Cruz Foam, Derived From Shrimp Shells, Cruises To $18 Million In Series A

Again in 2018, Cruz Foam had an concept for a bio-version of plastic foam, produced from shrimp shells. This 12 months, they’ve secured $18 million in a Sequence A funding spherical and are working with consumer-packaged items, electronics, equipment and sturdy items firms.

See the picture above. These items will defend valuables like laptops throughout delivery as a substitute for dangerous single-use supplies.

Cruz Foam’s “regenerative, earth-digestible formulation” is comprised of chitosan.

That comes from chitin, the second most ample biopolymer present in nature, explains John Felts, cofounder and CEO.

The chitin is sustainably sourced from shrimp shells, which could in any other case go to waste when seafood is processed. Different elements embody starches and different pure supplies. Petroleum isn’t on the record.

Cruz Foam, from Santa Cruz, California, is listed as BioPreferred vendor by the U.S. Division of Agriculture.

The division’s program web site notes that “elevated growth, buy, and use of biobased merchandise reduces our nation’s reliance on petroleum, will increase the usage of renewable agricultural sources, and contributes to decreasing hostile environmental and well being impacts.”

Felts says many of the giant clients coming to Cruz Foam have already got sturdy company social duty (CSR) packages in place and are motivated by elements like client demand and choice.

Individuals need one thing that protects with out hurt. Felts factors to a Client Manufacturers/Ipsos ballot which discovered that 84% of customers are involved about plastic packaging waste. For those who’ve ever unpacked a bundle, you would possibly understand how they really feel.

Nearly 20 states have handed prolonged producer duty legal guidelines, which require producers to be answerable for the last word recycling of a product. What an idea.

“Cruz Foam’s patented merchandise are round in nature,” the corporate says, “utilizing biopolymers present in nature to create a compostable materials utilizing the prevailing provide chain and at an identical value.”

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The corporate’s Sequence A was led by Helena, described as “a problem-solving group.” The spherical was joined by One Small Planet, Regeneration.VC, At One Ventures and Soundwaves.

Helena initiatives have included Manufacturing facility within the Sky, which supported the event and building of the world’s first carbon seize manufacturing facility.

“We have been launched to Helena by means of Soundwaves, the (enterprise capital) agency based by companions Ashton Kutcher and Man Oseary,” Felts says.

“We’re extremely excited to have Helena lead our Sequence A spherical. And as you take a look at the opposite firms of their portfolio, the work they’ve finished is concentrated on serving to scale actually groundbreaking applied sciences with excessive influence.”

Matthew Saunders from Helena and Will Peterffy from One Small Planet are also becoming a member of the Cruz Foam board.

The Santa Cruz firm plans to make use of its new inflow of shells, er, funding to broaden its group, amenities and partnerships, Felts says.

“Our mannequin has at all times been to co-locate the place provide chain companions are positioned, which are typically near product manufacturing amenities. We’re additionally repeatedly concerned in R&D within the round supplies house.”

The corporate is also changing to a Profit Company and plans to report yearly on its progress.

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Again to the beginnings of Cruz Foam: John Felts is a surfer, who occurs to have a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and grasp’s in supplies engineering.

Most surfboards are produced from conventional kind, which takes a whole lot of years of biodegrade. The plan was to show chitin into surfboards first and use it later for packaging, and so forth.

Did they ever make surfboards?

“Brief reply is sure,” Felts says. “We’ve got made many surfboard prototypes within the early days, however we in a short time realized the better influence within the close to time period can be in serving the wants of the packaging provide chain.

“We nonetheless have irons within the hearth in sport and leisure use for our supplies, so keep tuned on that one.”

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Jean Nicholas

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