How the Inflation Reduction Act Will Accelerate the Case for Investing in the Circular Economy in the United States
August 18, 2022
Earlier this week, the United States Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the most sweeping collection of climate change-related programs in decades. The bill is being heralded as helping to get the U.S. back on track with the country’s Paris Agreement commitments––among these, limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, with an agreement to aim for a 1.5 degree Celsius limit.
With 70% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and use of products, this bill will also have sweeping implications for the transition to the circular economy. As a leader in the earliest stages of circular economy investing, Closed Loop Ventures Group (CLVG) set out to identify the primary ways the IRA will accelerate the transition to a climate-positive future with circularity at its core:
- The IRA may provide an accelerant for new, circular markets domestically
To advance a much-needed renewable energy transition, the IRA directly encourages investments in solar and wind generating assets and energy efficiency upgrades in commercial and residential buildings. These new installations will not only require ample raw material – they will also accelerate the need for end-of-life solutions for energy infrastructure being replaced or systems being repowered. In solar, for example, annual capacity additions are expected to increase from 10 GW in 2020 to nearly 50 GW per year in 2025-6.￼
As supply chain constraints continue, especially for products sourced from challenging geopolitical climates, recovering materials already in use will become increasingly desirable – and economically viable. This is a huge opportunity for companies focused on effective, at-scale reclamation and recycling – such as CLVG’s portfolio company, SOLARCYCLE. SOLARCYCLE is focused on recovering solar panel materials for resale, ultimately providing materials that can be sourced into new, domestic manufacturing.
Many of the tax credits introduced or expanded by the IRA have specific provisions related to domestic manufacturing – including for electric vehicle batteries. As domestic manufacturing scales to take advantage of these tailwinds, access to low-cost, locally sourced input materials, including those that are reclaimed from the value chain, will be paramount. This creates opportunities for companies focused on recovery of hard-to-recycle materials that can be incentivized with IRA rebates or credits – everything from battery materials to boilers and air conditioners, insulation, roofing and windows. Early-stage companies that are seeking scalable solutions for recovery and reuse across these markets may capitalize on opportunities from the legislation.
Not only does the IRA amplify the need for companies that can help reclaim products at end-of-life, but it also reinforces the opportunity for low-carbon, circular solutions for energy-intensive industries – such as steel, iron, concrete, glass and chemical production. Indeed, nearly $5B in capital is allocated to continue the push for low-carbon building materials, especially in public infrastructure projects. This is following on previous Executive Orders related to net-zero government procurement which aspire toward net-zero public procurement by 2050, including for carbon-intense materials like steel and concrete.– To date, there are few – if any – commercial scale, low-carbon solutions for much of this procurement, meaning significant innovation will be needed in the coming years to make at-scale, carbon neutral production possible.
Beyond investment in renewables, the bill also has provisions that seek to enable investment into waste-to-energy and biogas operations, including expansions and modifications to existing tax credits. This creates opportunities for new, waste-generated, clean energy sources. Green hydrogen, which can be produced from waste biomass and other reclaimed sources, is well positioned with additional production tax credits. Through provisions for residential homeowners, home energy efficiency upgrades for electric heat pumps or window replacements can be much more accessible, even creating opportunities to bundle with circularity-enabling products like home anaerobic digesters, such as those developed by CLVG’s portfolio company, HomeBiogas. The biogas company creates modular household and commercial anaerobic digester units that convert food and organic waste into renewable energy and liquid fertilizer.
- The IRA may facilitate environmental remediation on an unprecedented scale
The bill is heavily focused on the identification and remediation of pollution to air, water and soil systems, as well as the fortification of soil and water for the future – including a specific focus on ports. CLVG’s portfolio company, Accelerated Filtration, supports this mandate by offering fine particle filtration across a range of industries and applications, helping reduce the flow of wastewater into the environment. Nonetheless, there continue to be pollutants – PFAS and 1,4 dioxane among them – that do not yet have commercialized solutions for remediation. More innovations are needed to mitigate the future risk of all types of pollutants leaching into the environment upon disposal.
Additionally, more than $20B is provided in the IRA to support the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices, including regenerative farming solutions and financing for innovations that can improve conditions for livestock raising. The question of how best to engage farmers on these topics continues to be top-of-mind – after all, the intent is to create a win-win situation, where farmers can both increase profits and enhance the quality of the land that they are growing on for today and the future. Ucrop.it, a CLVG portfolio company, has developed a novel solution to this problem with a free platform that fully tracks crops throughout the development cycle, leveraging blockchain to prove the application of climate-positive agriculture practices, which flows through to customers, enabling full transparency and traceability. Companies innovating upstream in the food and agriculture value chains – from soil health and vertical farming to livestock management, have a strong dual mandate that is reinforced by the innovation capital in the bill.
