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The University of Southampton

Carbon conquering company gains major funding boost and international accolade

Published: 22 March 2023
Head & shoulders of 2 scientists
Professor Robert Raja and Dr Daniel Stewart

An innovative company launched from the University of Southampton that turns waste CO2 into useful chemicals has received a multi-million pound investment boost to take its disruptive technology to the next level.

And in the same week, University of Southampton alumnus Dr Daniel Stewart who co-founded the company – ViridiCO2 – made it onto the internationally-prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2023.

ViridiCO2 has secured £3 million in a seed-funding round led by EQT Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the development and commercialisation of ViridiCO2’s technology.

Southampton-based ViridiCO2 is all about closing the carbon loop, supporting the urgent need to cut carbon emissions and reach net zero. The company’s technology converts waste carbon dioxide (which accounts for 80 per cent of greenhouse emissions) into chemical products, which are found in cosmetics, personal care products, furniture and clothing. It means manufacturers can replace up to half of their traditional petrochemical feedstocks with captured waste CO2.

Dr Stewart co-founded ViridiCO2 with Professor Robert Raja in 2021, after completing his Chemistry PhD at the University of Southampton.

Dr Stewart said: “This seed funding will enable us to rapidly scale the ViridiCO2 technology and deliver into early adopter manufacturers who seek to produce more sustainable CO2-based materials.”

On his place in this year’s European Forbes 30 Under 30, in the Manufacturing and Industry category, Dr Stewart said: “It’s an absolute honour to be in the Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2023, amongst a truly inspiring group of amazing entrepreneurs and trailblazers. This recognition is testament to the vital work we are doing at ViridiCO2 to make manufacturing processes more sustainable, and to achieve net zero.” 

Gill Reid, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southampton, said: “Daniel and the team at ViridiCO2 have developed innovative technology that has the potential to deliver real solutions that can play a pivotal role in achieving net zero emission targets globally, and drive forward the emissions reduction solutions for the chemicals industry. It is fantastic to see a home-grown University spin-out that was recognised as a winner of our prestigious 2020 Emerging Technologies Competition continue its journey to scale and become a successful UK business.”

Future Worlds, the University’s on-campus startup accelerator, introduced a group of globally-based alumni and investors to ViridiCO2, who have backed the company with investment and expert mentoring. 

University of Southampton alumnus Ali Mitchell, Partner, EQT Ventures, said: “We look to back generation-defining companies and ViridCO2 is definitely one that has the potential to accelerate the energy transition of a whole industry. Daniel and his team have invented a revolutionary solution to convert waste CO2 into high-value chemical products, plastics and essential items that are still needed in the world today. The tech enables the chemical industry to cut the use of petrochemicals – with a path to removing this feedstock completely – and reduce CO2 emissions, which is crucial to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius, to save our planet from a climate catastrophe. The team has created a solution that is a true win-win for business and the world.”

Video below: Dr Daniel Stewart outlines ViridiCO2’s mission and technology. Video courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 


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