Woven Capital leads Series C round to advance the circular economy by diverting used tires from landfills and supporting development of high-performance recycled car parts

SEOUL, South Korea, June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — LD Carbon, a leading producer of recovered carbon black, closed a $28M Series C funding round led by Toyota’s growth fund, Woven Capital, with participation by  Meritz Securities, Investwith, Industrial Bank of Korea, Hyundai Motor Group ZER01NE, Elohim Partners and New Main Capital. LD Carbon will use the investment to scale operations to recycle end-of-life tires and material from end-of-life vehicles into recovered carbon black and pyrolysis oil through pyrolysis and material recovery technology, which in turn can be used to create new automotive parts and tires. The investment will advance LD Carbon’s mission of accelerating the circular economy while delivering material cost and carbon savings to global customers.

Manufacturing carbon black is a highly polluting process, generating 25 million metric tons of CO2 annually, while another 1.6 million metric tons come from the 28% of all waste tires that are burned — the combined CO2 equivalent of more than 9M passenger vehicles. LD Carbon’s pyrolysis and material recovery process uses patented recovered carbon black manufacturing technology to provide nearly 100% recovery of waste tires, providing an environmentally safe option for recovered carbon black (“rCB”) and developing pyrolysis oil.

“LD Carbon is solving a tough chemistry problem that continues to challenge manufacturers across the automotive supply chain as they face increasing pressure to embrace sustainability goals,” said Prashant Bothra, Woven Capital principal who is joining the LD Carbon board. “With a major plant under construction, the company is scaling their proven technology to maximize productivity and reduce the cost of creating high-performance recovered carbon black, offering substantial value compared to virgin materials. With regulatory and corporate tailwinds, a strong sales pipeline, and a first-mover advantage in Asia, we believe LD Carbon is well-positioned to play an important role in the sustainable future.”

Automakers are increasingly adopting increased recycled content for cars. This demand is driven by new corporate net-zero targets, emissions requirements, and European Commission proposals calling for car manufacturers to use 25% recycled plastic content, of which at least 5% must come from end-of-life vehicles.

“Our mission is to dramatically improve the sustainability profile of the automotive industry, while lowering costs,” said Seong Mun Baek, CEO and co-founder of LD Carbon. “Partnering with Woven Capital and other strategic investors will give us invaluable insights into scaling operations to support global OEMs as they seek to offer more sustainable vehicles to discerning consumers and business customers. Together, we can ensure automotive and its related industries are more environmentally friendly than ever while meeting high standards for cost and performance.”

LD Carbon is a leading producer of recovered carbon black (rCB) and tire pyrolysis oil (TPO) derived from waste tires. The company’s existing plant in Gimcheon, South Korea, has an annual capacity of over 7,000 tons of rCB, which is supplied to major tire and rubber product manufacturers. Additionally, LD Carbon has secured a 10-year supply agreement with SK Incheon Petrochemicals for its tire pyrolysis oil. The company is investing in the construction of Asia’s largest tire pyrolysis plant in Dangjin City, Chungcheongnam-do, with completion targeted in 2024. Its annual capacity will be 50,000 tons of end-of-life tires turned into 23,000 tons of TPO,20,000 tons of rCB, and 7,000 tons of other valuable gas and materials. LD Carbon is also co-developing key product specifications alongside industry leaders like several major global tire makers.

About LDC

LD Carbon Co., Ltd is an eco-friendly material industry company, which has developed leading technologies to produce green carbon black and pyrolysis oil from end-of-life tires. LD Carbon’s tire pyrolysis oil and recovered Carbon Black have passed quality assurance test programs from some of the leading global petrochemical and tire companies. LDC is building its first, mass-production pyrolysis factory, with 50ktpa end-of-life tire pyrolysis capacity in South Korea with deployment plan for the following plants in the other APAC region with prominent industrial groups. Learn more at https://en.ldcarbon.co.kr/.

About Woven Capital

Woven Capital is Toyota’s growth fund dedicated to realizing the promise of mobility — how people, goods, information and energy can move. Our global team of investors connects the world’s most promising innovators with the world’s most trusted automotive brand. Founded in 2021, we are investing nearly $800 million in startups that create new ways to connect cities, advance automation, harness and store energy, further electrification, and make our vehicles smarter. Learn more at woven.vc.