- The IRA may allow for other enablers of circularity – notably, financing
There continues to be more demand than supply of financing for circularity-enabling solutions to accelerate a climate-positive future. In particular, asset-heavy solutions that require commercialization of large-scale manufacturing or materials recovery facilities find it difficult to scale from pilot stage. This is yet another space in which the IRA is helping to close gaps and accelerate progress on circularity. By providing additional capital – in the form of grants, loans and concessionary capital – through national labs, the Department of Energy LPO, and even the formation of a Federal Green Bank, the IRA may enhance the dry powder available for early-stage climate tech and circularity-enabling solutions that accelerate our progress toward a climate-positive future. Closed Loop Partners continues to be energized about the crowding in of additional capital into the earliest stages of the space to facilitate the transition to a fully circular ecosystem––one that brings us closer to achieving our shared climate goals.
Accelerated Filtration Closes $1.5M Pre-Seed Funding Round, Led by Closed Loop Partners
July 12, 2022
A new era in fine particle industrial water filtration is here with the launch of the VelRay XTM, the debut product of Accelerated Filtration, Inc.
Midland, Mich. (July 12, 2022) – Accelerated Filtration, Inc. (AFI), a water filtration company based in Midland, Michigan that develops industrial water filtration technologies, announced today that it has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding. Closed Loop Partners’ Ventures Group led the financing round, with participation from Michigan Capital Network, Anthropocene Ventures and Oxcart Equity Partners.
The company will use the funding to advance product development, marketing and launch its first water filtration solution into the market later this year. AFI delivers packaged turn-key filtration solutions for the consistent removal of fine suspended solids in variable water streams. AFI’s innovative technology offers fine particle filtration for large and small water processing challenges across a range of industries and applications.
“Our product offers customers a compact, robust solution for removing fine particles from water and wastewater streams. Its ability to economically filter out low and high levels of suspended solids sets it apart as an extended range, fully automatic, fine particle filter,” said Scott Burr, President and CEO, Accelerated Filtration. “The VelRay XTM filter is an essential product needed to address growing global water challenges, enabling greater capability in processing source water, recycling and reusing process water, and treating wastewater. We’re thrilled our investors see the incredible value for the marketplace.”
The investment takes place amidst an increasingly urgent global water crisis. Already water stressed regions are becoming more so due to the effects of climate change and population growth. With world populations expected to exceed 9 billion by 2040, the increase in both urban and industrial demand will be competing for limited water resources. Technology developments in water processing are needed to enable a resilient and robust global water management capability.
“Building a circular economy that reduces waste means ensuring that all resources are efficiently managed and kept in circulation. As we face intersecting challenges with a growing world population and the critically urgent climate crisis, water has become one of the most important and valuable resources we need to manage,” said Danielle Joseph, Managing Director and Head of the Ventures Group at Closed Loop Partners. “Our investment in Accelerated Filtration is a key step forward in our work to advance a waste-free water management system. We look forward to working with their team to scale their technology for more efficient water recycling and reuse.”
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a leading circular economy-focused investment firm and innovation center. The New York-based investment firm manages venture capital, growth equity, private equity and catalytic capital funds. The firm’s business verticals build upon one another, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. Learn more at closedlooppartners.com
About the Closed Loop Ventures Group at Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners’ venture capital arm launched in 2017 with one of the first venture funds dedicated solely to investing in early-stage companies developing breakthrough solutions for the circular economy. The Closed Loop Ventures Group targets leading innovations in material science, robotics, agri-tech, sustainable consumer products and advanced technologies that further the circular economy. The Closed Loop Venture Fund II builds on the venture capital group’s first fund’s strategy, supported by an existing portfolio with strong financial performance, coupled with robust environmental and social impact. To learn more about the Closed Loop Ventures Group, visit the Closed Loop Partners’ website.
About Michigan Capital Network
Michigan Capital Network (MCN) MCN exists to educate, grow, and diversify the base of early-stage investors in communities across the state. Wealth creation through early-stage investing done well in turn helps create healthier, thriving communities and economies. To learn more about Michigan Capital Network, visit the Michigan Capital Network website.
About Anthropocene Ventures
Anthropocene Ventures is a global, early-stage venture capital firm investing in founders that leverage exponential technologies & hard science to make humanity more resilient. To learn more about Anthropocene Ventures, visit the Anthropocene Ventures website.
About Oxcart Equity Partners
Oxcart is a stage-agnostic private holding company investing to help catalyze a more just, equitable and ecologically sustainable future for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Scott Burr, President and CEO
Accelerated Filtration, Inc.
