Zürich, Switzerland / Espoo, Finland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures has invested into Paptic, a sustainable packaging innovator that supplies environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics for packaging. The company made the second closing of the growth financing totaling EUR 4.5 million at the end of the year. The round was led by the UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund (UB FIGG), joined by Emerald Technology Ventures, SIG InnoVentures, and EIC Fund. In the first round (first closing) of the two-part growth financing, Paptic raised funding of EUR 23 million. In total, the company has closed EUR 27.5 million in growth financing in 2023. The financing will help the Finland-based company expand its product line and branch into new use cases for its technologically advanced solutions. It represents the second investment by Emerald’s sustainable packaging innovation fund, a pathbreaking joint effort to kickstart innovation at scale in the packaging ecosystem.
Stakeholders from consumers to governments to large companies are pushing a shift away from single-use plastics across a variety of applications. Regulators are speeding up their efforts to transform the market, with large jurisdictions from the EU to China to California limiting the use of non-recyclable, non-compostable packaging materials. Visionary packaging producers and fast-moving consumer goods players are sprinting to meet the near-term sustainable packaging goals that they and their shareholders are committed to delivering.
Paptic’s breakthroughs include a patented process that converts renewable wood fibers into soft, flexible packaging material that is bio-based, reusable, and recyclable at scale. Paptic materials offer a unique combination of sustainability and strength and can be produced on existing paper production lines. They can be used to replace plastic and other single-use materials in various flexible packaging applications, e.g. electronics, fashion, dry food, and hygiene packaging. Having launched its first product in 2018, Paptic’s offerings can now be found in 50 countries around the world.
The company aims to take a significant share of the huge and growing market for flexible packaging, which is expected to reach nearly $300 billion by 2026. Paptic is targeting the particularly buoyant consumer segment, currently largely dominated by plastic film and single-use paper packaging made with legacy technologies.
A commitment to circularity
In addition to launching the packaging fund, Emerald is a signatory to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation Global Commitment, which aims to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment. As its accelerating activity in this space indicates, Emerald is moving quickly to find and fund the technologies needed to shift the global economy toward a more circular model.
“Paptic is working at the cutting-edge of packaging, taking a novel approach to solving the huge and growing problems inherent in the current industry,” says Emerald Partner Fredric Petit. “Our investment is a mark of confidence in Paptic’s ability to play a vital role in helping to reduce waste and improve consumer value in packaging.”
“The new capital that we’ve raised during the past year puts us in a strong position to invest in our people, technology and product development for international brands who are seeking sustainable alternatives to replace plastics in their packaging,” says Paptic CEO and co-founder Tuomas Mustonen. “We are excited to focus on our next steps and future growth.”