Close close

SEARCH

Enter your search term below:

WORLD LEADING BUSINESS SUPPORT

INSIGHTS /

Kelpi lands £3m Seed funding to develop fully biodegradable biomaterials from seaweed.

Kelpi lands £3m Seed funding to develop fully biodegradable biomaterials from seaweed.

Climate tech innovator Kelpi has secured more than £3 million in fundraising to advance its pioneering technology that creates biomaterial coatings from seaweed.

The funding round, announced today, will bring sustainable packaging for the food, drink and cosmetics sectors a step closer to supermarket shelves. Kelpi’s unique coatings will enable recycling at home, or industrially, compostable packaging to replace single-use fossil fuel plastics which take hundreds of years to decompose.

Kelpi’s seed round was led by Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate, with funding from One Planet Capital and follow-on investment from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), together with private angel investors. The round includes £665,000 of grant funding from Innovate UK’s Combined Investor Partnership.

Kelpi will use the funds to conduct manufacturing pilots for its proprietary coatings for paper and cards. In the last 2.5 years, the company has developed high-performance materials from seaweed, with a uniquely strong water barrier, as well as oxygen barrier, grease and acid resistance. The company is already working with global leaders in food, drink and cosmetics, tuning the exact properties of the coatings to meet the needs of specific clients. In many cases, Kelpi materials can match or even exceed the performance of fossil fuel plastic, but in a material that is renewably sourced, marine-safe, compostable and enables the packaging to be recycled after use.

“This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work using seaweed to create bioplastic packaging with the barrier properties required by clients,” said Kelpi CEO and co-founder Neil Morris. “Kelpi can now play a key role in eliminating plastic pollution and ending our dependence on fossil fuels to create single-use packaging. We are delighted to receive this backing from specialist deep science and sustainability investors like Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate to allow us to accelerate our pioneering work with major food and drink companies worldwide to prove our materials at scale.”

Seaweed provides a particularly valuable source of carbohydrates for bioplastics. It grows prolifically without the need for fertilisers, land or freshwater – offering benefits over alternative plants from which bioplastics can be made. It soaks up carbon as it grows, de-acidifying and re-oxygenating the ocean.

Dr Catherine Fletcher, Principal of Science Creates Ventures, said: “Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of world-leading scientific innovation with deep entrepreneurial experience. They’re using deep tech to address a highly valuable commercial challenge and we’re excited to be backing the company to scale up its solutions in the vital area of reducing fossil fuel dependence in plastics.”

Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. 12% has been incinerated and the remaining 79% is dumped in landfills, or polluting the environment. Right now more than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas and coal. If current trends were to continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Syndicate, said “Our network of specialist members was impressed with Kelpi’s team and technology, and their pioneering approach to developing biopolymers from renewable feedstocks like seaweed. At scale, the Kelpi approach will play a vital role in reducing fossil fuel dependency, addressing climate change and impacting plastic pollution.”

As part of the round, Kelpi won grant funding from the Future Economy Fund through the Combined Investor Partnership programme delivered by SETsquared and funded by Innovate UK.

Christopher Hill, SETsquared Investment Manager, said: “Kelpi is a great company that will now benefit from the combined private investment and grant funding to further their exciting and vital work to replace fossil fuel plastics in the packaging in the UK and worldwide.”

Close close

Mailing List sign-up

  • By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy

SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Southampton logo

Close close

Mailing List sign-up

  • By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy