The Hamburg-based, female-founded startup traceless materials has developed a holistically sustainable alternative for plastics and bioplastics that is fully compostable in nature, contributing to solve the global plastic pollution. The circular bioeconomy startup was now able to raise a lower million Euro amount in its first financing round from Planet A, HTGF and b.value AG just seven months after the company’s founding.
85% of all plastics ever produced are still in landfills or swim in our oceans. As they are not compostable, they lead to serious environmental and marine pollution. A declared goal of the EU Plastic Strategy is for all plastic packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2030 – but for products that easily end up in the environment, we need a material solution that is fully and quickly degradable in nature. traceless materials developed an innovative technology that for the first time allows to use agricultural industry by-products to produce storage-stable films, rigid materials and coatings that provide the beneficial properties of plastics while being fully compostable in the environment.
While bio-based, traceless materials do not compete with food production, thereby preventing land-use-change. In contrast to conventional (bio)plastics, they do not need any harmful additives, solvents or chemicals and have up to 87% lower CO2 emissions. Being neither chemically modified nor synthetically polymerized, traceless materials are expected not to fall under the EU Plastics Directive. Already competitive in quality to conventional plastics and bioplastics, on industrial production scale the materials will also be price competitive to conventional plastics, therefore making traceless a solution for people all over the world, in all demographics and income levels.
The investment will be used to hire traceless’ core team as well as to build the company’s pilot plant, scaling production from laboratory scale to producing sufficient material to bring first pilots to market in early 2022. Companies from the consumer-facing-goods industry as well as packaging and plastic-conversion companies show great interest in the materials. This comes as legislative pressure and customer demand as well as the urgency to stop negative impact on the environment create a unique situation for traceless to disrupt the plastic market.
“Based on Planet A’s scientific impact assessment, we are confident that traceless’ unique solution has the potential to make a significant contribution to solving global plastic pollution and disrupt the plastic market”, said Tobias Seikel, Co-founder and Partner at Planet A.
Dr. Anne Lamp, inventor of the traceless technology and Johanna Baare founded the company together in September of 2020.
“We are particularly proud of the support from experienced venture capital investors that share our mission to maximize our positive impact as well as understand the deep tech solution behind it. On the way to scale this technology to industrial production level, their diverse experience will help us to advance quickly. We are planning to bring first products made of traceless materials to market together with our customers in early 2022”, said Dr. Anne Lamp & Johanna Baare, Co-Founders of traceless.
“We evaluated diverse companies developing sustainable plastic alternatives, but none of them have been characterized by this outstanding combination of such a powerful management team, a superior technology with pronounced competitive advantages, a predominant material performance and a holistic sustainability. Therefore, we are glad to support the traceless team with our technical and operational expertise to foster the development of the company and its products”, said Cornelia Bähr, Investment Manager at b.value.
The close contacts between b.value and the German biotech industry open new doors for the team. For instance, their network and portfolio companies include some of the most innovative German deep tech startups as well as experienced bioeconomy experts. Additionally, High-Tech Gründerfonds has multiple bulk and specialty chemicals enterprises working with polymers and thermoplastic composites invested in their funds. In addition to industry contacts and expertise, the consortium is able to provide substantial follow-on investments in later rounds.
“In the field of sustainable plastic alternative materials, we see great interest from the plastics converting industry as well as from consumer-facing goods companies. From our point of view, traceless has the potential to become a technology and market leader in new materials for example for packaging”, said Johannes Weber, Investment Manager at HTGF.
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