Industry News

Kelpi has received funding worth £4.3m to enable their seaweed packaging to get to market

by | Jun 6, 2024

Kelpi is a sustainable packaging innovator and recently the company received over GBP 4.3 million in investment. This investment will allow the forward-thinking company to get their pioneering and unique biomaterial technology to market.

The packaging that they have created includes a water-resistant coating which enables paper and card to replace fossil fuel plastics for packaging for food, drinks and toiletries.

It was announced on the 30th of May 2024, that the funding round would make it possible for the company to deploy seaweed-based coating in recyclable paper and card packaging. This new kind of packaging will be able to replace single-use fossil fuel plastics, which is an excellent step forwards for the industry, as the commonly used single-use fossil fuel plastics take hundreds of years to decompose.

The biomaterial which Kelpi has created is not only better for the environment, but it also portrays a similar performance to plastic, as it displays a strong water barrier and also provides a resistance to greasy contents or acidic foods. In order to create this excellent material, the company focuses on using renewable feedstocks and this includes only sourcing seaweed which has been sustainably farmed and making sure that this has a positive impact on the environment. This is a crucial point because seaweed sequesters large amounts of CO2 whilst it grows. This has the effect of deacidifying the ocean and consequently providing fish with a rich habitat.

The funding round was led by Blackfinch Ventures and it included funding from Green Angel Ventures, Kadmos Partners, QantX, Evenlode Foundation and the South West Investment Fund. Follow-on investments were also provided by Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), One Planet Capital and private angel investors. Originally the company aimed to raise £3m in equity investments, therefore raising £4.35m is a clear and significant success for the Bristol-based firm.

Plans for what Kelpi will do with this money have been announced and the investment will be dedicated to advancing manufacturing pilots and it will also be used to gain regulatory approval for their proprietary coatings, which are used on paper and card. The company also plans to continue a commercial roll-out, which have already seen them win R&D contracts with L’Oréal, Diageo and UK supermarket Waitrose, together with their tropical fresh fruit supplier Blue Skies, as well as other global leaders.

Kelpi CEO, Neil Morris, commented, “This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work and take to market our world-leading packaging material that is already being chosen by clients. 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.”  

Head of Ventures at Blackfinch, Dr Reuben Wilcock, added, “Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of world-leading 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.”

CEO of Green Angel Ventures, Cam Ross, mentioned, “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.”

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