Algenesis Corporation, a leading plant-based material science company, has secured US $5M in a funding round led by First Bight Ventures, Circulate Capital and other investors. Algenesis develops bio-based plastics that are cost-competitive with petroleum-based products. Its patented Soleic® technology is the world’s first renewable, fully biodegradable, and backyard compostable bioPolyurethane (bioPU) made from plants and algae.
“We are excited to take this next step in our growth journey, and this funding will support us to scale production and meet the growing demand for Soleic® PU systems,” said Steve Mayfield, Founder and CEO of Algenesis.
Today, 25 million tons of Polyurethane (PU) are manufactured annually, making it challenging to recycle due to its composition. Algenesis’ Soleic® bioPU biodegrades within a few months and does not contain harmful chemical additives found in other plastics. Its production process generates up to 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based PU.
Algenesis’ Soleic® PU is currently available in soft foam applications such as midsoles and insoles for footwear. The new funding will be used to expand the product line into breathable waterproof textiles and injection-molded products like phone cases. Algenesis also plans to strengthen its supply chain by bringing more of its processes in-house to scale production and commercialization of these materials. The expansion is driven by the growing demand for eco-innovations from consumer-facing brands, further cementing the company’s position as an eco-innovation leader.
First Bight Ventures and Circulate Capital led the seed round, with MIH Capital, Diamond Sports Group, RhinoShield, and others participating. The funding follows a US$5m grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to scale up the production of biobased isocyanates from algae oils using a safe and green-flow chemistry process. The company is working towards evolving its product to be 100% biobased, aligning with its commitment to environmental sustainability.
“We invest in Industrial BioManufacturing and Algenesis is an excellent representation of new companies creating a highly demanded product, such as bioPU, that come from Biology versus Petroleum. This is a win for the industry, sustainability, and the world,” said First Bight Ventures Founder Veronica Wu. “To save our planet and ourselves, we must move away from petroleum-based plastics and toward bio-based alternatives. Algenesis is clearly at the forefront of making this possible.”
Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, said: “We are thrilled to add Algenesis to Circulate Capital’s Disrupt portfolio, which targets breakthrough innovations advancing circularity. As global brands commit to driving circularity in their products, we see huge potential for Algenesis to meet this market opportunity with their innovative new materials.”