This groundbreaking investment round was led by Indico Capital Partners, with participation from esteemed partners including Redrice Ventures, Btomorrow Ventures, Food Foundry, Vala Capital again, ICON Capital, and Pente Capital. Moreover, FlexSea has been awarded £1 million in grants from Innovate UK and other institutions, solidifying their commitment to a more sustainable future.
FlexSea’s innovative biopolymer materials derived from seaweed and other sustainably sourced natural products are poised to reshape the future of packaging. Their approach ensures that packaging exists only for as long as its contents do, providing a sustainable solution to a global crisis.
The driving force behind FlexSea’s mission is the alarming reality of plastic pollution. Every year, a staggering 12 trillion barrels of crude oil are consumed to produce a colossal 380 million tons of plastic. Shockingly, half of these plastic items are single-use, with the majority failing to be recycled. Consequently, an estimated 12 million tons of plastic find their way into our oceans annually, equivalent to an entire garbage truck’s load every single minute. The durability that makes plastic appealing also makes it a grave environmental threat. This is precisely where FlexSea steps in with their innovative seaweed-derived bioplastics.
FlexSea’s core USP rely on the use of red seaweed biopolymers for products such their transparent flexible films.
FlexSea’s product range includes bioplastic films, pellets, and polymers designed to be both environmentally friendly and versatile. These groundbreaking materials are not only completely biodegradable in marine and soil environments but also home-compostable within a mere 8-12 weeks. The transparent and heat-sealable film offers myriad applications, including those with demanding visual requirements, while the pellets can be readily used in conventional plastic manufacturing processes like extrusion and injection moulding.
Crucially, the production process behind FlexSea’s biomaterials is remarkably sustainable. It avoids the use of harsh chemicals and high temperatures, instead relying on renewable and natural ingredients, with only water vapor produced as a by-product. Furthermore, all production scraps and offcuts are industrially recyclable, providing a closed-loop solution. The utilization of seaweed biomass, coupled with its extracts, results in a staggering 100% efficiency in raw material transformation. FlexSea’s utilization of specific seaweed varieties that grow year-round in just 45-day cycles, without the need for freshwater, arable land, pesticides, or fertilizers, showcases their commitment to efficiency and sustainability.
Further in their material portfolio can be found extruded compounds which can be reprocessed using standard plastic-making manufacturing equipment.
Carlo Fedeli, CEO, and co-founder of FlexSea, expressed his enthusiasm about this game-changing investment, stating,
“This investment will allow us to make significant progress and penetrate the market effectively. Indico has a significant track record of closely backing founders, and we are very happy to work together and with our other investors to take FlexSea to the next level.”
Thibaut Monfort, co-founder and CTO, added,
“This is a turning point for the company as an entity and a great 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. We are heavily investing in equipment and machinery for in-house R&D, speeding up the process tremendously.”
Stephan Morais, Managing General Partner of Indico Capital, underscored the transformative potential of FlexSea’s technology:
“FlexSea has the potential to change the pattern of human consumption of plastic and therefore change the sustainability path of our planet. We are proud to have led this investment and will back the founders in the next steps of product development, global partnerships, and commercialization.”
Lian Michelson, Investment Director at Vala Capital met the team when they were bootstrapped and allowed Vala to be the lead of the initial pre-seed raise discussed above. The progress of the company led her to further the adventure with this Seed round as she declares:
“I first met Carlo and Thibaut at a climate tech event and their energy was radiating. It was clear they had a real passion for the product and deep market understanding. In a short space of time and with very little funding, they had created an advanced prototype material, considerably increased their production capacity, filed their first IP and started initial paid pilots.”
Andrew Sutcliffe, Partner at Redrice Ventures further added:
“Flexsea have shown enormous drive and foresight to develop a Portfolio of products that can give the Consumer and Brands an ability to have their goods packaged in materials that are genuinely sustainable. This funding will enable them to take their products to the commercial stage, especially into the troublesome area of single use plastics. We look forward to working with the team at this exciting stage of their journey.”
Lukasz Garbowski, Investment Director at BTV, also lauded FlexSea’s promise, saying,
“FlexSea is a very special start-up for us, not only because the company was the BTV-sponsored Battle of Minds 2022 global competition winner but because it is our first investment in the sustainability space. It is also a very promising technology with an application across many products and industries. We have high hopes for FlexSea and cannot wait to support them on the journey to permanently redefine the bioplastics landscape and advance a global ESG agenda.”
With this significant investment and the innovative prowess of FlexSea, the world is one step closer to a future free from the scourge of plastic pollution. The next stages of the company are to complete the current R&D on many verticals and focus on specific ones to enter the market strategically. With a team headcount of 7, and hiring more as we speak, commercial entry is the number one priority to prove that scaling is a reality and volumes can be achieved.
The team counts on its unique abilities to produce a variety of products and valorise all parts and waste from the biomass supply chain to create a truly circular alternative to single-use petroleum plastics and offer yet another fructifying branch to the tree of seaweed possibilities. Learn more about FlexSea on their newly-updated website at www.flex-sea.com and reach out to the team using the contact page there or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.