, weight reduction, and curing acceleration. The feedstock comprises local biomass residues. ecoLocked is poised to scale up and remove more than five million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 and a cumulative 1Gt by 2040. 

ecoLocked was founded in 2021 by CEO Mario Schmitt, CTO Micheil Gordon, and CCO Stefanie Gerhart. Its growing team includes 18 people from 13 nationalities, with diverse expertise in sustainability, material science, construction, and business. The company’s office is located in Berlin with its production facility and laboratory in Bernau.


ecoLocked team in its production plant -May 2024; Photo credits to Audacious Studios
About Matterwave Ventures

Matterwave Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Munich, with the mission of backing the sustainable future of European industry. It envisions Europe to regain technology leadership especially inclean technologies and autonomy over energy and raw materials. Its focus is on early stage deep-tech industrial innovations across Europe, both software and hardware. Over the last 20 years, the team invested in over 60 companies and currently has over EUR 250 million of capital under management. 


About Climentum Capital

Climentum Capital is a Venture Capital firm based in Copenhagen, Berlin and Stockholm. The General Partners Malin Carlström, Dörte Hirschberg, Morten Halborg and Stefan Maard invest in European B2B climate hard tech startups. 

Climentum targets late Seed and Series A investments in the five sectors that generate more than 90% of emissions in Europe: energy, industry, food & agriculture, buildings and transportation.The pioneering Article 9 fund has a double incentives structure, with carryindexed on both CO2 emissions reductions and financial returns. Climentum’s portfolio includes Qvantum, one.five and Jolt Electrodes.


ecoLocked Media Contact

Mario Schmitt
CEO ecoLocked GmbH
+49 175 7858921