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17 octobre 2012 | 8h00

Carbios, a Young Innovative Company which specializes in green chemistry applied to polymers, has raised €3.3 million in funding from European venture capital firm, Truffle Capital.

Specialist in green chemistry applied to polymers

Carbios raises €3.3 million in funding from Truffle Capital

Carbios, a Young Innovative Company which specializes in green chemistry applied to polymers, has raised €3.3 million in funding from European venture capital firm, Truffle Capital. The new backer’s investment is a clear indication of its confidence in the capacity for innovation and strong growth model of the company which was previously 100%-owned by specialist investment fund, Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte Série 1.

Breakthrough technologies to combine green chemistry with industrial reality

As a Young Innovative Company (JEI), Carbios’ corporate mandate is to design and develop competitive, high-performance industrial bioprocesses to improve the lifecycle of polymers. Its expert knowledge of biological catalyzers – or enzymes – means that these processes are a breakthrough technology that can produce, transform and recycle a large number of polymers (plastics, textiles, food, etc.) whilst also improving their technical properties to suit their end use.

Carbios’ ambition is to jettison today’s chemicals sector towards tomorrow’s green industry by combining three key performance criteria for innovation:

  • Environmental performance: by converting biomass upstream of the process and reinventing the lifecycle of products.
  • Technical performance: by guaranteeing breakthrough industrial technology.
  • Economic performance: by making biosourced polymers competitive to accelerate their penetration on the plastics market and provide a lasting alternative to fossil-based polymers.

As well as drawing on the far-reaching expertise of its internal teams, Carbios is gradually building its own network of skills that marries two complementary pools of partners: an academic network of renowned specialists in their field offering even greater potential for innovation, and a network of manufacturers that afford closer proximity with the market. This original approach of involving the industrial sector right from the research stages also maximizes the potential for value creation.

Carbios has chosen to focus first on the strategic plastics market while other areas are also being researched.

A key strategic first market: plastics

Out of the 280 million tons of plastic produced worldwide([1]), Carbios’ first strategic market segment – packaging – accounts for close to 40% giving it an estimated value of US$ 196 billion(2). The prospects for competitive bioprocesses linked to biodegradation and waste recycling that can improve the way in which industry can exploit the lifecycle of polymers are therefore vast. Current figures, for example, estimate that biodegradation could be used to treat over 10% of plastic packaging volumes worldwide, but that less than 10% of plastic waste collected is actually recycled.

Carbios’ three core areas of research in exploiting the full value of plastic waste are focused on:

  • a new and competitive generation of biodegradable plastics with a controlled lifecycle that is adapted to their end use;
  • deriving polymers directly from recycling to allow the treatment of major volumes of plastic without the need for sophisticated sorting processes;
  • a new technology to produce biopolymers through the conversion of biomass to increase the competitive value of biosourced polymer production processes.

Carbios has secured a total of €4.8 million in capital since it was created

This latest €3.3 million in capital was raised during a second round of funding to add to the initial investment by specialist fund, Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte Série 1, when Carbios was set up.

Holdings Incubatrices are funds that specialize in investments in small and medium-sized companies which develop breakthrough technologies in sectors with a particularly strong industrial and social potential, and which aim to become the unrivalled future leaders in their respective areas of expertise.

Since it was created, Carbios has secured €4.8 million in capital.

For Alain Chevallier, Chairman of the Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte: “This second and major round of funding is proof that our decision to invest in a team of professionals specializing in green chemistry and cutting-edge enzymatic technologies has more than paid off. We will continue to accompany Carbios in its journey to become a world benchmark in a sector with enormous implications for our environment”.

For Philippe Pouletty, Co-Founder and General Partner of Truffle Capital: “Carbios is perfectly matched to our investment strategy to select ambitious projects underpinned by breakthrough technologies on buoyant markets. It has a solid business model and an experienced team to ensure its success and become one of tomorrow’s technological leaders”.

For Jean-Claude Lumaret, Chief Executive Officer of Carbios: “We are proud to have earned the faith of Truffle Capital. Carbios has reached an important milestone that will enable it to accelerate its work on polymers. Most importantly, our focus will always be on developing the innovation and technological performance needed to offer our industrial partners solutions with a very high value added”.