Cobalt Market Report 2024: Industry Data, Innovation Insights & more

The cobalt industry experiences growth arising from demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. This report highlights how technological innovations address challenges like supply chain transparency and environmental concerns while providing key industry data.

The 2024 Cobalt Industry Report explores the latest trends, technological advancement, and sustainability practices shaping the cobalt industry. Emphasis lies on innovative extraction methods, recycling processes, and critical supply chain dynamics. The industry’s response to environmental and geopolitical challenges also highlights the importance of sustainable and ethical sourcing. This sector caters to the production of batteries, particularly for electric vehicles, and various high-performance alloys.

This cobalt report serves as a reference for stakeholders within the industry, investors, policymakers, and economic analysts, providing a snapshot of the industry’s health to map its trajectory for innovation and growth in the coming years.

StartUs Insights Cobalt Market Report 2024

Cobalt Market Report 2024 | StartUs Insights

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Executive Summary: Cobalt Market Report 2024

This report is created using data obtained from the Big Data and AI-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering more than 4.7 million global companies, as well as 20K+ technologies and emerging trends. We also analyzed a sample of 190+ cobalt startups developing innovative solutions to present five examples from emerging cobalt industry trends.

  • Industry Growth Overview: The cobalt industry experienced an annual growth rate of -0.19%, with over 4640 companies contributing to its diverse ecosystem.
  • Manpower & Employment Growth: The industry supports a global workforce of 386K employees, having added about 20K new employees in the past year alone.
  • Patents & Grants: The industry registered more than 209K patents and secured over 330 grants to reflect innovation and investment support.
  • Global Footprint: Key country hubs include the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and India, while major city hubs are Perth, Vancouver, London, New York City, and Toronto.
  • Investment Landscape: The cobalt industry saw substantial financial activity, with an average investment round valued at USD 45 million and over 920 funding rounds closed.
  • Top Investors: The top three investors are Glencore, Paradigm Capital, and Techstars. The top investors made a combined investment exceeding USD 1 billion in the cobalt industry.
  • Startup Ecosystem: Five innovative startups include Metastable Materials (green recycling), Westwin Elements (carbonyl refining process), GreenLIB (black mass-based cobalt), SiTration (silicon membrane technology), and Lithion Technologies (battery-grade cobalt sulfate). These showcase the sector’s global reach and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Recommendations for Stakeholders: Investments in advanced recycling technologies to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of cobalt extraction processes will benefit future outlook. Companies should prioritize ethical sourcing and supply chain transparency to address environmental, socio-economic, and geopolitical challenges. Governments should encourage collaboration between startups and established companies to foster innovation and sustainable practices.

Explore the Data-driven Cobalt Outlook for 2024

The Cobalt Market Outlook 2024 uses data from the Discovery Platform and encapsulates the key metrics that underline the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation. The database currently houses 198 startups among a total of over 4640 companies to reflect the diverse ecosystem. Despite experiencing a slight contraction in industry growth of -0.19% over the past year, the sector remains strong with innovation and activity. This stands with the number of over 209K patents and more than 330 grants awarded.

The industry supports a global workforce of 386K+ employees. It added more than 20K employees in the past year alone. The top five country hubs driving this industry forward are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and India. Key city hubs include Perth, Vancouver, London, New York City, and Toronto, which serve as major centers of startup activity and innovation.

What data is used to create this cobalt report?

Based on the data provided by our Discovery Platform, we observe that the irrigation industry ranks among the top 5% in the following categories relative to all 20K topics in our database. These categories provide a comprehensive overview of the industry’s key metrics and inform the short-term future direction of the industry.

  • News Coverage & Publications: The industry gathered significant news coverage and publications. More than 6530 news articles were published in the last year.
  • Funding Rounds: The industry sees considerable financial activity, with data on over 920 funding rounds available in our database.
  • Manpower: In terms of manpower, the industry employs over 386K workers. It added more than 20K new employees in the past year alone.
  • Patents: More than 209K technologies are registered for patents.
  • Grants: It also secured over 330 grants to reflect strong support and investment.
  • Yearly Global Search Growth: The industry experienced a yearly global search growth of 9.62%.
  • and more. Reach out to us to explore all data points used to create this cobalt report.

A Snapshot of the Global Cobalt Industry

The cobalt industry continues to demonstrate growth and activity across various metrics. Currently, the industry employs about 386K individuals to reflect its global manpower, adding 20K new hires last year, indicating increasing demand for niche talent. The industry currently includes over 4640 companies contributing to its development and innovation.

Explore the Funding Landscape of the Cobalt Industry

On average, investment rounds in the cobalt industry are valued at USD 45 million. This showcases the level of confidence and interest from investors. The total number of investors in the industry exceeds 290 and highlights a base of financial backers supporting the sector’s growth.

With the closure of over 920 funding rounds, this sector emphasizes the nature of financial activities within the industry. Additionally, more than 360 companies received investments underscoring the distribution of financial resources across the industry. These data points collectively illustrate the expansion of the cobalt industry with economic and employment contributions.