Source: Accelerated Filtration
SOLARCYCLE Raises $6.6 Million Seed Round to Rapidly Accelerate Buildout of Advanced Recycling Platform for the Solar Industry￼
June 01, 2022
OAKLAND, CA, JUNE 1, 2022 – SOLARCYCLE, a tech-driven solar system recycling platform, today announced that the company has raised $6.6 million in growth funding from leading renewable energy and circular economy investors – including SolarCity founders Peter and Lyndon Rive, former CEO/CTO of Sunpower Corporation Systems Tom Dinwoodie, Urban Innovation Fund, and Closed Loop Partners.
“At SOLARCYCLE we are driven by the urgent challenge to maximize the sustainability of the raw minerals needed to power the clean energy revolution,” said SOLARCYCLE CEO Suvi Sharma. “It is exciting to have the financial backing of investors who helped launch and scale the solar industry, as well as venture funds specializing in creating the needed infrastructure for the circular economy. This funding will allow us to scale our advanced recycling operations in North America, enabling us to start handling the millions of solar systems that will be retiring in the coming years.”
“Solar energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S.,” said Julie Lein of Urban Innovation Fund. “But with more solar panels comes more waste. SOLARCYCLE has an exciting vision to transform the way we recycle and re-use solar panels – and they have the right team to pull it off. The Urban Innovation Fund is thrilled to back SOLARCYCLE.”
“Increasing amounts of solar panels are being replaced with newer versions. The older panels have high value metals like silver, aluminum, and high-grade silicon,” said Peter Rive, Co-founder and CTO of SolarCity. “I invested because SOLARCYCLE has a recycling system that could enable high volume, cost-effective recycling of solar panels at scale.”
“I was involved with commissioning the first wave of large and utility-scale solar installations, and I am excited to be involved with SOLARCYCLE,” stated Tom Dinwoodie, co-founder of Sunpower. “I firmly believe the transition to a renewable economy must be coupled with full attention to developing a circular economy for addressing the mineral scarcity and looming waste problem coming our way. The team at SOLARCYCLE is well positioned to turn this emerging problem into an opportunity, and I welcome them bringing their technical insight and innovation to address the recycling needs of the industry. I am confident that their success will ensure a better world for us all.”
“We are thrilled to invest in the visionary and accomplished team at SOLARCYCLE as they help build out circular economy infrastructure for the solar industry,” said Danielle Joseph of Closed Loop Partners. “As the demand for solar energy grows with an increasingly urgent climate crisis, it is critical that materials used for solar panels do not go to waste in landfills. SOLARCYCLE has the technology, operational experience and mission-driven passion to help address this emerging and pivotally important challenge at scale. We look forward to seeing them advance their climate-friendly and cost-effective platform to return more than 95% of all the valuable materials back into the solar supply chain.”
SOLARCYCLE, Inc (www.SOLARCYCLE.us) is a technology-driven platform designed to maximize solar sustainability by offering solar asset owners a low-cost, eco-friendly, comprehensive process for recycling retiring solar panels and technologies and repurposing them for new uses. The company’s proprietary technology allows it to extract valuable metals such as silver, silicon, copper and aluminum and to recycle or repurpose 95% of panels currently in use. SOLARCYCLE was founded in 2022 by experts in solar technology, recycling and sustainability to accelerate build-out of the circular economy for solar and renewables.
Contact: Susan DeVico ([email protected] | +1 415 235-8758)
Closed Loop Partners’ Venture Capital Group Raises $50+ Million Fund II to Scale Breakthrough Circular Economy Solutions
December 13, 2021
Fund II surpasses fundraising targets & extends Closed Loop Partners’ first venture fund strategy across sectors to build circular supply chains
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2021 — Closed Loop Partners’ venture capital group––the Closed Loop Ventures Group––announced the successful close of its second fund, surpassing its $50 million target to scale breakthrough circular economy solutions across plastics & packaging, fashion, food & agriculture, and supply chain technology. The firm continues its pioneering position as a dedicated circular economy-focused capital provider, investing in sustainable and profitable solutions that reduce waste, increase operational and material efficiency, and protect the planet.
Closed Loop Partners’ second venture capital fund, Closed Loop Venture Fund II, is driven by the success of its Fund I. The strategy of both funds capitalizes on the growing need to shift away from inefficient, linear and extractive supply chains and toward healthier, waste-free circular systems. The Closed Loop Venture Fund II is strategically positioned within the firm’s broader ecosystem that includes growth equity, private equity and project-based finance, as well as the Center for the Circular Economy. The Ventures Group benefits from a broad range of investors including multinational corporations like Microsoft and GS Group, foundations like the Autodesk Foundation, and single and multi-family offices from across the United States, Asia and Israel.
