Startup Spotlight #76 Laska

August 12, 2021

Laska is a high-tech company that converts end-of-life tires with innovative, environmentally friendly, and sustainable production approaches. Each year 1.5 billion waste tires emerge all around the world. These tires, some of which are burned and some of which are thrown into nature, are not effectively utilized and cause serious environmental problems. Some of these problems are carbon dioxide emissions, climate change, global warming, and pollution of natural resources. At Laska, with our patentable technology and the circular economy approach we adopt, we convert waste tires into two main products: carbon black and renewable fuel. We obtain these two products from fossil fuels with traditional production methods by utilizing waste tires. In this way, we prevent the dirty and costly consequences of fossil fuel use. While eliminating the adverse effects of waste tires on the environment, we regain them back to the economy. By upcycling waste tires, we change the fate of both them and our planet.

Laska's solution contributes to 9 of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Aleyna Aydın, the Head of Digital, gave detailed information about Laska with Onur Güdü, who is the Founder & CEO.

When and why did you found your startup?

Laska, founded on March 13, 2019, is a high-tech company that upcycles end-of-life tires and regains them to the economy as high-added-value raw materials with our innovative, eco-friendly, and sustainable production approaches. With the high-technology and circular economy approach, we obtain two main products from waste tires: carbon black and renewable fuel. Our two products, which are used as raw materials in main industrial areas, basically respond to the customer's need for sustainable and environmentally friendly raw materials. Carbon black is used as a raw material and additive in the rubber and plastics industry. Also, it has wide use in the automotive sector. Every year more than 13 million tons of carbon black is produced. The combustion of fossil fuels obtains more than 99% of this product. We obtain carbon black from waste tires instead of fossil fuels. We prevent dirty and costly production caused by fossil fuels. As a result of our R&D work with Fiat, we proved that our carbon black could be used in the automotive industry. In addition, our renewable fuel is a clean product that can be used instead of fossil fuels in main industrial areas. Today, we continue to work harder for new collaborations. The latest development right now is our cooperation with Continental. Laska was one of the four solution partners selected in the global project call of Continental Industry with INAM (Innovation Network for Advanced Materials). We are one of four international winners to work with Continental on rubber and plastic-based sustainable material solutions for fluid lines in automotive applications.

Tell us about your team.

Laska team members act to improve themselves in their fields using their experience and academic knowledge in engineering and management. Each team member is very willing to contribute to sustainable and eco-friendly production, with circular economy awareness, and work to build a better future. We are looking for innovative solutions for the critical and global problems of the world. 

In 2018, we were chosen by the European Parliament as one of the 50 startups that could change the world. The success we have achieved is an excellent motivation for our team to do better. 

What are your key and unique features?


Sustainable production: International institutions and countries are forcing companies and individuals to abandon their dirty production habits. Therefore, companies have to change their supply chains to include more sustainable raw materials and by-product purchasing. Laska contributes to sustainable production by obtaining two industrial products from waste tires, which are already emerging and increasing with a growth rate of 1% every year.

Reduced Carbon Footprint: Our main products are alternatives to fossil fuel-based products. Customers of conventional fossil fuel-based products are at a severe disadvantage due to the dirty practices and large carbon footprint due to fossil fuel use. With our environmentally friendly products, our customers will be able to avoid these disadvantages. It is also possible to reduce their carbon footprints in this way.

High Technology: We are a high-tech company that upcycles waste tires. Today, some waste tires are burned in cement factories to obtain heat energy, while some are thrown into nature or stored in open fields. One ton of waste tire burned causes 450 kg of toxic gas to be released. It takes thousands of years for a tire thrown into nature to dissolve. However, tires that take thousands of years to dissolve in the heart can be turned into valuable raw materials in just a few hours and in an eco-friendly way with Laska.

Circular Economic: We contribute to the circular economy with our solution powered by the circular economy. With this approach, waste tires go back into the economy as raw materials. By producing two different industrial products with high added value, we eliminate the harmful effects of waste tires on the environment.

Tell us about numbers that matter to you.‍

-1.5 billion waste tires emerged worldwide annually, with this number increasing 1% each year.

-1 ton of waste tire burns causes 450 kg of toxic gas to be released into the atmosphere.

-Waste tires thrown into nature are ideal habitats for mosquitoes, reptiles, some insects, and bacteria due to their shape. Around the world, 800.000 people die each year from mosquito-borne diseases. The increasing number of mosquitoes in areas where waste tires are concentrated poses a risk of a new pandemic at any time.

-Laska upcycles 1.000.000 waste tires per year which weigh 11.000 tons.

By reducing 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emission per 1 ton of carbon black, we undertake to save 1.000.000 trees every year. This equals the amount of carbon dioxide reduction in the Belgrade forest in 1 year.

What are your plans for the next year and the next five years?

Laska received a very recent investment. We completed the seed investment round with 1.4 million USD over a 10 million USD valuation.

With this investment, we will first fill the machinery-equipment deficiency of the production facility, and in parallel, we will enlarge our team. Our goal is to start mass production in the first quarter of next year.

Afterward, we aim to triple our production capacity in 5 years. Another aim of ours will be to accelerate our R&D studies based on nanotechnology. Graphene, which can be obtained using upcycled carbon black, is a valuable material that starts a new era. Nano-layer and graphene, which have a very hard, robust, and light structure, are essential materials of the high-tech world in different sectors such as energy, electronics, medicine, and even food.

While contributing to 9 of the 17 Global Goals announced by the United Nations for sustainable development, we aim to increase the impact we create on a global scale day by day. As can be seen from the numerical data we added in the previous questions, our measurable impact will increase as our production capacity increases.







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