Lactips, producer of first soluble bioplastic, raises $14.4M to ramp up bioplastic production based on milk protein

May 31, 2020 |

Like Willy Wonka’s candy cups, edible sweet trees and and delicious chocolate river, Lactips is dreaming of edible packaging and bioplastics. Thanks to a new 13 million Euros (approximately $14.4 million USD) in new capital, they now have the resources needed to drive the development of its biosourced, biodegradable and water-soluble solution, providing an alternative for numerous industrial plastics.

In today’s Digest, how the new infusion of capital will enable Lactips to ramp up its product development and industrial facilities, who’s behind the funding, reactions from the stakeholders, and more.

In France, Lactips, a company specialized in producing a soluble bioplastic with zero environmental trace, has raised 13 million euros (approximately $14.4 million USD) in new capital. Lactips now has the financial resources needed to drive the development of its biosourced, biodegradable and water-soluble solution, providing an alternative for numerous industrial plastics.

The new infusion of capital will enable Lactips to ramp up its product development and industrial facilities.

Lactips designs, develops and markets innovative and natural plastics based on a natural raw material with zero environmental impact. With this key round of fundraising, Lactips will accelerate the industrialization of its plastic pellets and films to offer a wider selection of fully biodegradable and recyclable biosourced packaging. Lactips will press forward with its breakthrough in the packaging products, to respond to the issue of micro-plastics ending up in the oceans. In addition, Lactips will be looking to conquer certain packaging markets in the food and construction sectors as well as single-use packaging.

Money Means Action

This fundraising, subscribed primarily by the SPI fund and followed by DEV, will enable Lactips to:

  • continue moving forward with its R&D to develop new applications based on its thermoplastic pallets manufactured in France;
  • accelerate its industrialization phase to meet future demand with a new plant in the Gier Valley, which will open in 2021, with the new production lines gradually ramping up;
  • access new mass markets (food, construction, single-use plastics, lamination, etc.) in France and abroad.

New jobs will be created (R&D, commercial operations, industrialization and production, support) to support the opening of the new production plant at a 2,500 sq.m site, making it possible to revitalize a former regional industrial hub.

Who’s behind the funding?

Prestigious shareholders further strengthen Lactips development capabilities. With 20 million euros raised since inception, Lactips now has a group of leading shareholders in place around its co-founders alongside institutional investors (Bpifrance, Demeter, BNP Paribas Développement, Crédit Agricole Loire Haute-Loire) and industrial experts, positioned to support its commercial development (BASF Venture Capital GbmH and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings through its DEV’s fund).

This round was led by Bpifrance’s SPI (Société de Projet Industriel) fund, managed on behalf of the French Government as part of the Investments for the Future Program (PIA), and Diamond Edge Ventures (DEV), the innovation investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC).

Lactips’ industrial project is being supported by the SPI fund within Bpifrance, which, through this operation, wants to help drive progress with this essential industry for the ecological transition, while helping create an industry in France with a strong future in this area.

Lactips is also being supported by MCHC, which is committed to develop and offer solutions for a sustainable future. In Japan, which aims to recycle 100% of new plastics by 2035 by developing biodegradable replacement solutions, this support will be not only financial, but also industrial and commercial.

The fundraising was led by CleanTech Capital Advisors and supported the law firm Lamy Lexel.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“This 13 million euros fundraising is structural and strategic at the same time, thanks to these two new shareholders. More than ever, our industries need new solutions to respond to future economic challenges tied to the goal of reducing the environmental impact of plastics. Since our company’s inception, we have successfully demonstrated that our innovative material can cover a wide range of applications. This support for our mission, built around a vision of an economy that is more respectful of the environment and human health, will enable us to rapidly transition to production phase, while continuing to develop the planet’s greenest plastic”, said Marie-Hélène GRAMATIKOFF, CEO and co-founder of Lactips.

Jean-Philippe RICHARD, Investment Director with Bpifrance’s SPI fund said, “We are proud to be supporting Marie-Hélène GRAMATIKOFF and her teams to accelerate the development of Lactips’ products, and to have successfully completed this fundraising in the current context of the global pandemic. Our commitment illustrates Bpifrance’s core values and its commitment to supporting jobs through the structuring of an innovative industrial sector in the Energy and Environmental Transition field”.

“The cooperation with Lactips underscores our direction towards circular economy and our commitment to Europe as an important market. It perfectly complements our growing portfolio of sustainable materials. Supporting the development of environmentally friendly products like those of Lactips aligns with our vision of « KAITEKI », which signifies the sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth,” said Ansgar POHL, President and CEO Mitsubishi Chemical Europe, the regional headquarters for Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Europe.

“With its natural, biodegradable and edible polymer, Lactips is a game changer that holds the promise to help reducing plastic pollution in landfills and oceans. Lactips offers Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation a unique platform to tackle the challenges created by plastics contamination and we’re looking forward to multiple collaborations to solve such issues in Japan and beyond,” said Patrick SUEL, President de Diamond Edge Ventures.

Bottom Line

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka.

Lactips is the dreamers of dreams where mainstream plastic is biobased and not fossil fuel based, where bioplastic can be thrown in a compost pile and disintegrate, were packaging, perhaps even a cup, is edible. Stay tuned for more coming from Lactips as they expand bioplastic production and innovation.

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