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Funding boost for eco-friendly polymer researcher

By Joe Whitworth , 15-Nov-2012

A French firm which aims to meet industry needs for biodegradability in flexible packaging and rigid plastics has received €3.3m to continue its work on polymers.

Carbios specialises in green chemistry applied to polymers and raised €3.3m in funding from European venture capital firm Truffle Capital.

The company aims to design and develop industrial bioprocesses to improve the lifecycle of polymers and boost their technical properties to suit their end use.

Funding will enable continued focus on the plastics market while other areas can also be researched.

Lasting alternative

Environmental, technical and economic performance are three factors driving innovation aimed at providing a lasting alternative to fossil-based polymers, said the firm.   

Jean-Claude Lumaret, chief executive officer of Carbios, said: “Carbios has reached an important milestone that will enable it to accelerate its work on polymers. Most importantly, our focus will always be on developing the innovation and technological performance needed to offer our industrial partners solutions with a very high value added”.

Prospects for competitive bioprocesses linked to biodegradation and waste recycling can improve the way in which industry can exploit the lifecycle of polymers, said Carbios.

The firm said current figures estimate that biodegradation could be used to treat over 10% of plastic packaging volumes worldwide, but less than 10% of plastic waste collected is actually recycled.

Philippe Pouletty, co-founder and general partner of Truffle Capital, said: “Carbios is perfectly matched to our investment strategy to select ambitious projects underpinned by breakthrough technologies on buoyant markets. It has a solid business model and an experienced team to ensure its success and become one of tomorrow’s technological leaders”.

Second round of backing

The latest capital was raised during a second round of funding adding to the initial investment of €1.5m by specialist fund, Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte Série 1, when Carbios was set up.

Carbios said the new backing was “a clear indication of its confidence in the capacity for innovation and strong growth model of the company”.

The company was previously 100%-owned by Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte Série 1.

Alain Chevallier, chairman of the Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte, said: “This second and major round of funding is proof that our decision to invest in a team of professionals specializing in green chemistry and cutting-edge enzymatic technologies has more than paid off.

“We will continue to accompany Carbios in its journey to become a world benchmark in a sector with enormous implications for our environment”.

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