SWIF Maven Equity Finance backs sustainable packaging innovator Kelpi

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Bristol-based Kelpi has secured more than £4.3 million in investment to take its pioneering biomaterial technology to market. The funding will enable the company to deploy seaweed-based coatings in recyclable paper and card packaging for the food & drink and cosmetics & personal care sectors, replacing single-use fossil fuel plastics which take hundreds of years to decompose.  

Published: May 30, 2024
Focus: SWIF Maven Equity Finance

The transaction was led by Blackfinch Ventures, with from the South West Investment Fund as well as a number of new and existing investors. 

Kelpi’s bio-material is unique in matching or even exceeding the performance of plastic, in particular with a strong water barrier and resistance to greasy contents or acidic foods. The company uses only renewable feedstocks, sourcing seaweed farmed sustainably, ensuring a positive impact upon the environment as seaweed sequesters huge amounts of carbon dioxide as it grows, de-acidifying the ocean and providing a rich environment for fish.

The business will use the funds to advance manufacturing pilots and gain regulatory approval for their proprietary coatings for paper and card as well as continue a commercial roll-out which has already seen them win R&D contracts with global leaders in food & drink, global cosmetics brand L’Oréal and Waitrose together with their tropical fresh fruit supplier Blue Skies.

“This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work and take to market our world-leading packaging material that is already being chosen by clients. Kelpi can now play a key role in ending our dependence on fossil fuels to create single-use packaging and so eliminating a major source of plastic pollution. We’re delighted to receive this backing from investors like Blackfinch and Green Angel Ventures to allow us to accelerate our pioneering work.”  

Neil Morris, CEO at Kelpi

“Pollution from plastics is a global problem. Maven is therefore delighted to be supporting the commercialisation of Kelpi’s innovative and sustainable plastic alternatives through the South West Investment Fund. The business is dedicated to a greener future within the packaging industry and we’re looking forward to being a part of its growth.”

Melanie Goward, Partner at Maven

As Fund Manager of SWIF - Maven Equity Finance, Maven can provide investment up to £5 million to support both earlier and later stage businesses with real growth potential across a range of sectors. If your business, or the business you advise, is looking at equity investment as a solution to fund future growth please click here.

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