“At Microsoft, we’re advancing a more sustainable and resilient way of producing and consuming products and services. The breakthrough solutions that the Closed Loop Ventures Group invests in help pave the way toward a more circular future, one that aligns with our vision of a zero waste world,” says Brandon Middaugh of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, an investor in Closed Loop Partners’ funds. “Our investment in the Ventures Group’s Fund II is a key part of our efforts toward our 2030 zero waste goals, driven by the innovators and emerging companies that help make this possible.”
“Venture capital plays a key role in accelerating the circular economy, seeding the next generation of solutions to overcome legacy take-make-waste systems, encourage innovation and help transformative companies scale,” says Taehong Huh, Managing Director of GS Futures, corporate venture arm of GS Group of Korea. “The Closed Loop Ventures Group is blazing a trail for some of the most innovative circular solutions in the market today, and we are proud to be investors in the Closed Loop Venture Fund II––supporting companies that advance the circular shift of our economic system.”
“The need for solutions that advance the circular economy is coming into focus, and investment is key to scaling their impact. Closed Loop Partners’ venture capital team continues to be at the forefront of this work, supporting founders and businesses that are transforming our systems and supply chains for the better,” says Jennifer Kenning, CEO and Co-founder of Align Impact. “Our partnership with the Closed Loop Ventures Group is mission-critical to our work, advancing investments that have massive positive outcomes for people and our planet.”
“Our support of Closed Loop Partners’ venture funds has been a key part of our work to transition our markets to a full circular economy model by investing in the technologies and solutions that overcome barriers to change,” says Joe Speicher, Executive Director of the Autodesk Foundation and Head of Sustainability at Autodesk. As the philanthropic arm of Autodesk Inc., the Autodesk Foundation was an investor in Closed Loop Partners’ first and second venture funds. “We are proud to have been an early investor of the Closed Loop Ventures Group and are doubling down on our commitment to help scale the emerging design and manufacturing approaches that make end to end circularity possible.”
Led by Danielle Joseph, Managing Director at Closed Loop Partners, Closed Loop Ventures Group demonstrates that builder capital with a hands-on, active approach to building the Circular Economy is what many of the most ambitious entrepreneurs are seeking. The dedicated team brings a combined skill set of entrepreneurial, operating and investing expertise. “Closed Loop Ventures Group enables Closed Loop Partners to activate the most innovative solutions emerging in the circular economy and provide those solutions the full support of the Closed Loop Partners network,” says Ron Gonen, Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners.
“The Closed Loop Partners team is unique in the venture capital space, proactively bringing to the table their extensive operating experience, network, and strategic expertise on the circular economy,” says Rich Mokuolu, Co-founder & CEO of Partsimony. “We are proud to be among the first portfolio companies of Closed Loop Venture Fund II and we look forward to the continued growth spurred by their investment, as we expand Partsimony’s reach to build more intelligent, resilient, and local supply chains.”
To date, the Closed Loop Venture Fund II has invested in solutions including Partsimony, ucrop.it and dimpora––investments that span supply chain technology, food & agriculture and fashion. Partsimony‘s SaaS network unifies disparate data to help product designers manufacture more locally and with more sustainable materials. ucrop.it operates a collaborative traceability platform that connects farmers to stakeholders across the agriculture value chain, incentivizing supply chain transparency, best agricultural practices and greater value sharing to advance sustainable agriculture on a global scale. dimpora develops sustainable and PFC-free non-harmful membranes to waterproof clothing, to reduce waste and chemicals from apparel production.
“The successful raise of Closed Loop Partners’ second venture fund signals the increasing understanding that circular supply chains represent the future of industry and materials. We are seeing more founders building businesses in the circular economy, and a growing need for early-stage capital,” says Danielle Joseph, Managing Director of the Closed Loop Ventures Group at Closed Loop Partners. “We look forward to collaborating with the broader venture capital community, fostering transparency and open insight sharing to advance breakthrough innovations.”
Across its investments, the Closed Loop Ventures Group sees transparency and digitization as critical tools in building the supply chains of the future, and will continue to support cutting-edge innovations that reimagine and redesign current systems, driven by data and scientific input. They are focused on furthering localized and distributed manufacturing to build resiliency, and accelerating recovery & reuse to reduce a reliance on volatile commodity prices tied to limited virgin resources. Building on its robust thought leadership, the venture capital team at Closed Loop Partners continues to develop its theses on where they want to see additional investment activity and other smart investors participating in the space, including around markets that are misunderstood in traditional venture capital investing––such as biopolymers as plastic alternatives and evolving molecular recycling technologies.
