Carbon negative construction company LEKO LABS announces $21 million oversubscribed Series A, appoints new CEO
LEKO Labs, the Luxembourg based carbon negative construction company, today announces a $21 million Series A funding round.
The investment is led by urban sustainability-focused fund 2150 with participation from the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Tencent, AMAVI, Rise PropTech Fund, Extantia and Freigeist. The total footprint of real estate developed, built or managed by LEKO’s new investor base totals approximately 500 million sq ft., which corresponds to an area the size of Manhattan.
Former Lilium CCO Dr. Remo Gerber also joins the company as CEO, with current CEO and founder Francois Cordier reverting to the CTO role with the focus of furthering its groundbreaking sustainable building materials, robotics and software development.
LEKO Labs has developed a novel wall and floor building material based entirely on wood and wood fibre, which is capable of replacing up 75% of concrete and steel currently used in constructing a single building. In incorporating engineered wood and a fully circular manufacturing process, the system provides not only a sustainable approach to building but superior insulation properties with thinner walls, enabling up to 10% more floor space for a given building.
The technology can be used for buildings up to 100m tall and multiple developments are in completion to date in its Benelux home market, from homes to office buildings, data-centres and beyond. The wall system is also highly insulating and can reduce heating and cooling needs of a building by up to 87% compared to today's standards, whilst potentially enabling buildings to remain carbon neutral over their entire lifetime.
LEKO Labs’s software platform calculates and optimises thermal, acoustic and static properties of the buildings, resolving moisture and noise problems typically associated with wooden buildings. Its algorithm optimizes each building reducing wood usage vs traditional builds by up to 50%, making best use of the precious natural resource.
By introducing an automotive style, robotics driven approach to the manufacturing of buildings, more can be delivered in much shorter time and at higher quality in comparison to traditional construction approaches. This benefits not only construction companies but also workers able to perform their duties in a safe and clean environment.
The Series A funding is one of the most substantial capital raises in the sustainable building sector in Europe, an area for a long time underfunded by venture capital investments. This is especially important considering 39% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from housing with one third of that from raw materials production of concrete and steel and two thirds from heating and cooling our buildings. The new funding will enable LEKO Labs to scale its advanced software and robotics construction solution throughout Europe including Germany, the Nordics and the UK, supplying finished walls from its factory in Luxembourg.
Francois Cordier, CTO and Founder at LEKO LABS: “I’m delighted to welcome Remo as our new CEO and our new investors to help deliver our vision towards a more sustainable building sector. Together we have a strong shot on the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in 2040 by 1% using the LEKO Labs advanced building technology. His experience in scaling companies and capitalising them will be instrumental for the success of the company.”
Dr. Remo Gerber, CEO at LEKO LABS: “I could not be more excited to join the journey with Francois and the entire LEKO Labs team, it’s such an important and critical mission. We are making a difference today, each of our walls saves several tons of CO2 here and now. By scaling up our solution with automotive robotics we will achieve global impact in the coming years.”
The investor group was led by urban sustainability technology VC fund 2150, who closed their first $310 million fund in October 2021. The fund’s mission is to invest in technologies addressing the planet's most pressing climate change problems, and they have in particular identified the built environment as a key challenge.
Christian Hernandez, co-founder at 2150 said: “The LEKO Labs team is on an important mission to help decarbonise the built environment with a fundamentally different and scalable approach. We are delighted to partner with LEKO Labs bringing our climate tech and strong European property investor basis to play and help adoption of a groundbreaking new approach.”
LEKO Labs 5L walls are commercially attractive to build with, and when combined with inbuilt insulation can reduce wall thickness by up to 40%, creating more property floor space. Furthermore, usage of the solution can enable total building times to be shrunk by up to 50%, reducing noise and waste at construction sites to a minimum. Thus overall building with LEKO Labs is close to carbon neutral with a commercially superior solution.
The LEKO Labs system can be applied in most building settings from single family homes, to apartment or office buildings and industrial warehouses or data centers. It is a commercially attractive solution with one of the lowest carbon footprints possible from the moment the building is completed and throughout the lifetime with low heating and cooling emissions. So future residents can sleep in peace knowing they built sustainable and corporate organisations have a real solution to help achieve their Net Zero goals.
About LEKO Labs:
LEKO Labs S.A. was founded by Francois Cordier in 2017 with a vision to accelerate the adoption of sustainable building materials in the built environment. It has grown to over 30 FTE in Luxembourg and has recently opened a subsidiary in Switzerland and will soon open an office in London. It has developed a groundbreaking wood composite structure capable of replacing concrete bearing walls in any type of building up to 100m tall. Buildings are delivered today in its home BENELUX market, saving thousands of tons of CO2 and expansion is planned across Europe in 2022.
2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment. 2150’s investment thesis focuses on major unsolved problems across what it calls the ‘Urban Stack’, which comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. Find out more at www.2150.vc and follow us on twitter here.