Gr3n raises €7.5 million to bring its innovative plastic recycling technology to market
Institutional Communication Service
22 September 2021
The Ticino-based company, previously incubated at USI Startup Centre, which is on a mission to eliminate plastic waste issues globally, announced a €6.3 million Series A round of financing raised from Chevron Technology Ventures and Standex International, among other investors. With this round, Gr3n, whose technology breaks down PET and polyester plastic to allow for potentially endless recycling loops, has now raised a total of €7.5 million in less than a year.
This capital injection is another milestone getting the Gr3n team closer to their ambitious goal of bringing an efficient chemical recycling process for PET to market. In the past, the economic aspect has blocked the adoption of this type of recycling in the manufacturing industry. However, Gr3n aims to overcome this barrier thanks to its DEMETO (Depolymerization by Microwave) Technology. This reliable chemical recycling solution closes the PET lifecycle and unlocks significant benefits for both the recycling industry and the entire polyester value chain.
The process developed by Gr3n breaks down any type of PET and polyester plastic into its two core components (PTA and MEG monomers) that can then be re-assembled to obtain virgin-like plastics. Thus, this solution allows to move from a linear to a circular system and makes bottle-to-textile, textile-to-textile, or even textile-to-bottle recycling possible. Besides being economically sustainable and industrially viable, Gr3n’s circular approach can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by transforming waste into a valuable source.
The Gr3n team has been working on their revolutionary solution to close the loop and address the global virgin plastic demand while contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions since 2011. At the beginning of this journey, the startup contacted Centro Promozione Start-Up (now USI Startup Centre) and joined its incubation programme. During the incubation phase, the project team acquired the tools and knowledge necessary to run a company, validated the technology and received coaching support, among other benefits. It also helped Gr3n to identify the right opportunities for further development of the project, among which the participation in the CTI (now Innosuisse) programme for innovative startups. Speaking about this time, Maurizio Crippa, founder and CEO of Gr3n, said that it was an intense learning experience that gave the team a better understanding of different topics related to launching, growing and scaling a business. He also stressed how the Innosuisse coaching helped the team lay the foundation for successful fundraising by teaching the “language” of venture capital.
In 2014, Gr3n was granted the CTI Startup Label (now Innosuisse Certificate), an important acknowledgement and a seal of quality. After graduating from the incubator, Maurizio and his team remained in Ticino and continued developing their technology thanks to multiple European research grants, a vital type of financing for complex, capital-intense and high-risk fields such as chemical recycling. Closing this financing round brings the Gr3n’s team, which now counts 15 people, to their next challenge: scaling the company and taking their solution to the manufacturing industry. In the press release issued on September 13th, Maurizio commented, "This round of financing will allow us to grow the company further and ultimately move from a startup phase to bringing our revolutionary recycling solution to market. Funding by industrial players such as Chevron and Standex further confirm Gr3n’s progress in commercializing the technology and will allow us to accelerate growth by investing in our people as well as in the infrastructure needed to scale efficiently. We look forward to creating value for our customers and all stakeholders, and to proving that a scientific approach is the only way to bring an efficient chemical recycling process for PET to market – thereby making the circular economy a reality".
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