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Kelpi Secures Funding to Expand Seaweed-Based Barrier Coatings for Paper Packaging



Kelpi has secured £4.35 million in investment to bring their pioneering biomaterial technology to market. This funding will enable Kelpi to expand operations, grow their team, and conduct scale-up pilots to prepare for launch. The funds will be utilized to advance manufacturing pilots and obtain regulatory approval for their proprietary paper and card coatings. Additionally, the investment will support the ongoing commercial roll-out, which has already resulted in R&D contracts with several suppliers, including L’Oréal, Diageo, Waitrose, and their tropical fresh fruit supplier Blue Skies.


Kelpi’s biomaterial is notable for matching or even surpassing the performance of plastic, particularly with its strong water barrier and resistance to greasy contents or acidic foods. Kelpi exclusively uses renewable feedstocks, specifically sustainably farmed seaweed. This practice not only benefits the environment by sequestering significant amounts of carbon dioxide and deacidifying the ocean but also creates a rich habitat for fish.


The equity funding round for Kelpi was led by Blackfinch Ventures and included contributions from Green Angel Ventures, Kadmos Capital, QantX, Evenlode Foundation, and the South West Investment Fund. Follow-on investment came from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), One Planet Capital, and private angel investors. Initially targeting £3m in equity investment, Kelpi raised £4.35m (US $5.5m), marking a significant achievement.


“This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work and take to market our packaging material that is already being chosen by clients,” said Neil Morris, CEO, Kelpi. “Kelpi can now play a key role in ending our dependence on fossil fuels to create single-use packaging and so eliminating a major source of plastic pollution. We’re delighted to receive this backing from investors like Blackfinch and Green Angel Ventures to allow us to accelerate our pioneering work.”


Dr. Reuben Wilcock, head of Ventures at Blackfinch, said, “Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of scientific innovation with extensive entrepreneurial experience. Their technology has immense commercial potential and we’re excited to be backing the company to scale up and go to market.”


Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Ventures, added, “We’ve been consistently 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 on plastic pollution.”


Source: Kelpi




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