Singapore-based biotech startup RWDC Industries, producer of biodegradable material, on Tuesday announced the closing of a USD 133 million two-stage Series B funding round.
“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 the firm’s CEO and co-founder Daniel Carraway in a statement. The fresh funds will be used to increase the company’s production capacity in order to meet the surging demand for eco-friendly packaging material and to expand manufacturing in the US state of Georgia.
The company plans to repurpose an idled factory originally constructed in the late 1960s as its new production facility, which will create 200 new jobs, according to the company. RWDC also wants to spend the fresh money on research and development efforts.
Founded in 2015 by Carraway and Roland Wee, RWDC Industries develops biopolymer material solutions—including polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHA, which is considered to be a cost-effective eco-friendly material. PHAs are naturally produced from plant-based oils or sugars, and are recognized as the only commercially viable biodegradable bioplastic. The company claims that their PHA product is fully biodegradable in soil, water, and marine conditions, leaving no toxic residue.
PHA-based products can be used in a wide range of everyday consumer goods, from straws, cups and plates, to lids, says the company.
Solving the global plastics problem
The round was co-led by Vickers Venture Partners, energy resource company Flint Hills Resources, and others. Existing investors such as Eversource Retirement Plan Master Trust, a pension fund of Eversource Energy, and US-based cross border venture capital firm WI Harper Group also participated in this round.
“RWDC exemplifies the kind of company we support—passionate about problem solving and creating positive social impact. We believe RWDC has the potential to make an enormous difference in solving the global plastics problem, and we’re proud to continue supporting the company and its leadership,” said Finian Tan, Vickers Venture Partners chairman and founder.