About the Closed Loop Ventures Group at Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners’ venture capital arm launched in 2017 with one of the first venture funds dedicated solely to investing in early-stage companies developing breakthrough solutions for the circular economy. The Closed Loop Ventures Group targets leading innovations in material science, robotics, agritech, sustainable consumer products and advanced technologies that further the circular economy.
The Closed Loop Venture Fund II builds on the venture capital group’s first fund’s strategy, supported by an existing portfolio with strong financial performance, coupled with robust environmental and social impact. HomeBiogas, one of the early investments of the Closed Loop Venture Fund I is a leader in developing biogas systems that transform organic waste into clean energy and bio-fertilizer. They announced their $94 million initial public offering (IPO) in Israel in 2021, accelerating the company’s growth into additional markets, including North America. To date, the company has sold over 10,000 systems in more than 100 countries. Algramo, another investment of Fund I, developed a reuse system powered by vending machines that dispense household products into smart reusable packaging. With the investment and support of Closed Loop Partners, the Chile-based company expanded into North America, now piloting their reuse systems in New York City, while also having piloted with leading brands such as Walmart and Unilever in other geographies. Learn more about the Closed Loop Ventures Group here.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance, and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible impact. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.
Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, and Autodesk Foundation are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
HomeBiogas Announces USD 94 Million Initial Public Offering, Expanding Global Clean Energy Solutions from Organic Waste
February 11, 2021
The company is poised to expand its household and community-size anaerobic digester systems into additional markets in North America and beyond, offering modular, affordable and local solutions to create value from organic waste on site
February 11 – HomeBiogas, an Israel-based company developing biogas systems that convert organic materials into renewable energy and fertilizer, successfully completed its initial public offering (IPO) in Israel, with a valuation of NIS 310 million after money, or approximately USD 94 million. The IPO was oversubscribed and HomeBiogas chose to raise approximately NIS 100 million which was received from the largest and leading institutional investors in the market, including provident funds, insurance companies and pension funds. Monday, February 1, was its first day trading.
HomeBiogas’ IPO reflects the growth in demand for more sustainable and local solutions, solving two major challenges: waste management and clean energy. Their household and community-size anaerobic digesters transform organic waste into clean energy and liquid fertilizer, saving on waste removal and energy costs. HomeBiogas also recently launched their BioToilet, offering a sanitation solution for communities without sewer infrastructure. Today, the company leads the establishment of an international standard for household biogas systems, holding international patents and European CE certificate, with stringent standards and safety requirements.
The continued growth of HomeBiogas comes at a critical time, in the midst of COVID-19 stay-at-home mandates that have shifted consumer habits and demands toward local alternatives that rely less on complex, often opaque global supply chains. With food waste continuing to mount around the world––worth roughly USD 680 billion in industrialized countries and USD 310 billion in developing countries––solutions that mitigate the loss of these valuable resources have become essential.
Since its founding, HomeBiogas has experienced consistent and extensive growth, selling over 10,000 systems in more than 100 countries in recent years. In the developing world, more than 3 billion people still use wood and charcoal for cooking, while 2.5 billion do not have access to toilets. HomeBiogas’ systems can transform their lives, creating a local closed loop system that generates value for years to come.
The recent IPO will accelerate HomeBiogas’ growth into additional markets, including North America, helping expand the solution at a larger scale into commercial operations in restaurants, hotels, universities, hospitals and others, generating significant savings in costs of organic waste removal, energy savings and a significant reduction in carbon footprint. Through the IPO, HomeBiogas also plans to increase production and sales in selected countries, through partnerships with local distributors. HomeBiogas’ founders Oshik Efrati (CEO), Erez Lantzer (CFO) and Yair Teller (CSO), continue to be engaged in the development, production and marketing of biogas systems for household and commercial markets. Leading circular economy investor Closed Loop Partners, global energy firm Engie and family office JS Capital are also major shareholders in HomeBiogas.
“HomeBiogas’ IPO is a market signal for the growth of local systems that circulate valuable resources, especially food and energy. By expanding its reach across the globe, HomeBiogas can create positive economic, social and environmental outcomes at scale, while maintaining deep roots in the local communities it serves,” says Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “We are proud to be a founding and longstanding investor in the company and continue to work closely with their team, and look forward to seeing the essential role HomeBiogas will play in advancing the circular economy.”
“This major step for HomeBiogas is also a milestone in the decentralized biogas from organic waste sector,” says Johann Boukhors, Managing Director of Engie New Ventures. “By maximizing the potential of local organic material in creating useful renewable energy for multiple types of customers, HomeBiogas bolsters the local infrastructure needed to participate in a more sustainable future built on clean, affordable, resilient energy.”
