Finnish biomaterial startup Sulapac announced €15 million in funding to boost its scaling and international growth. The company plans to use the money to scale up material production and further develop its portfolio with improved formulas.
Sulapac started in 2016 when the two scientists, Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, have developed a biodegradable microplastic-free packaging material from wood and natural binders. Sulapac products use a biodegradable and microplastic-free material made of FSC-certified wood chips and natural binders. They have all the benefits of plastic, yet they biodegrade completely and leave no microplastics behind.
In 2018 Sulapac announced that the leading luxury house Channel “has decided to shoulder its development”, thus becoming Sulapac’s first investor coming from the cosmetic industry.
“The renewed support from the leading luxury house Chanel indicates that sustainability is a priority in the luxury market,” commented Sulapac CEO Suvi Haimi.
That same year the company received the Horizon 2020 SME instrument grant from the European Union and support from Finnish public funding agency Business Finland. Today, one year after, Channel, Mousse Partners, Sky Ocean Ventures, Bonnier Ventures, Lifeline Ventures and a group of private investors complete Sulapac’s A-round.
Besides new investors, Sulapac’s growth will be supported by its newly appointed advisors, including Sophia Bendz, who was previously in charge of Spotify’s global marketing and is now a partner at venture capital firm Atomico, and Charli Kumar, who launched and leads Sky’s start-up TV business in Spain. Jukka Moisio, a former CEO of the global food packaging specialist Huhtamäki, recently started as the Chair of Sulapac’s board of directors.
The new milestone in the company journey kicks off with the launch of the new product. Together with the Finnish manufacturer of wooden constructions and paper, Stora Enso, the company plans to combat the global problem of plastic waste with renewable and microplastic-free straws.
The straws are based on Sulapac’s patent-pending material innovation. The main components are renewable materials such as wood and plant-based binders. The straw is microplastic-free, meaning that it is designed to be fully biodegradable in different environments. The straw complies with existing waste systems and is designed to be recycled via industrial composting.
The first customers to use Sulapac straws include Finnair’s lounges in Helsinki Airport, food delivery platform Wolt, the alcoholic beverage brand company Altia, Hotel St. George, and vegan café Kippo, among the others. For end-consumers, the straws will be available in January via Biofutura.com, an online store specialized in compostable tableware and packaging, and an online retailer Verkkokauppa. Later in 2020, the straws will be available for purchase in Europe and a global rollout will follow.