EQT Foundation invests in carbon-free metal producer Magrathea, reducing the socio-environmental impacts of structural metal production

EQT Foundation is pleased to announce its investment in Magrathea, a producer of carbon-free magnesium metal, made without the process of mining for the era of electrification and decarbonization.

US-based Magrathea is a seed-stage startup which has developed a novel process to produce magnesium from seawater and brine through electrolysis. The production is made at a lower cost than current mining processes and is carbon neutral. Founded in 2022 by Alex Grant and Jacob Brown, chemical engineers by training and with professional backgrounds in lithium and batteries respectively including both having worked with Tesla, the company has achieved proof-of-concept, is building a pilot for their magnesium production process, filed multiple patent applications, and signed three memorandums of understanding with potential customers and partners.

Magnesium is an extremely critical metal used globally in a range of end markets (the most important element for alloying aluminum to make it strong and used as a dominant metal in alloys for structural components of almost all vehicles on ground and in the air), with annual demand of approximately 1 million metric tons, and an annual growth rate of over 5 percent. Magnesium is the strongest structural metal by mass and easier to decarbonize than its much larger industry sister metals, aluminum and steel. The magnesium supply chain today, however, is highly concentrated in Russia and China which produce over 90 percent of the world’s supply, and relies on highly carbon intensive thermal reduction processes. Automakers have indicated their desire to use more magnesium for decades, but are constrained by current production limitations, supply chain dislocations, and sustainability needs.

The EQT Deal Team, consisting of Gautam Nadella, Ajeet Hansra and Taro Tan will support Magrathea with scaling their commercial efforts, leveraging EQT’s digitalization and sustainability expertise, and broader network within EQT. Additionally, the EQT Platform is well positioned to support Magrathea’s growth through inroads to potential industrial customers as well as functional experience in scaling sustainable industrials and infrastructure companies.

Alex Grant, co-founder and CEO of Magrathea, said: “The EQT Foundation is an ideal partner to have at the table as we continue the extraordinarily challenging mission of rebuilding the West’s magnesium metal supply chain and eliminate the need for mining in the supply chain of structural metal. EQT’s industrial connectivity give us a dashboard to Europe’s industrial ecosystems and we’re going to make the most of it.”

Gautam Nadella, Operating Partner within EQT Ventures, said: “We are excited to invest in and partner with Magrathea. “Metal without mining” will not only be vital to the global economy but also highly impactful to the environment. We believe Magrathea’s technology and mission can positively impact both areas while being very aligned with our core values and purpose. EQT will also be able to support the company through its journey given our broad mix of relevant businesses across EQT Ventures, Private Equity and Infrastructure divisions.”

Cilia Indahl, CEO of EQT Foundation, said: “The founders of Magrathea are true role models for the space of impact entrepreneurship; subject field experts, steadfast to their long-term goal of marrying impact and financial performance, and firmly rooted in the present - building a company and an energy that would attract talent more magnetically than no other. This is exactly the type of company that we are looking to support with the capital and network support we can provide from the EQT Foundation.”

About EQT Foundation
The EQT Foundation is an impact first investor and incubator, supporting disruptive innovations. Founded by the EQT Partners, EQT Foundation safeguards EQT’s values, pushes the frontiers of impact and activates the entire EQT organization to give back to society in meaningful ways. By supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and non-profit organizations, while leveraging the passion and expertise of EQT, the EQT Foundation aims to build an inclusive and regenerative tomorrow. For more information, please visit eqtfoundation.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Magrathea Metals
Magrathea is making metal without mining for the era of electrification and decarbonization. By developing generational upgrades to magnesium production technology, radically reducing cost and environmental impact, Magrathea has already made the 21st century’s first ingots of metal from seawater. Magrathea was founded in 2022 by CEO Alex Grant and CTO Jacob Brown. The company is based in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit magratheametals.com.

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