Hamburg-based traceless materials, a bioeconomy startup, announced on Monday that it has raised €36.6M in a Series A round of funding.
The funding round was led by UB FIGG and SWEN CP’s Blue Ocean fund.
The financing round involved the participation of a local banking syndicate comprising GLS Bank and Hamburger Sparkasse, alongside three existing investors of the company, including green-tech investor Planet A Ventures, seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and deep tech investor b.value.
The German company says it will use the funds to expand the production capabilities of its innovative biomaterial technology to an industrial scale.
The announcement comes a few weeks after the company was selected for Norrsken’s 2023 Impact/100 list, the annual ranking that shines a spotlight on the top 100 companies that are changing the world for the better.
traceless materials: Bioeconomy startup
Plastic pollution is a serious problem as it not only leaves visible traces but also significantly contributes to the climate crisis due to its resource-intensive production from fossil fuels.
To address this issue sustainably, traceless materials have developed a completely bio-based, home-compostable, and plastic-free biomaterial called traceless.
Anne Lamp, Co-Founder & CEO says, “Through scaling our innovative technology, we prove that a climate-friendly, circular, resilient, and regenerative industry is possible. With our novel biomaterial, we can make a significant contribution to solving plastic pollution. We are convinced that UB FIGG and SWEN’s Blue Ocean fund are a great addition to our shareholders as they have relevant knowledge in our industry. The fact that both our investors and the banks fully support our mission was a decisive criterion for us.”
Founded in 2020 by Dr. Anne Lamp and Johanna Baare, traceless materials turn agricultural industry plant leftovers into natural biomaterials that are bio-based, home-compostable, plastic-free, and have a minimal ecological footprint.
This natural biomaterial is made from agricultural residues, conserving valuable biomass resources.
The technology is based on natural polymers and does not contain any potentially harmful chemicals, leaving a minimal ecological footprint.
Compared to plastic, traceless saves 91 per cent of CO2 emissions and 89 per cent of fossil energy requirements during production and disposal.
To implement its technology on an industrial scale, traceless is building a demonstration plant in Hamburg.
The company claims that this production plant will replace thousands of tons of traditional plastic each year, while also reducing CO2 emissions, and preserving fossil resources, water, and agricultural land.
Johanna Baare, co-founder & COO says, “Financing capital-intensive startups is still unfamiliar to many investors and banks. This makes it a special challenge for industrial manufacturing start-ups like us that are developing the innovative technologies of tomorrow. We are very pleased that with UB FIGG, SWEN CP, Planet A, HTGF, b.value the local bank consortium we have found partners who share our vision and have recognised and understood the challenges of financing our hardware scale-up.”
UB FIGG is a private equity fund that invests in companies that prioritize the replacement of plastic and other fossil fuel-based materials, as well as the more efficient use and higher value extraction of wood and agricultural raw material byproducts.
They also aim to promote the greater use of these raw materials across various intermediate and end uses.
Sakari Saarela, Partner at UB FIGG says, the “traceless’ approach to use widely available agricultural side streams to replace fossil-based plastic and the financial opportunity their solution proposes convinced us both economically and ecologically. The traceless team has achieved extremely strong results in terms of material performance, development times, and commercialization of the new material. We are looking forward to accompanying Anne, Johanna, and the team in the scale-up of this innovative technology.”
SWEN Capital Partners is a player in responsible investment in private assets in Europe with more than €7.7B under management, offering a wide range of investment programs for institutional and private clients.
Olivier Raybaud, Managing Director of SWEN Capital Partners says, “The Blue Ocean fund seeks to invest in startups bringing innovative solutions to address the 3 main threats to our ocean: overfishing, ocean pollution, and climate change.”
“As plastic pollution is one of the main pollutants threatening our ocean, we were seduced by traceless, a bio-based and biodegradable material that can replace plastics in products that easily end up in the environment, and hence in our ocean, such as single-use packaging as well as hidden plastics in adhesives and paper coatings. traceless is a compelling alternative to applications where reusable solutions are not sustainable and technical recycling is not feasible,” he adds.