CEMEX’s venture arm focused on construction industry’s future players

CEMEX Ventures is looking to fund companies with ‘disruptive business models’ or ‘agnostic technologies’
Gonzalo Galindo, CEO of Cemex Ventures.

CEMEX Ventures is investing in companies influencing the future of construction by taking the long view.

The corporate venture capital division of CEMEX, one of the top producers of building materials in the world with more than 45,000 workers and operations in around 50 countries, is called CEMEX Ventures. 

Mateo Zimmermann Gonzalez, investment manager at CEMEX Ventures, said, “We are focused on cement aggregates, ready-mix concrete, and urbanization solutions and products for rapid urbanization, like road materials that filter water better.”  Zimmermann added that development in these fields requires overcoming substantial obstacles. 

In construction, every project has a unique setting, unique collaborators, and unique external constraints. It’s not like making vehicles, where you have lines of identical cars rolling off a conveyor, Zimmermann said. “If you change something,  it’ll affect something somewhere else,” he asserts.

Early on, CEMEX Ventures decided to concentrate on innovations rather than approaches to modernize the construction sector. According to Zimmermann, “We’re not just focusing on the ecosystem of building materials, but the whole construction reality.” Instead of advancing its main company through innovation, CEMEX Ventures focuses on longer-term advancements. “We are looking more at disruptive business models or agnostic technologies,” he said. 

The evergreen fund has invested in 22 businesses globally, including Carbon Clean Solutions, Modulous, and Soil Connect. The CVC has chosen a few subjects to concentrate on to focus its scope. Topics it believes will have a significant impact or perhaps even be disruptive shortly of construction.

The company invested in the Canadian startup Carbon Upcycling Technologies in April to lower carbon emissions from the manufacture of cement and concrete. In May, CEMEX Ventures took part in a $150 million Series C investment in Carbon Clean, a UK business developing technology to collect carbon locally for heavy industries. 

These investments are made in businesses engaged in carbon sequestration, carbon capture, storage, and industries that value sequestration. The CVC also examines waste management, recycling of building materials, and sustainable materials under green construction. Notable investments include an undisclosed round in US garbage recycling upstart Arqlite. This investment was the largest point-of-source carbon capture company.

Zimmermann said the cement and concrete industries are the best-performing companies in logistics. Since cement needs to be mixed, delivered, and utilized before it hardens, cement and concrete industries are pioneers of a just-in-time supply chain. The cement and concrete industries are the pioneers of a just-in-time supply chain. This inefficient relay race led to two investments: a $9.5 million round for GoFor Delivers and an unknown sum in London-based Voyage Control.

Furthermore, CEMEX Ventures funds businesses pursuing what they refer to as “construction futures,” which include revolutionary developments like “advanced building materials, 3D printing, industrialized construction, modular construction, robotics, and thinking about the future in terms of smart cities and buildings,” says Zimmermann. Future research is fascinating because it may offer solutions to two of the biggest problems the construction industry faces: increasing efficiency and reducing emissions and making up for the shortage of experienced laborers.

Read more stories