“The trust we received from the Israeli capital market, together with the rising demand for biogas systems in the world, proves how relevant and necessary our product is. Its growth rate and production efficiency allow us to deepen our entry into our target markets and increase the sales potential,” says Oshik Efrati, Founder and CEO of HomeBiogas. “I believe that the ability for any person or organization to produce energy from leftover organic waste is not far. This will reduce our dependence on fossil energy, as well as the environmental pollution and greenhouse gases resulting from the transportation and landfilling of waste. Countries and organizations are rapidly moving in this direction, both in legislation and investments. Combining our technology and knowledge with our powerful shareholders will allow us to be a leading player in the field.”
HomeBiogas is a world leader in developing groundbreaking, simple to use biogas systems. Enabling people and businesses around the globe to turn their own organic waste into self-made clean energy, on-site. Since 2012, HomeBiogas has served thousands of households, farmers, businesses, underserved communities,and those seeking a more sustainable way of living with over 10,000 biogas systems in over 100 countries around the world. Our prefabricated, fully off-grid, patent-based systems offer modular options to suit each of our customer ‘s needs, empowering them to live a healthier, more efficient, self-resilient, and sustainable life.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity and project finance, as well as an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods and technology companies, retailers, foundations, financial institutions and municipalities. Their investments align capitalism with positive social and environmental impact by reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions via materials innovation, advanced recycling technologies, supply chain optimization and diversion of materials from landfills. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.
About ENGIE New Ventures
ENGIE New Ventures (ENV) is the corporate venture arm of ENGIE, the global energy and services provider. ENGIE is committed to lead the energy revolution, towards a more decarbonized, decentralized and digitized world. ENV is a €180 million investment fund focused on making minority investments in innovative start-ups. Since 2014, ENV has deployed over €140 million of capital across 26 investments, in disruptive start-ups leading the energy transition and active in energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage and demand response, mobility and IoT. ENV’s offices are represented in Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Tel Aviv. Please visit: www.engieventures.com.
Griin Raises $2M, Led by New York-Based Circular Economy Investor, Closed Loop Partners
December 09, 2020
This investment round reflects the opportunity for circular solutions that increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and protect the environment. The investment will provide the Israeli startup additional resources to continue innovation on its patent-pending system that integrates autonomous, rapid, and smoke-free roasting at the point of consumption. This shift is instrumental in eliminating both unnecessary international transportation of coffee beans to centralized roasting facilities and eliminating multilaminate packaging required to artificially preserve the freshness of previously roasted coffee. Griin is now entering its pilot stage in Israeli corporate offices of the world’s tech giants.
Griin, a pioneer in on-demand zero-pollution roasting, today announced it has secured $2M in Seed Round investment, led by Closed Loop Ventures Group, the early-stage investment arm of Closed Loop Partners. Griin’s countertop roasting solution is poised to change the commerce of coffee by bringing green coffee beans directly to the forefront of the trade and into the hands of the consumer, focusing on the workplace coffee segment. Doing so eliminates unnecessary international transportation of coffee beans to centralized roasting facilities and the multilaminate packaging required to artificially preserve the freshness of previously roasted coffee On demand roasting offers an elevated experience with a better quality for the most sustainable cup of coffee.
The investment by Closed Loop Partners, a leading circular economy-focused investment firm will enable the company to complete the initial rollout of the company’s roasting add-on appliance which fits on top of any bean-to-cup coffee machine. Griin’s appliance is powered by state-of-the-art proprietary volumetric roasting technology and orchestrated by deep-learning algorithms, ensuring a clean, rapid, and eco friendly solution. The compact desktop roaster is complemented by a supply of specialty coffee secured via griin’s direct sourcing operation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Closed Loop Partners for their resources, guidance, and many years in promoting the shift to a circular economy with their leading corporate partners including Starbucks, Nestlé and others. This funding round will allow us to release our first product to market in the enterprise high-tech market segment,” said griin CEO, Yuval Weisglass.
The office coffee market has seen incredible growth over the past five years. Vending Market Watch estimates a CAGR of 5.46% bringing the market to a whopping $19.31B by 2024. High-end bean-to-cup solutions comprise 50% of weight sales, while contributing to ~80% of the revenues. Griin is leading the on-demand roasting revolution alongside growing market demand for higher quality and sustainable office coffee solutions.
“Griin’s technology has immense potential for impact by vertically integrating the coffee roasting process at the point of consumption. Today, coffee supply chains are overly complex and inefficient, with a lot of landfill-bound packaging, culminating in high costs and a lower quality product for end-consumers,” says Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “Griin’s economy of green coffee beans increases efficiencies and streamlines processes, creating a higher quality, fresher product, while eliminating waste.”
