Singapore biotech start-up raises US$133m to battle the single-use plastic crisis

SINGAPORE – RWDC Industries Limited, a Singapore-based biotech start-up has raised US$133 million in a two-stage Series B funding round to charge its ambitions of meeting the increasing need of sustainable food packaging materials.

Founded in 2015 by Roland Wee and Daniel Carraway, RWDC develops innovative and cost-effective biopolymer material solutions, harnessing global efforts to battle the single-use plastics problem.

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The company says that its innovative solutions, such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), are able to meet increasing demand for better materials to replace plastics for food service, food packaging, consumer goods packaging and other consumer items.

PHAs are naturally produced by microbial fermentation of plant-based oils or sugars and are recognized as the only commercially viable biodegradable bioplastic.

Primarily produced today from used cooking oil, RWDC’s PHA is certified by TÜV Austria to be fully biodegradable in soil, water, and marine conditions – leaving no toxic residue, the company explains.

The start-up believes that PHA will help to improve the climate, with less GHG emissions, improve human health and the health of our ecosystems, with no endocrine disrupting chemicals and no harmful micro-plastic waste.

The capital infusion comes as the need to replace single-use plastic continues to rise to meet growing consumer demand for better materials choices that enable greater food safety, better stewardship of the environment, and that enable a sustainable circular economy.

RWDC intends to use use the funding to meet growing demand for PHA, including by expanding the company’s production capacity with a new facility in Athens, Georgia USA.

RWDC is repurposing an idled factory originally constructed in the late 1960s to use as its new production facility in Athens, which will bring 200 new jobs to the community in northeastern Georgia.

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The startup said that it will also use the new funds to conduct research and development efforts.

“We are grateful and excited to have the support of world-class investors who share our urgent mission of solving the global challenge of single-use plastic,” said Carraway, Co-founded by CEO Dr. Daniel Carraway who is based in Athens, GA.

“This investment will help us significantly increase our production capacity so that we can meet needs of brand owners who want to improve the lives of their customers by offering materials that have a positive effect on human health, while improving environmental stewardship.”

The new investment was co-led by Vickers Venture Partners; Flint Hills Resources; CPV/CPA Pensionkasse Coop and International SA with additional participation from Eversource Retirement Plan Master Trust and WI Harper Group.

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