Stories: EIC Biotech startup VEnvirotech raised €11 million in funding round
VEnvirotech, a Spanish biotechnology startup, has closed a funding round of €11 million that will enable them to speed up their expansion plan and consolidate their business model.
The EIC-funded company VEnvirotech aspires to be a world leader in producing bioplastic made from organic waste. To support them with this goal, the startup received €11 million in a recent funding round to manufacture and install VE-Box containers in the food and organic waste industries to expand its workforce. The investment action was led by an industrial investor and backed by six business angels and two other partners already part of the company's capital.
VEnvirotech is aiming to contribute to a more sustainable future by bringing to the market biodegradable bioplastic. This product will replace chemical plastics in sectors where this material is greatly used, helping to cut down waste and contamination.
According to Patricia Aymà Maldonado, Executive President and CTO of VEnvirotech, the company will use the funding to improve several areas, including their team structure: "We want to increase the staff from 20 people to 40 people by 2022; optimise and scale up the industrial bioplastic extraction plant situated in VEnvirotech's headquarters; and invest in R+D to continue optimising the biotechnology and engineering of their process as well as the chemical extraction of the bioplastic".
Their business model works in two different phases. Firstly, the biotech startup manages the organic waste from companies in a modular way by installing its own containers (VE-box) on site. Through a proprietary biotechnological process developed by VEnvirotech, the waste is revalued by being transformed into 100% biodegradable bioplastic. The second phase, done in a laboratory, consists of the extraction and reformulation of the bioplastic present in bacteria to transform it into a material with the same properties as chemical plastic but with the advantage of being totally biodegradable.
Furthermore, Patricia added that this investment represents an important step to the company: "In one part, it allows us to satisfy and grow ongoing contracts and, on the other, it allows us to continue investing in R+D and talent to improve our biotechnological, engineering and chemical processes. This will signify that VEnvirotech will have its first bioplastic sales by 2022”, she concluded.
VEnvirotech received a Phase 1 grant from the European Innovation Council to develop a bacteria solution to transform organic waste into biodegradable PHA bioplastics at significantly lower costs.