Griin plans to continue to work on R&D projects and pilots with enterprise high-tech companies and will expand its market to additional territories, including US, Europe, and Australia.
griin is a deep-tech startup pioneering an innovative coffee roasting solution. griin’s proprietary, patent-pending technology uses volumetric heating to roast green coffee beans, enabling an optimal technique for non-industrial coffee roasting with the highest quality of fresh coffee for consumers.
At scale, this solution has the potential to decentralize the coffee supply chain, leading to a more balanced profit share for coffee producers and resellers, while dramatically improving various aspects of sustainability. The Israel based company was founded by three experienced entrepreneurs with the vision of disrupting the coffee market by providing an innovative roasting solution, focusing initially on the office/workplace segment. Learn more at https://www.griin.tech.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance, and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com.
Algramo Introduces State-of-the-Art Refill Model to Deliver Affordable Cleaning Product Without Waste in New York City
August 25, 2020
In partnership with small business owners, Algramo gives consumers a better way to refill cleaning products from leading global brands through a cost effective, smart dispensing system
New York, August 25 – Today, Algramo — a Chile-based startup solving economic and environmental issues through its vending machines that dispense staple products such as household cleaners “by the gram” — launched its first United States based refill vending machine pilots in multiple locations across New York City. The pilots represent the first exciting step in Algramo’s expansion into North America, and will provide invaluable insights to accelerate the next generation of modern, convenient, and cost conscious refill systems that advance the future of retail.
In a natural resource constrained world, reusing valuable packaging materials is a critical part of building a more circular economy. Smart reusable packaging can help minimize the amount of waste left behind from single-use plastic packaging in landfills and oceans. At the same time, Algramo’s refill system allows customers to purchase cleaning products at an affordable price. Algramo not only makes the sustainable option the cheaper option, but also the more equitable and convenient option.
The various Algramo refill systems, which activate this week, will dispense cleaning products including, Clorox Splash-less Cleaning Bleach* and Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner*, Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap from Colgate-Palmolive Company, and hand sanitizer from EcoLogic Solutions in the pilots taking place at Essex Market in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and The Laundry in BK with a goal of growing throughout the city and beyond. Harnessing the power of digital technology, Algramo’s smart refill system will incentivize reuse, improve operations, and strengthen customer relationships and the community. Their low-contact system meets rigorous health and safety standards, minimizing the various touch points between customers and their purchasing of a product and getting it home.
Customer experience, cost competitiveness, ease of integration at small businesses, and measurable impact on waste reduction will all be key priorities tested in these pilots. The aim is to ensure that this business model is applied in a way that works for busy New Yorkers. Accelerating systems change is not easy and paving the way forward for scalable “refill on the go” models requires continuous testing and honing of solutions. These pilots are a critical part of the learning process, building on successes thus far and advancing developments for the system as a whole.
“These pilots will be invaluable in proving the viability and superiority of refill models that eliminate the need for single-use plastic packaging and address social and economic barriers to more sustainable options,” says José Manuel Moller, CEO and Founder of Algramo.
Closed Loop Partners, the lead investor in Algramo and a pioneer of circular economy focused investments, is bringing Algramo to the United States. “Algramo is on the forefront of a new retail experience; their tech-enabled refill system optimizes the customer experience and meets the growing demand from customers for convenient, accessible and waste-free solutions. We are seeing a lot of market demand for this solution,” says Bridget Croke, Managing Director at Closed Loop Partners and Algramo Board Member.
Founded in 2012, Algramo began in Chile and already operates in over 2,000 family owned stores that reach over 325,000 end-customers in Santiago de Chile. This year, Algramo expanded to the U.S. and was selected to join Newlab’s Circular City Studio that empowers urban tech startups to help make New York more equitable, livable, and resilient.
“Colgate-Palmolive has committed to eliminate plastic waste by designing and delivering circular and alternative solutions for our products,” says Emily Fong Mitchell, General Manager, Personal Care North America, Colgate-Palmolive. “We are excited to partner with Algramo on this pilot as we work to achieve our ambition.”
“EcoLogic is proud to partner with Algramo and its synergistic mission of working towards a more sustainable future. We are thrilled to be working with Algramo’s modern and convenient reuse model to reduce our impact,“ says Anselm Doering, the CEO of EcoLogic.
*These products are not EPA registered
Algramo came into existence to solve a problem impacting millions of low-resource families: the poverty tax. This market failure occurs when low-resource families buy products in small formats and pay up to 40% more for products. Algramo solves the poverty tax with a reusable packaging distribution system that enables families to buy the exact quantity of products they need at bulk prices. Algramo is honored to bring together brands, retailers and packaging producers to work towards catalyzing reusable packaging on a globally significant scale to keep packaging in the economy and out of the environment. Learn more here.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. Investors include many of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and family offices interested in investments that provide strong financial returns and tangible social impact. Learn more here.
