In a groundbreaking move that could redefine the global plastics industry, London-based startup FlexSea has successfully closed a seed funding round worth £3 million. Led by Indico Capital Partners and supported by a consortium of other investors, the investment aims to propel the commercialization of FlexSea’s innovative, seaweed-based biodegradable plastics.
Tackling the Plastic Pandemic
“FlexSea has the potential to change the pattern of human consumption of plastic and therefore alter the sustainability path of our planet,” said Stephan Morais, Managing General Partner of lead investor Indico Capital. The urgency to find an alternative to conventional plastics is indisputable; over 12 million tons of plastic waste enter our oceans annually, exacerbating an already dire environmental crisis.
A Milestone in Sustainable Innovation
Founded by Carlo Fedeli and Thibaut Monfort, FlexSea initially originated from research conducted at Imperial College London. Their unique formulation of plastics derived from red seaweed stands out for its rapid biodegradability—breaking down in marine and soil environments within weeks as opposed to centuries.
This milestone comes as a reward for the "hard work and dedication of the whole team of 10 amazing people, who will benefit from this funding in their everyday research and development activities,” said FlexSea’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Monfort.
FlexSea’s sustainable ethos goes beyond just biodegradability. Their production process steers clear of harsh chemicals and high temperatures, opting instead for renewable and natural ingredients. All production scraps are recyclable, offering a closed-loop solution.
Lian Michelson, Investment Director at Vala Capital, remarked, “In a short span of time, Carlo and Thibaut have achieved considerable milestones—creating an advanced prototype, enhancing their production capacity, and initiating paid pilots.”
The next phase for FlexSea involves extensive R&D to further refine its range of sustainable products before commercial launch. The company has developed two main product lines—transparent films for packaging and pellets for use in extrusion and injection molding devices. These materials are not only environmentally benign but also versatile enough for a broad range of applications, from food packaging to 3D printing.
Moreover, FlexSea has also received £1 million in grants from Innovate UK to develop complementary technologies aimed at optimizing the seaweed industry’s waste management.