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Investors see massive potential in artificial intelligence for waste sorting: Invests in SDU startup

Some of the country's most successful serial investors see great potential in a new tech startup that will create a world without waste. This has spawned a million-dollar investment in the company, which has developed artificial intelligence that can minimize resource wastage by sorting and analyzing waste – far better than humans can.

By Press release ARIS Robotics, 5/31/2023

Aris Robotics has developed artificial intelligence that scans and analyzes waste in a fraction of a second. Increasing amounts of waste and inadequate sorting are responsible for tons of recyclable material being lost daily, for example, in the construction industry, which accounts for 41 per cent of produced waste in Denmark. But a startup from Funen wants to do away with that. The tech company Aris Robotics has developed a plug-and-play solution based on artificial intelligence that can scan and analyze waste in a fraction of a second and with 99 per cent accuracy in a highly cost-effective way. 


- Even though much is done today to sort waste, far too large amounts still disappear. Our technology can help us to recycle a much larger part of our resources. For example, construction sites or production companies can gain insight into the waste created and translate that into action. Much ends up in landfill or incineration even though it could have been recycled. It is a big problem and contains a substantial untapped potential concerning the green transition. By having data about their waste, companies can reduce their waste volume over time, says Aris Robotics CEO and co-founder Sina Pour Soltani. 


Strong investor circle 

Aris Robotics was established in 2021 by robotics engineers Sina Pour Soltani and Christian Eberhardt and MSc student Ann-Mia Ambjerg, all three of whom design the company today. Despite the company's young age, Aris Robotics' sustainable solution has already attracted interest from investors. 


Aris Robotics has secured a circle of investors who invest 3.2 million in the company. One of the investors is Thomas Visti, who has, among other things, been involved in the successful robot companies Universal Robots and Mobile Industrial Robots (MIR). 


- Aris Robotics speaks to a sustainable agenda and a significant problem concerning waste sorting. I see enormous potential in using artificial intelligence in the green transition, and I have great faith in the strong team behind Aris Robotics. They have an overall vision and some ambitions they are passionate about, and it is essential to feel that as an investor, says Thomas Visti. 


It is the company's first investment round, and in addition to Thomas Visti, the circle of serial investors includes Nicolaj Højer Nielsen, Esben Hallundbæk Østergaard and Lisbeth Chawes. 


New climate requirements on the way 

Lisbeth Chawes will be the new chairman of Aris Robotics' board, and she has followed the company since 2021, where she came into contact with the team behind it as a mentor through the Innovation Fund. Since then, she has sat on the company's advisory board, and as the new chairman, she will now, together with the rest of the investor circle, focus on scaling the company, where the eye is also directed abroad. 


- The investment is an opportunity to enter the market and establish itself because the developed AI will only get even better when it processes a lot of waste. And with the EU's new CSR directive, companies will need to report on their ESG from next year. Here, Aris Robotics will hit a big hole in the market. The following year will be crucial and exciting for the company, as we must together refine the solutions and commercialize them, says Lisbeth Chawes. 


The CSR directive implies that there is a focus from both the EU and the Danish side that sustainability reporting must be as relevant, useful and value-creating for companies in Denmark as their financial reporting. A report that Aris Robotics, according to Sina Pour Soltani, can make more accessible: 


- There is currently limited information on what ends up in combustion or is buried. This applies to both manufacturers and the construction industry, but when the directives come into force, it is required that companies have a good insight into their waste. By analyzing, we can determine the quantities that could have been recycled. Previous experience shows that it can be as high as 80%. In this way, we can contribute to reducing the amount of waste and resource consumption, thereby reducing the negative environmental impact.


Responsible use of resources 

For Aris Robotics, the vision is ultimately to contribute to solving the world's waste problem. 


- Right now, we are focusing on helping companies with waste sorting and reporting cost-effectively. This will mean that essential resources come back into circulation. It will have an impact throughout the world, and if we can remedy this, we have achieved a big goal, says Sina Pour Soltani and adds:


He concludes that instead of teaching eight billion people to sort waste, we can lead one artificial intelligence the same. 


Facts about the investors: 

Thomas Visti is behind Denmark's two biggest robot successes: Universal Robots (UR) and Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR). 


Esben Østergaard, co-founder of UR and investor in MiR. 


Nicolaj Højer Nielsen, co-entrepreneur and investor in Penneo and Sepior. 


Lisbeth Chawes has over 20 years of experience managing and guiding startups. She also sits in the chairman's chair on the board.


Editing was completed: 31.05.2023