Singapore-based new material technology startup, Alterpacks has closed its first round of Pre-Seed funding led by Plug and Play APAC, SEEDS Capital with participation from Earth Venture Capital and angel investor Alice Foo to further its commercialization drive.
In 2019, AlterPacks was founded to combat one of the most challenging problems today - single-used plastics. Using their proprietary technology, the start-up upcycles food loss in manufacturing to create a biodegradable and home-compostable material to replace plastic food containers. Takeaway packaging dominates single-used plastics, accelerated by Covid-19 and the delivery economy.
According to AlterPacks Founder & CEO, Karen Cheah “The genesis of AlterPacks lies in the garbage. As countries look at producing more food, we turn our attention to what is being left behind and thrown out with the food waste and loss, and use that as a raw material to replace plastic packaging.”
AlterPacks provides new economic value to spent grains, a by-product of the food manufacturing process, after malted drinks are produced, such as milo or beer. The grains are currently used as animal feed, turned into fertilizer, or disposed of in landfills. By upcycling the material into food containers that can be molded into any shape, the new products return to the supply chain, combating the dependence on plastic use today. Alterpacks containers are 100% organic and go from freezer to microwave. The start-up is also working on creating bio-pellets to replace petroleum-based resins used in standard manufacturing machines today and changing out the raw material with other forms of agricultural waste.
The US$1m raised will speed ramp AlterPacks’ food containers production and supply across key markets in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
“We got to know AlterPacks while sourcing for relevant startups for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste Innovation Program and they have gained significant interest from the members of the Alliance, which is naturally a signal for us to do further due diligence for investments. We are glad that we managed to tap into our partnership with SEEDS Capital to co-lead and invest in our very first sustainability startup in APAC and we hope this will be the first of many other sustainability investments with SEEDS Capital” - said Jupe Tan – Managing Partner of Plug and Play APAC.
“The environmental burden caused by widespread plastic usage is increasingly a concern for consumers and businesses alike. Alterpacks’ new technology upcycles spent grains into food containers and other foodware products, providing a more sustainable option for producers worldwide. SEEDS Capital looks forward to accelerating Alterpacks’ expansion plans to scale up its biodegradable resin production to reach more partners and markets to address this pain point,” said Ms. Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital.
“The story of Alterpacks is the story of endless trials towards the most painful truth of our modern world: plastic reliance. We are impressed with the dedication, concentration, and innovation of the team. The long-term and huge problem of plastic needs more innovative solutions. And we are so pumped to back Alterpacks in this brave journey of replacing the plastic food containers and scalable solutions that will not only leverage the circular economy but also take advantage of the abundance of raw materials availability in South East Asia.” - said Tien Nguyen - General Partner of Earth Venture Capital.