Empowering Innovation in Battery Recycling with MOLG and Rooled

Written by Johnnie Walker
Success Stories / Case Studies

MOLG Inc., an innovative company based in Chantilly, VA, is at the forefront of improving consumer electronics battery recycling.

Their mission is to create a circular recycling system that reduces the costs of recycling high-demand items like laptops and batteries. In March 2024, MOLG closed a successful seed funding round and secured a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Battery Recycling, Reprocessing, and Battery Collection Funding Opportunity (DE-FOA-0002897). This funding is part of a larger $125 million program aimed at enhancing battery recycling efforts across the United States.

Project Overview

MOLG’s project focuses on developing and deploying five robotic cells, or “micro factories,” to dismantle end-of-life consumer laptop PC batteries. These micro factories are designed to handle the top ten stock keeping units (SKUs) of commonly used consumer laptops and batteries at half the current state-of-the-art cost. Additionally, MOLG aims to design new consumer laptops and batteries for better sustainability, using Design for Disassembly (DfD) software products. This project aligns with the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, targeting a 90% recycling rate of consumer content by 2030.

Grant and FundingĀ 

MOLG’s grant, totaling $5,157,122, falls under the topic of improving the economics of recycling consumer electronics batteries. The project’s goal is to enhance the process of dismantling laptop batteries, ultimately reducing the cost and improving the speed of disassembly by 50%. MOLG’s successful funding efforts also include high-level investors such as Amazon, TechStars, and Closed Loop Ventures, demonstrating strong support for their innovative approach.

Engagement with Rooled

MOLG first engaged with Rooled through Johnnie Walker, Rooled’s director, who assigned the client to a senior controller at Rooled. Initially, MOLG required assistance in managing their financial operations to ensure a smooth and efficient process that would support their rapid growth and ambitious projects. MOLG operates independently, leveraging platforms like Brex for expenditure management and Rippling for payroll, with Rooled supporting their financial entries and providing statements on-demand.

Rooled’s Support and Impact

Rooled’s role has been pivotal in enabling MOLG to concentrate on their core innovations and strategic goals. Here’s how Rooled’s financial support has been crucial:

  1. Streamlined Financial Management: By managing MOLG’s financial statements, Rooled ensured that all financial records were accurate, up-to-date, and ready for on-demand access. This not only saved MOLG significant time but also provided them with reliable financial data to present to investors and grant committees.
  2. Valuation Expertise: Rooled conducted detailed valuations for MOLG’s research and development expenses, ensuring that all financial aspects of their innovative projects were thoroughly assessed and reported. This level of detailed financial oversight gave MOLG the confidence to pursue high-level funding opportunities without worrying about financial discrepancies.
  3. Efficient Financial Processes: MOLG utilized platforms like Brex for expenditure management and Rippling for payroll, with Rooled supporting the financial entries. This integration allowed MOLG to maintain control over their spending and payroll processes while relying on Rooled for accurate and timely financial entries.
  4. On-Demand Financial Statements: For every financing round and grant application, Rooled provided precise and detailed financial statements that highlighted MOLG’s financial health and project feasibility. This capability was crucial during the DOE grant application, where accurate financial reporting was a key component of the selection process.
  5. Focus on Core Activities: By handling the financial backend, Rooled allowed MOLG to focus on their core activities, such as developing their robotic microfactories and designing sustainable products. This focus on innovation and project development, free from the burden of financial management, was a significant factor in their ability to secure the DOE grant.

MOLG’s success in securing the DOE grant and advancing their battery recycling project is a testament to their innovative approach and the robust support provided by Rooled. With Rooled managing their financial operations, MOLG could dedicate their resources and expertise to building cutting-edge recycling solutions. This partnership not only facilitated MOLG’s project development but also positioned them for continued success in the rapidly evolving battery recycling industry. As MOLG continues to push the boundaries of sustainable recycling, Rooled remains a trusted partner, ensuring their financial stability and enabling their groundbreaking work in the battery recycling industry.

About the Author

Johnnie Walker

Co-Founder of Rooled, Johnnie is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in impact investing at Columbia Business School. Educated in business and engineering, he's held senior roles in the defense electronics, venture capital, and nonprofit sectors.