Singapore-based biotech start-up RWDC Industries Limited announced today the closing of a US$95.1 million Series B2 funding round that will support expansion and boost production of its biodegradable biopolymer material that will help the world’s leading fast-moving consumer goods brands speed adoption of sustainable packaging.
The new investment was co-led by Vickers Venture Partners (a global venture capital firm based in Singapore) and Temasek (a global investment company headquartered in Singapore). Other participating investors include CPV/CAP Pensionskasse Coop (the pension fund of Switzerland’s largest retail company); Optimas Global Healthcare Fund (managed by Optimas Capital based in Hong Kong) and existing shareholders. This latest round takes total funding in RWDC to US$208 million.
RWDC will use the funding to expand its PHA production capacity in its plant located in Athens, Georgia to 50 kilotons per year and develop a production facility in Singapore. The company is in discussions with the authorities in Singapore to secure a site. When ready, the plant here will be the first of such facilities in the region.
RWDC CEO and Co-founder Dr Carraway said, “The funding and support from global investors come at a critical juncture as the world battles the two monumental environmental challenges – climate change and marine litter – with the manufacture, consumption and disposal of consumer product packaging a key contributor to both, from the perspective of resource use, waste and carbon emissions. It helps us accelerate production of Solon®, our sustainable PHA material, to support the largest packaging users – converters and brand owners – and consumers to significantly reduce their use of fossil fuel-based plastics. It will speed up the adoption of sustainable packaging and help many of the world’s largest brands meet their sustainable packaging commitments of having 100 percent of their packaging be recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025.”
RWDC Executive Chairman and Co-founder Mr Wee said, “We’re excited that funding will enable us to innovate and expand the range of applications of PHA, support production of Solon in Singapore, which is home to many of the global FMCG brands that rely on packaging to keep their products fresh and safe, and be strategically located in Asia, which is the epicenter of the global plastic waste and marine litter problem. We have a proven solution to the packaging conundrum faced by all consumer brands, and together, we can take sustainable packaging to a whole new level.”
Vickers Venture Partners Founder and Chairman Dr Finian Tan said, “We are committed to supporting organisations such as RWDC, who contribute towards creating a positive social impact on our environment. We believe RWDC’s edge-cutting technology provides a solution to plastic waste, marking a critical step in building a waste-free future for plastics and packaging. We look forward to supporting the company as it continues to execute its ambitious roadmap to solve our global plastic problem.”
In 2018, RWDC won the first Liveability Challenge, presented by Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, based on a proposal to use PHA to start replacing single-use plastics.