Great Wrap Gets $24 Million to Eliminate Plastic Waste
Materials science new venture Great Wrap has received a $24 million Series A fundraising round, providing co-founders Jordy and Julia Kay a solid foundation to reduce the world's dependence on plastic packaging derived from petroleum.
The Mornington Peninsula-based company that produces compostable stretch wraps from food waste raised $11 million in equity funding in a round that included Darren Thomas, managing director of Thomas Food International, Woolworths' venture capital arm W23, and the Grill'd Innovation Fund.
The winners of the 'Social Responsibility & Sustainability' category at the 2021 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur Awards received an additional $13 million in non-dilutive capital from Rabobank's DLL Group.
Great Wrap co-founder Julia Kay said: "The world’s largest companies are making plastic reduction commitments to end plastic waste, but unfortunately, we will not recycle our way out of this mess."
“Our technology can support this transition to a safer and cleaner future, and we can now manufacture all of Australia’s stretch wrap, thanks to our impact-aligned investors who’ve helped create a brighter future for all.”
Great Wrap has moved into a new 12,000 sqm facility in Tullamarine, which will have the capacity to manufacture 30,000 tonnes of the compostable stretch wrap by the end of 2023, allowing the business to commercialise its home compostable cling wrap, catering wrap, and pallet wraps.
The project cost $6.41 million, of which $500,000 came from government funding. The remaining was raised through asset financing, including investments from Series A investor Darren Thomas and entrepreneur Simon Griffiths, co-founder and CEO of the philanthropic toilet paper company Who Gives a Crap.
The Tullamarine factory, into which the crew moved in December of last year, is considered phase one of a journey toward comprehensive vertical integration, allowing Great Wrap to process waste from one of Australia's largest potato processors.
The second phase is anticipated to be completed in 2023 when Great Wrap commissions the first-of-its-kind biorefinery on-site, enabling the annual upcycling of almost 50,000 tonnes of local potato waste.
“This Series A raise means that by the end of 2023, we’ll be in a position to create more than 100 local jobs in Victoria alone,” Great Wrap co-founder Jordy Kay said.
“The biorefinery setup will also be a huge step forward for our state—we’re excited to be bringing biotechnology and advanced manufacturing to the forefront.”
Great Wrap is now concentrating on the Australian market, but it won't be long before it begins to look at international expansion. It intends to target markets with the most impact-focused consumers, laws, and corporate ESG regulations worldwide.
Julia is an architect by profession, whereas Jordy is a former winemaker; the two co-founded the company in 2019 after deciding they wanted to effect substantial change.
The team teamed up with Monash University to develop its products to eliminate the yearly disposal of 150,000 tonnes of plastic stretch wrap in Australia.
Great Wrap's team of bio-designers, engineers, and scientists has invented a new packaging technology paradigm that enables the production of compostable stretch wrap.
Great Wrap is created from potato waste and other compostable biopolymers that fulfil the same function as conventional plastic but decompose in less than 180 days, making it suitable for household composting.
The company, which just acquired its B Corp Certification, also garnered equity investments from venture capitalist firms Giant Leap, Trail Mix Ventures, Springbank Collective, and Thai Wah Ventures, as well as the non-profit education programme Small Giants and the investing group GroundSwell.
Source: Business News Australia