- The investment is part of an oversubscribed $16M round, co-led by TDK Ventures and Pangaea Ventures and joined by Rhapsody Ventures, Collaborative Fund, FM Capital, and BASF Venture Capital
- pH7 Technologies, a new Canadian sustainable startup, has developed a game-changing metal extraction process that eliminates the need for toxic chemicals and high-temperature furnaces while reducing the environmental impact of the mining and conventional recycling process
- pH7 Technologies’ revolutionary proprietary process provides near net-zero environmental impact in the extraction of key metal/mineral resources and will serve as an enabler allowing metal supply to support the massive electrification movement
- The investment reflects TDK Ventures’ commitment to supporting innovative solutions that help address the global energy transformation by transforming the metal supply chain. It is also the first investment out of the Pangaea Ventures Impact Fund
March 27, 2023
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc., its corporate venture-capital arm, is investing in sustainable metal extraction innovator pH7 Technologies and co-leading their Series A financing round. The unique chemical process developed by pH7 has the potential to change the metal extraction from mining and recycling resources through their sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. This closed-loop metal extraction process could potentially empower the metal transition necessary to usher in next-generation global electrification. This investment reflects TDK Ventures’ commitment to supporting innovative solutions that can help address the global energy transformation by transforming the metal supply chain.
The demand for key metals and minerals – ranging from copper, platinum, and cobalt, to silicon, lanthanum, and neodymium, among others – are critical and often pervasive across the suite of modern technologies driving ever-accelerating clean energy transition. Demands for these key materials are projected to skyrocket in upcoming years. There is an expected increase of as much as 500% in consumption across selected materials. Projected deficits already indicate a shortfall, with respect to market demand, expected to reach as low as -17% (copper),
-17% (platinum), and even -47% (neodymium) by 2030. Global industries are seeking ways to address these shortfalls and mitigate risk. However, the process to acquire and extract these metals/minerals are often environmentally detrimental, possesses limited scalability, and is complicated by dynamic geopolitical issues due to unequal global distribution.
pH7 Technologies developed a proprietary metal-extraction process utilizing non-toxic organic and inorganic chemistry, as well as electrochemistry to drive the extraction of metals and key minerals from ores, concentrates, and end-of-life materials. This innovative approach reduces the environmental impact of the mining and mineral processes and enables efficient metal extraction from low-grade resources or difficult substrates which are uneconomical or infeasible by current pyrometallurgy or hydrometallurgy approaches.
“TDK Ventures will support pH7 Technologies in their mission to create a more sustainable and efficient metal-extraction process,” said Nicolas Sauvage, President of TDK Ventures. “Environmentally-friendly metal extraction is a huge win for sustainability, as the process has demonstrated a net 95% reduction in CO2 emission, 95% increase in energy efficiency, absolutely no toxic emissions, and near-zero water consumption compared against current industry standards.”
“pH7 Technologies has created a path forward for key metals extraction and refining that will enable the transition to renewable energy in a much more sustainable way,” said Sarah Applebaum, Partner with Pangaea Ventures. “We share pH7’s passion to create a more habitable and sustainable planet for future generations and are excited to be a part of this project.”
“Our team is thrilled to have the support of our co-lead investors, TDK Ventures and Pangaea Ventures, as well as other new investors like Rhapsody Ventures, Collaborative Fund, FM Capital, and BASF Venture Capital, who will work with us to scale our sustainable metal-extraction process,” said Mohammad Doostmohammadi, CEO of pH7 Technologies. “We are committed to developing environmentally responsible solutions that address the challenges in the metal supply chain, and we believe that our technology can help accelerate the global transition to a more sustainable energy future.”
pH7 Technologies’ chemical process is gaining traction within industry OEMs, metal refiners, and suppliers due to its inherently scalable, high-yield, and faster-than-acid-based solution. The new metal extraction process represents a practical solution to an industry-pervasive problem while simultaneously creating a low-cost solution, with high environmental consideration, and a demonstrated technical maturity.
By investing in pH7 Technologies, TDK Ventures contributes to a more sustainable metal supply chain that can support global energy transformation. The investment also reflects TDK Ventures’ focus on investing in technologies that can have a positive impact on the environment and society.
About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK‘s comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic, and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads, and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics, and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2022, TDK posted total sales of USD 15.6 billion and employed about 117,000 people worldwide.
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power, and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality, and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or .
About pH7 Technologies
pH7 Technologies designs and implements methodologies for sustainable extraction and refining of strategic metals for the renewable-energy transition. Its services apply green solvents, organic, inorganic, and electro chemistry for selective metal extraction and recycling of platinum group metals, and copper extraction from low-grade ore with near-zero water consumption. pH7 Technologies was founded in 2020 and is based in Vancouver, Canada.
About Pangaea Ventures
Pangaea Ventures is the world leader in hard tech and impact investing, with offices in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and Phoenix, AZ, USA. With over two decades of hard tech impact investing experience, Pangaea’s impressive portfolio includes companies that are solving fundamental challenges that impact the world including climate change, global food security, access to clean water, and poor health outcomes. From due diligence to investment selection and portfolio management, the impact is embedded in all aspects of Pangaea Ventures’ activities. For more information, visit www.pangaeaventures.com.
To learn more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners should visit www.tdk-ventures.com or reach out at .