Singapore-based Biotech startup RWDC Industries that produces sustainable plastic alternatives has raised US$95.1 million in a Series B2 funding round co-led by Temasek Holdings and Vickers Venture Partners.
Other investors that joined the funding round included Switzerland’s CPV/CAP Pensionskasse Coop, Hong Kong’s Optimas Global Healthcare Fund, and unnamed existing shareholders.
“We believe RWDC’s edge-cutting technology provides a solution to plastic waste, marking a critical step in building a waste-free future for plastics and packaging,” Vickers founder and chairman Finian Tan said.
This round takes RWDC Industries total funding to US$208 million. The startup plans to use the fresh funds for scaling up its business in the US and start production in Singapore to fast-track adoption of its biodegradable biopolymer material for consumer packaged goods.
According to the company, they plan to expand its sustainable biomaterial or PHA production capacity at its plant in Georgia, USA to 50 kilotons per year.
RWDC’s chief executive officer and co-founder Daniel Carraway said the manufacture, consumption and disposal of consumer product packaging is a key contributor to two monumental environmental challenges – climate change and marine litter.
“It will speed up the adoption of sustainable packaging and help many of the world’s largest brands meet their sustainable packaging commitments of having 100 per cent of their packaging be recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025,” he said.
Roland Wee, co-founder and executive chairman of RWDC Industries stated that the Singapore plant will be strategically located in Asia since it is the epicentre of the global plastic waste and marine litter problem.
Singapore is also home to several global FMCG brands that rely on packaging to keep their goods fresh and safe, he added.
“We have a proven solution to the packaging conundrum faced by all consumer brands, and together, we can take sustainable packaging to a whole new level,” Wee said.
Founded in 2015 by Roland Wee and Daniel Carraway, RWDC develops biodegradable bioplastic that can be used to make drinking straws, cutlery, and cup lids, food and beverage packing, as well as diapers among other things.
RWDC produces medium-chain-length PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), which are naturally produced by bacterial fermentation of plant-based oils or sugar. The PHA produced by the company is completely biodegradable in water, soil, and marine conditions.