A group of leading mobility and impact venture capital funds, including BMW i Ventures as lead investor, has completed a CHF 32.4 million (USD 35 million) investment in sustainable lightweighting specialists Bcomp, as the Swiss scale-up closed its Series B financing round this month.
- Bcomp has closed its oversubscribed Series B financing round of CHF 32.4 million (USD 35 million) with commitment from a range of mobility-, financial, and impact investment companies
- The strategic group of investors consists of automotive venture capital from BMW i Ventures, Volvo Cars Tech Fund and Porsche Ventures – alongside Airbus Ventures, Generali, and existing investors – collectively adding new competencies to help fuel Bcomp’s hyper growth
- The financing enables Bcomp to scale its workforce, increase its global and domestic production capacity and strengthen its commercial footprint
Its natural fibre-based sustainable lightweighting solutions enable substantial weight- and CO2 emission reductions versus standard materials, with applications ranging from FORMULA 1 and automotive, to aerospace, yachts, and infrastructure. The new funding will help scale the business to a global commercial and production footprint, maximising its sustainability impact.
Bcomp is active in the automotive and mobility, motorsports, marine, sports, and other industry sectors. Its proprietary reinforcement technologies ampliTex™
are used for making light and stiff composites that enable reduction of the environmental impact of products. This is achieved through weight reduction, dematerialisation, renewable raw materials, and viable end-of-life options. They offer significantly higher vibration damping and can reduce the risk of sharp shattering.
The flax fibres used to produce ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ sequester CO2 during their growth and act as a rotational crop to improve soil health and subsequent harvests. They are also indigenous to their growth areas, which results in low water and fertiliser requirements for long-term sustainability. Once the parts are no longer needed, the mono-material can be recycled or used for energy recovery in incineration plants.
The OEMs associated with the investors have first-hand experience with Bcomp technologies.
BMW has tested and validated Bcomp’s ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies in leading motor racing categories since 2019. Starting with the iFE.20 Formula E race car, the technologies were also used for parts of the 2020 BMW M4 DTM bodywork and include the recently announced BMW M4 GT customer racing exterior and interior. The next step is transferring the sustainable technologies and scaling their impact to road-homologated cars.
Volvo Cars first worked with Bcomp in 2018 for the Volvo Ocean Race Recycled Plastics Demonstrator Vehicle
, followed by its most recent concept car, the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge in 2021. The Volvo Cars Concept Recharge demonstrates the steps Volvo Cars intends to take in all areas of pure electric car development to reduce its cars’ and its overall carbon footprint. Inside the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge, Volvo Cars has used Bcomp’s natural fibre composites
for the lower storage areas, back of the headrest and the footrest. For the exterior, it is used for the front and rear bumpers as well as the sill mouldings. Volvo Cars is actively exploring the use of natural fibre composites in its next generation of pure electric cars.
Furthermore, Volvo Cars’ strategic affiliate Polestar aims to adopt Bcomp materials for most of the interior panels of the Polestar 5, the production evolution of the Polestar Precept
, which is expected to be launched in 2024.
Porsche AG worked alongside the Bcomp team to develop the first natural fibre composite motorsport door
in 2019, with the project being listed as a finalist in the JEC Innovation Awards. Following that success, Porsche Motorsports leveraged the benefits of ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ in the production of both exterior
vehicle components for the Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR, culminating in the launch of Porsche’s visionary fully electric Mission R concept car in 2021.
Many of the Mission R’s add-on parts are made using Bcomp’s natural fibre reinforced plastic (NFRP). The natural fibre material can be seen on the car’s exterior, such as the front splitter, the doors, the side skirts and the diffuser.
“The success of this investment round is testament to the many years of hard work from the whole team, paving the way for us to scale Bcomp to an entirely new level. We put a very strong focus on attracting strategic investors, but never could I have imagined closing the round with some of the most prestigious Venture Capitalists from the automotive, aerospace, mobility, impact- and finance sectors. The strong interest from our targeted large-scale mobility markets is clear. Now is the time to scale our production and deploy our global strategy. We are very excited to open this new chapter with the great support of our new partners, developing Bcomp as the global leader of sustainable lightweight material solutions, and making our contribution to the circular economy.” says Christian Fischer
, Bcomp CEO.
“We are very proud to announce our Series B closing, marking a very important milestone in the development of Bcomp. We are grateful to our long-term investors who have yet again contributed to this round, and we are extremely happy to welcome some of the best strategic and financial investors we could have wished for.” says Tobias Laederach
, Bcomp CFO.
The new investors include automotive OEM venture funds BMW i Ventures, Porsche Ventures and Volvo Cars Technology Fund AB, alongside Airbus Ventures, Generali, and existing shareholders, collectively adding new competencies to help fuel Bcomp’s hyper growth. The interest in this minority investment round was significant, resulting in an oversubscribed round.
About Bcomp (CH)Bcomp™ is a Swiss cleantech company and ESG-enabler that develops and sells sustainable lightweighting solutions. Its proprietary natural fibre-based reinforcement technologies ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ reduce environmental impact in a wide range of high-performance applications, from automotive interiors to the highest levels of motorsports, from luxury yachting to sports, infrastructure, aerospace and even space. The Bcomp team offers its customers cutting-edge engineering support from idea to final part, out of its Fribourg headquarter.
About BMW i Ventures (US)BMW i Ventures is the BMW Group’s venture capital firm, investing money and resources in startups in the fields of transportation, manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability. The firm has made many successful investments over the years in companies such as Bright Machines, Blackmore, Chargepoint, Graphcore, Urgent.ly, Proterra, PureCycle, Solid Power, Tekion, Turntide, Xometry and many more. BMW i Ventures invests in all stages from seed to growth with a focus on Series A/B.
“Product sustainability is increasing in importance in the world of motor sport too,” says Franciscus van Meel
, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW M GmbH. “So we are delighted to have Bcomp on board as an official BMW M Motorsport partner for the BMW M4 GT4 project.”
“In order to reduce carbon emissions across its entire fleet, the BMW Group isn’t just focusing on the use phase – it is also paying attention to energy-saving processes during manufacture,” explains Florian Preuß
, Senior Vice President Development Complete Vehicle at the BMW Group. “Innovative material selection and composition are an important step here as we move towards climate neutrality.”