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Kelpi Secures $5.5 Million to Advance Seaweed-Based Packaging Technology

Courtesy of Kelpi
Courtesy of Kelpi

UK-based materials innovation company, Kelpi, has successfully raised $5.5 million to accelerate the commercialization of its groundbreaking seaweed-based packaging technology. This funding aims to replace single-use plastic packaging and address the global plastic pollution crisis. The round was led by Blackfinch Ventures, with significant contributions from Green Angel Ventures, Kadmos Capital, QantX, Evenlode Foundation, South West Investment Fund, Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), One Planet Capital, and private angel investors.

Originally targeting £3 million, Kelpi exceeded its goal, reflecting strong investor confidence in its innovative approach. Kelpi’s proprietary coating, derived from sustainably farmed seaweed, can be applied to paper and card, offering an eco-friendly alternative to conventional plastic packaging. This innovative coating is compostable, recyclable, and marine-safe, breaking down completely within months without leaving harmful toxins or microplastics.

“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,” said Neil Morris, CEO of Kelpi.

The investment will support the expansion of Kelpi’s team, enabling large-scale pilot projects and the completion of necessary regulatory approvals. The company plans to launch its seaweed-based packaging commercially by mid-2025. This move is in line with the increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions in the food and beverage, cosmetics, and personal care industries, as companies seek to reduce their environmental impact.

Reuben Wilcock, head of ventures at Blackfinch, remarked, “Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of world-leading scientific innovation with extensive entrepreneurial experience. Their technology has immense commercial potential and we’re excited to be backing the company to scale up and go to market.”

Currently, 99% of single-use plastic packaging is produced from fossil fuels, and only 9% of plastic is recycled globally. The UN Environment Programme warns that if current trends continue, the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption by 2050. Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Ventures, noted, “We’ve been consistently impressed with Kelpi’s team and technology. At scale, the Kelpi approach will play a vital role in reducing fossil fuel dependency, addressing climate change, and impacting plastic pollution.”

By utilizing renewable feedstocks like seaweed, Kelpi’s packaging not only offers significant environmental benefits but also matches or exceeds the performance of traditional plastics, particularly in terms of water resistance and durability against greasy or acidic contents.

As global demand for sustainable packaging solutions grows, Kelpi’s breakthrough technology is poised to make a substantial impact. Supported by strong investor backing and strategic partnerships with industry leaders like L’Oréal, Diageo, and Waitrose, Kelpi is set to become a major player in the sustainable packaging market.


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