Plaxica Limited (‘Plaxica‘), an emerging leader in the production of next generation biopolymers and platform chemicals from renewable resources, today announced that it has raised a further £5m in equity funding from Imperial Innovations, Invesco Perpetual and NESTA Investments The Company has raised approximately £10m to date from its investors.
Growth in the biopolymer market has previously been limited by shortfalls in physical properties and the relatively high costs of production. Plaxica is developing biopolymer production processes to overcome these issues and also to deliver competitive properties and economics when compared with petroleum-based polymers. The result of this should be low-cost, environmentally-friendly biopolymers for use in applications as diverse as packaging, textiles, electrical goods and automobile parts.
Philip Holbeche, Chairman of Plaxica commented “Since the Series A financing a year ago, Plaxica has made significant progress, including growing the company’s technical and commercial teams, expanding its intellectual property portfolio and establishing a second UK site in Wilton on Teesside that is focused on process development, scale-up and demonstration. This additional funding will allow Plaxica to advance key aspects of its technology towards commercial implementation and licensing.”
Susan Searle, CEO Imperial Innovations Group plc added “This fundraising will help accelerate the development of Plaxica’s exciting, environmentally friendly alternative to conventional oil based plastics. We are pleased to be able to provide continued support to existing portfolio companies such as Plaxica and back the Company’s technology as it moves to the next stage.”Alex Hook, Investment Manager at NESTA Investments said “We are pleased to be supporting a company that is at the forefront of the UK’s advances in bio-based chemicals and polymers and this transaction demonstrates NESTA’S commitment to investing in the UK’s most promising technology based businesses.”
Biopolymers, the most promising of which is PLA, are a type of plastic which, instead of being manufactured from petrochemicals, are made from sustainable feedstocks such as sugar, starch or cellulose. To date, the use of biopolymers, including first generation PLA, has been limited by their physical properties and relatively high cost of manufacture. Next generation biopolymers, including Plaxica’s second generation PLA, are expected to be cheaper and to offer improved performance and a wider application reach, enabling them to capture an increasing share of the various markets for polymers.
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