4 Key Drivers Accelerating Resilient and Circular Supply Chains
May 13, 2020
COVID-19 has disrupted inertia around the existing linear system, forcing a re-evaluation of the status quo and highlighting the risks of opaque and global supply chains. The timeframe of transformation is unprecedented, happening in months rather than years. The current circumstances emphasize the need for a transition to a more resilient circular economy. This sentiment was echoed in our webinar this month on Trends in Circular Innovations for Resilient Supply Chains.
Panelists from seemingly unrelated fields: fashion, recycling/technology, and logistics identified four themes that resonate across industries, build resiliency to system shocks, like COVID-19, and propel the circular economy forward: transparency, localization, digitization and automation.
Fast Tracking Transparency
The movement towards a circular economy cannot be accomplished by one actor, one company, or even one industry. Therefore, transparency and collaboration are essential. This means data sharing within and across industries and thoughtful collaborations.
Opaque supply chains prohibit stakeholders from understanding where, how and when ingredients or products are sourced, in transit, at a store or where they go after use. Identifying these gaps creates opportunities to reduce waste and increase efficiencies; all foundational elements of a circular economy.
Ocean freight shipping is a USD 115 billion industry with significant environmental impacts. Reports note that shipping accounts for about 3.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions annually. Our portfolio company, TradeLanes, is transforming the industry that operates behind the scenes to supply many of our products. They are enhancing transparency by providing an online platform that addresses inefficiencies, digitizing and managing trade execution for bulk shipping of commodities (e.g., meats, grains, paper, plastics).
By digitizing the process, TradeLanes enables greater transparency. Parties are able to ensure timely negotiations, delivery and tracking of products. This reduces unnecessary wastage from mismanaged or spoiled goods and reduces error rates for clients. For exporters still reliant on outdated paper filing systems (a shockingly large proportion of the industry today), COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on how a lack of transparency creates industry-wide problems as critical shipments are delayed, poorly routed or lost amidst the chaos. TradeLanes is just one example of an innovator disrupting an industry through increased transparency in a complex multi-stakeholder process.
From Global to Local
As global supply chains are disrupted and industries experience supply shortages as a result of COVID-19, localization becomes increasingly attractive. By bringing production closer to end markets, supply chains can be more resilient to system shocks. Much like the eat local movement, companies are looking to source, manufacture and produce closer to market. An ancillary benefit includes a reduced product carbon footprint. With mounting pressures for greater ESG disclosures from investors, corporates and the public, among others, more companies are recognizing that localizing their supply chains has multifold benefits.
In the United States, the world’s largest apparel market, 97% of clothing is made abroad. The path of one cotton t-shirt may be thousands of miles, with the cotton grown in India, milled in Mexico and sewn in South Africa. As awareness grows around the carbon footprint and resource intensity of the industry there is a growing movement to lessen the miles traveled. Our portfolio company, The Renewal Workshop, discussed how localization is built into their business model. Their team helps brands repair and resell clothing, keeping materials that would otherwise be landfilled in play. The Renewal Workshop showcased its agile business model as it was able to quickly source local materials and pivot to respond to the demand for gowns and other personal protective equipment during the pandemic. The team is distributing gowns to hospitals in their home state of Oregon, while continuing to provide repair services for their brand partners.
Automating for Efficiencies
Like other themes enabling the circular economy, automation plays an essential role in creating change. AMP Robotics CEO, Mantanya Horowitz, discusses how his company’s AI and robotics system improves the efficiency of materials recovery facilities (MRF). Their robotics system is rapidly learning to identify material types and “picking” them off the conveyor belts. With the adoption of automated recycling systems, facilities increase the accuracy and purity of sorted recyclables, and thereby improve the economics of the industry. Furthermore, when system shocks like COVID-19 span industries and require immediate change, like social distancing, robots give businesses the flexibility to adapt and reorient to new circumstances; in doing so, ensuring their employees health and safety. Automation can also enable staff to dedicate time to the most pressing responsibilities.
Doubling Down on Digital
Transparency, localization and automation could not be possible without the digitization of systems. Digitization closes the gaps in systems by providing accurate and real-time data on the location, availability and condition of materials. With unwavering agreement, our panelists remarked on how systems devoid of digitization are likely to lag in a transition to the circular economy.
As COVID-19 brings the world economy to a sudden and grinding halt, it highlights the existing pain points in our current system. There is no better time to reflect on the fragility of the linear model. Resiliency lies with a transition to the circular economy, an economy that is transparent, local, automated and digital.