MBM Commercial recently assisted Carbogenics, a University of Edinburgh spinout that turns difficult-to-recycle paper waste including disposable coffee cups into a carbon product that boosts green energy production, in its seed investment round raising nearly £500,000.
The investment round was led by Techstart Ventures and joined by Old College Capital, the University’s venture fund, and private investors.
Carbogenics takes low-value paper waste and turns it into CreChar®, a proprietary carbon-rich porous material. The company’s first application of its product adds CreChar to the feed material of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.
This significantly increases the plant’s output and can reduce feedstock costs. At the end of its life, CreChar is returned to the soil to work as fertiliser and lock away carbon for hundreds of years, offering significant carbon savings.
Variants of CreChar targeted at other applications will be launched in 2020.
The fundraising supports the first phase of an ambitious growth plan. Carbogenics will build a pilot production facility in Perthshire, seek to prove its first product in industrial AD plants, and expand its team.
“The seed investment is a major milestone for Carbogenics. We will now accelerate our progress towards launching CreChar on the anaerobic digestion market and we look forward to growing our team and product range over the next year.
“There are billions of tonnes of waste out there that our technology can turn into new sustainable carbon products to create value for our clients and the environment." (Carbogenics co-founder and CEO Dr Jan Mumme)
Techstart, which specialises in seed investment for ambitious early stage companies based in Scotland and Northern Ireland, provided considerable support to the company during the investment process. Carbogenics is the ninth investment from Techstart’s new Scottish fund, which was launched earlier this year.
“Carbogenics’ ambition is to be the market leader in carbon upcycling and we’re delighted to support the company with this investment. We’re excited about the scale of this opportunity and have enjoyed working with the Carbogenics team, the University, Edinburgh Innovations, Old College Capital and the other investors at this round." (Robert Richmond, Investment Director, Techstart Ventures)
MBM Commercial acted for Carbogenics, advising the Company and Founders on investment process and documents.
“It was a pleasure to work with Alex and Gavin from MBM who guided us through what can be a complex process." (Carbogencics Co-Founder and Business Development Director, Lidia Krzynowek)
Carbogenics was launched by co-founders Dr Jan Mumme, Franziska Srocke and Lidia Krzynowek on the basis of work by Mumme in the University’s School of GeoSciences. Formerly a researcher in Germany, he relocated to Edinburgh to work at the University’s UK Biochar Research Centre and to establish his specialist spinout company in Edinburgh’s vibrant ecosystem.