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Sorted Raises €1.9 Million to Impact Recycling with AI-Powered Technology

Sorted Team
Courtesy - Sorted

London-based AI-powered recycling tech business Sorted has successfully raised over €1.9 million in a seed funding round led by Pi Labs. Other investors in this round include Archipelago Ventures, Circular Plastics Accelerator, Conduit Connect, Antler, and several angel investors. The funding will support Sorted’s mission to revolutionize the recycling industry by enhancing the efficiency of sorting recyclable materials and reducing the environmental impact of waste.

Globally, 2.12 billion tonnes of waste are dumped each year, significantly affecting air, oceans, and soil. Governments worldwide are pushing for a reduction in single-use materials and an increase in recycled content. However, the waste industry is struggling to meet this demand due to the complexity of sorting recycled materials like plastic, which represents a missed $133 billion opportunity.

Sorted addresses this global sustainability issue by empowering human pickers to sort and recover targeted materials more effectively. Using a combination of computer vision, spectroscopy, and coloured lasers driven by AI, their technology can identify, differentiate, and pinpoint valuable items on recycling lines. This AI-driven approach offers a digitized solution to a highly physical problem, significantly improving the efficiency of recycling processes.

In its initial implementation, Sorted has increased picker performance and improved residual waste recovery by over 50%. This enhancement not only prevents valuable materials from going to incineration but also represents additional revenue potential for Sorted’s customers and a reduction in carbon emissions.

Co-founded in 2022 by Arthur Goujon and Luis Espinosa, Sorted leverages the extensive experience of its founders. Arthur Goujon, with over 15 years of experience in waste management and tech, including his role as Head of Digital at global waste management company SUEZ, and Luis Espinosa, who has helped scale numerous unicorns such as Uber, Rappi, and DiDi, bring a wealth of expertise to the company.

“Our mission is to help waste management companies sort their waste more effectively and maximize the recovery of recyclable materials by aiding Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Plastic Recovery Facilities (PRFs) in improving their workforce efficiency,” said Arthur Goujon, Co-Founder and CTO of Sorted. “We use AI to augment and enable human pickers, and our UK pilots have shown increased revenue and performance, as well as reduced costs through using Sorted’s technology.”

With upcoming regulations like the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, waste management companies are under pressure to reduce the amount of carbon-heavy plastic sent to incineration to avoid increased fees. Sorted’s technology helps address this challenge by enhancing the sorting process, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and increasing the output and viability of recycled materials.

Faisal Butt, Founder and Managing Partner at Pi Labs, emphasized the importance of innovative solutions in the face of increasing global waste generation, predicted to rise by 70% between 2018 and 2050. “With the creation of their super pickers, Sorted has created a digitalized and sustainable solution to this problem while helping their customers contribute to a circular economy,” said Butt. “Arthur and Luis have tremendous experience, and combined, they form a dynamic duo of founders. We’re very excited about Sorted’s growth potential and its contribution to reducing landfill and carbon emissions.”

Fred Stinchcombe, Production Regional Manager at SUEZ UK, highlighted the practical benefits of Sorted’s technology: “The biggest challenge we have right now is continuously adapting to what brings the most value: either reducing residual waste or achieving higher quality output, but without redesigning our plants. Sorted is tackling exactly that; the team understands our operation and is pragmatically leveraging technology to start adding value from the start.”

With the new funding, Sorted plans to expand its business development and technical teams, accelerating its go-to-market strategy and furthering its mission to create a more sustainable and efficient recycling industry.


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