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As consumer dissatisfaction with traditional plastic packaging grows stronger and as the global plastic waste crisis continues to worsen daily, a slew of new material science startups are looking to algae for solutions, and investors are pouring money into the nascent space. Over the past few months, three seaweed-based packaging companies from the US and Europe have announced multi-million dollar funding rounds. Sway, Oceanium, and Notpla are now all in positions to move forward with product development for bio-based alternatives to fossil-fuel extracted plastics.
Oceanium: EU-backed climate crisis fighters
Over in Scotland, Oceanium received backing for its concept-stage Ocean Ware food packaging solutions. The company announced a $1 million oversubscribed second seed round, in addition to a €2.1 million grant from the European Union and a $2.7 raise earlier in the year. Seed funding was led by repeat investor Green Angel Syndicate, the only UK angel group focussed on climate change reversal.
"We're committed to investing in innovation in the fight against climate change. We are delighted to extend our initial investment in Oceanium in this second close of their Seed II fundraising, driven by increased commitment from our angel members and additional investment from our Climate Change Fund," said Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Syndicate in a released statement. "By using our specialist members' input, we are pleased to be helping Oceanium to develop the sustainable seaweed industry and increase their impact on carbon in the food chain and in materials."
The combined funding will be used to make god on a plan to successfully process 150 million tonnes of European seaweed. Full scale-up from pilot to the commercial market stage is anticipated over the next two years.