Despite all the progress made in recent years, the paper industry is still one of the sectors with particularly high energy, water, and chemical consumption. Decreasing their usage has been a target of many, and is where Germany-based Creapaper wants to innovate. In a recent development, the company that makes alternate raw material for paper production announced that it has secured €20M in its Series B round of funding.
This comes after the company’s €1.7M December 2020 funding from the Innovation Council of the European Union. The EIC Accelerator is one of the most demanding funding programs in the European Union. Out of 4,223 companies that applied from all over Europe in 2020, a total of 38, including 7 from Germany, were selected for funding.
Investors in this round
The Series B round saw participation from new investors JS Capital, Ranpak, Schusterman Family Investments, Soros Capital, and the EIC Fund. Creapaper’s early investor eCAPITAL co-invested in this round.
Omar Asali, Chairman and CEO of Ranpak says, “Our strategic investment in Creapaper reflects our continued commitment to sustainability and the use of natural substrates to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions. Working with Creapaper will advance our mission to replace plastic packaging with sustainable alternatives by expanding Ranpak’s eco-friendly solution set and paper SKUs for our growing customer base.”
Creapaper develops a raw material for paper production that is made mostly out of grass fibre. In addition to the use of biodegradable paper, the company also focuses on the reduction of waste in the printing process, as well as the use of environmentally friendly printing inks.
According to Michael Schatzschneider, CFO of Creapaper, this €20M series B is a quantum leap for Creapaper. “Welcoming global ecological game-changers like Ranpak and JS Capital among our shareholders will add value way beyond money and will enable us to accelerate our growth and to prepare for our global expansion.”
Using grass as a raw material for the paper industry
Founded in 2012 by Uwe D’Agnone, Creapaper uses a patented process to produce an alternative raw material for the paper and packaging industry that can be used in paper production instead of cellulose pulp made from wood or waste paper.
The company’s new raw material is actually grass! To be more precise, it’s actually dried hay.
The company uses grass as its starting product and processes it into grass fiber in the form of pellets. These replace pulp made from fresh fibers, i.e. wood or waste paper, which are normally used for paper production.
According to Creapaper, the production of so-called grass paper releases up to 75 per cent less CO2 than conventional production. In addition, just two liters of water are required to produce one ton of paper. For paper made from wood or waste paper, around 6,000 liters would have been needed.
The company has already developed and placed CO2-saving grass paper products like hygienic papers, food & carrying bags, and single-use plastic replacements with retail clients in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Italy.
In October 2020, the greentech company hired the former managing director of central purchasing at Aldi Süd – Jeannette Thull. With Creapaper, she promotes strategic product ranges and a fixed product portfolio for national and international key accounts.