FlexSea Secures £3M to Revolutionize Sustainability with Seaweed-Derived Bioplastics

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on October 4, 2023

Novel seaweed-derived biodegradable material to potentially replace single-use plastics

FlexSea, a blue biotech company that develops seaweed-derived bioplastic films, pellets, and polymers, announced today a £2 million equity Seed round led by Indico Capital Partners, with the participation of RedRice Ventures, Btomorrow Ventures, Food Foundry, Vala Capital, ICON Capital, and Pente Capital. FlexSea’s total raised financing was over £3 million considering an additional £1.3 million in grants received from Innovate UK and other institutions. The capital will be deployed in the UK and Portugal, where the company has its teams. 

To fuel the world’s plastic consumption, over 12 trillion barrels of crude oil are used annually to produce 380 million tons of plastic. Half of the packaging items are single-use, and most are not recycled. Ultimately, as much as 12 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year – that is an entire garbage truck’s worth of plastic every minute dumped in the sea.

There is not a single place on earth where plastic, in any of its forms, has not been found in nature. It is believed that every single piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some form. Plastic’s greatest strength is therefore also its greatest weakness: its durability.

FlexSea’s bioplastic films and rigid solutions were developed to change that forever. Meant to be used in both dry food and non-food applications, they are completely biodegradable in marine and soil environments, as well as home-compostable within 8-12 weeks. Furthermore, the film is transparent and heat-sealable, allowing it to be used in more visually demanding applications, while the pellets can be used in conventional plastic-making extrusion and injection machines.

The production of FlexSea’s biomaterials is highly sustainable, not requiring strong chemicals nor high temperatures exceeding 150ºC, and uses renewable and natural ingredients, with water vapor as the only by-product. Additionally, all the scraps and cuts of extra production materials are industrially recyclable, meaning they can be melted back into different products. That, and using the full biomass from the seaweed on top of its extracts, enables 100% efficiency in raw material transformation.

The company’s use of seaweed provides their greatest competitive advantage over other bioplastics. The type of seaweed used by FlexSea grows in 45-day year-through cycles without the need for freshwater, arable land, pesticides, or fertilizers, allowing for very fast material turnover in an efficient and sustainable way.

FlexSea’s transparent film

FlexSea’s CEO and co-founder, Carlo Fedeli, proudly announced: “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.

Meanwhile, co-founder and CTO Thibaut Monfort complimented: “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, stated: “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 commercialisation.”

FlexSea’s innovative biopolymer materials derived from seaweed and other natural, sustainably sourced products aim to bring the world the packaging of the future. A packaging that is built to exist, protect, and preserve its contents only for the duration that these exist.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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