Who is Investing in Next-Gen Cobalt Solutions?

The cobalt industry attracted investments from top-tier investors to reflect the sector’s potential and strategic importance. The combined value invested by the top investors exceeds USD 1 billion to underscore the financial commitment to this industry. Here are the key players:

  • Glencore allocated USD 902.6 million across 7 companies.
  • Paradigm Capital infused USD 89.7 million into 6 companies.
  • Techstars funded 4 companies with a total of USD 238K.
  • Stellantis backed 2 companies with USD 15.3 million.
  • Promus Ventures contributed USD 3.5 million to 2 companies.
  • Alumina Partners committed USD 6.9 million to 2 companies.
  • General Catalyst allocated USD 5.4 million for 2 companies.
  • and more. Contact us to explore all investment data in the cobalt industry.

These investments illustrate the financial backing and confidence in the cobalt industry.

Battery Recycling gains traction with a total of 938 companies identified in this sector. It includes more than 114K individuals and added 7300 new employees last year. The annual trend growth rate of 18.74% highlights the sector’s development and the demand for recycling technologies. 

The Green Technology trend expands with 2408 companies. This area employs 129K people and experienced an influx of talent with 11200 new employees added in the past year. The annual trend growth rate of 5.86% indicates steady progress as industries and governments prioritize sustainable practices and renewable energy solutions. 

Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) is identified in 507 companies that focus on non-destructive testing techniques. This trend employs 32K individuals, with an addition of 1500 new employees in the last year to reflect a steady growth. The annual growth rate of 2.13% suggests a stable demand for MPI services.

5 Top Examples from 190+ Innovative Cobalt Startups

The five innovative startups showcased below are picked based on data including the trend they operate within and their relevance, founding year, funding status, and more. Connect with us to find promising startups, emerging trends, or industry data specific to your company’s needs and objectives.

Metastable Materials provides Greener Recycling

Indian startup Metastable Materials develops Integrated Carbothermal Reduction technology that conducts complete recycling of lithium-ion batteries without chemicals or energy-intensive processes. Additionally, the technology extracts critical metals like cobalt in standard commodity forms for applications like steel production and jet engine manufacturing. Safe logistics solutions include multi-layered, heat, and fire-resistant packaging boxes to prevent fire hazards and ensure supply chain safety. In addition, this technology also reduces water consumption and supports a greener future.

Westwin Elements develops a Carbonyl Refining Process

US-based startup Westwin Elements extracts cobalt from the residue formed during the carbonyl process yielding high-purity nickel products and nickel sulfate for lithium-ion batteries. In this process, carbon monoxide (CO) interacts with the pilot plant feed, which contains cobalt. At a cold temperature of 200°F, this interaction forms nickel carbonyl (Ni(CO)₄). The nickel carbonyl then undergoes heating to 450°F to decompose into pure nickel (Ni) and carbon dioxide (CO₂). In this way, the polymetallic residue produces cobalt and provides energy efficiency. It minimizes environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating zero waste. 

GreenLIB offers Black Mass-based Cobalt

Canadian startup GreenLIB provides material upcycling by recovering lithium and graphite from spent batteries. The startup rejuvenates electrolytes and accommodates various battery chemistries, including ternary lithium-ion (NMC), lithium iron phosphate (LFP), and lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP). The process begins with the collection of end-of-life and scrap lithium batteries. These batteries undergo dry shredding to produce black mass. GreebLIB refines this black mass for smelters that includes nickel and cobalt feed. 

SiTration builds Silicon Membrane Technology

US-based startup SiTration develops silicon membrane technology for ultra-efficient separations and the low-cost recovery of cobalt from lithium-ion battery recycling to mining. The startup’s conductive membrane nanofiltration technology provides chemical-free, energy-efficient extraction and recycling of lithium to enhance current recycling processes. The silicon wafers, similar to those used in computer chips and solar panels, undergo etching with minute pores for enhanced filtration. By stacking wafers and allowing liquids to flow through, SiTration achieves effective cobalt extraction. 

Lithion Technologies produces Battery-grade Cobalt Sulfate

Canadian startup Lithion Technologies recycles lithium-ion batteries to produce battery-grade cobalt sulfate. The company’s wet shredding technology extracts 98% of the black mass, which contains critical minerals including cobalt. This black mass is then processed using Lithion Technologies’ hydrometallurgy technology to produce high-purity cobalt sulfate, essential for battery-grade materials. The automated technology minimizes risks of thermal runaway and chemical reactions and produces cobalt sulfate sustainable.

Gain Comprehensive Insights into Cobalt Trends, Startups, or Technologies

The 2024 Cobalt Industry Report underscores the sector’s importance in the transition to a sustainable and technologically advanced future. As the demand for cobalt continues to rise, driven by more EVs and renewable energy technologies, the industry’s ability to adapt and innovate will be crucial. Contact us to explore all 190+ startups and scaleups, as well as all industry trends impacting cobalt companies.

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