VICTORIA, BC, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Bast Fibre Technologies (BFT), a cleantech natural fibre engineering company, announces the closing of a CAD$8.5 million (US$7 million) series A equity financing. The Company will now enter its next phase of growth focused on the full-scale manufacturing and commercialization of natural bast fibres for nonwoven products.
US-based private equity firm Merida Capital Holdings is a key new shareholder in this series A financing which also includes significant participation from existing investors.
"With this financing under our belt we can complete the final build out of our EU manufacturing site, continue the investment in our feedstock supply chain and enter full-scale commercialization," said CEO Noel Hall. "Since our last financing 12 months ago, we now have a large number of customers using our natural bast fibres on commercial production lines, so it is critical that we invest in manufacturing capacity to feed the strong market demand."
"The Bast Fibre Technologies management team has an unrivalled level of experience in both the natural fibre and nonwoven fabric markets," said Senior Partner Mina Mishrikey of Merida Capital Holdings. "The Company's nonwoven pipeline has the potential for immediate consumer adoption and this ESG investment complements the strategic moves we are making in the broader hemp fibre space."
The worldwide plastic legislation movement continues to disrupt the nonwoven industry with many global brands pledging to eliminate plastic from their products by 2030. The ongoing debate about whether or not to classify man-made cellulosic fibres as plastic has also driven significant interest in bast fibres.
"Over the last year we have run numerous fibre trials with our customers and it's exciting to see this transition to commercial sales" said Jim Posa, BFT President. "In the single-use segment alone, there are nearly 6 million tons of plastic fibre used every year and we will play a key role in reducing the nonwoven industry's traditional reliance on synthetic material."
ABOUT BAST FIBRE TECHNOLOGIES INC. - www.bastfibretech.com
Bast Fibre Technologies Inc. (BFT) is a cleantech fibre engineering firm manufacturing specialty natural fibres for applications throughout the nonwoven industry. Using IP protected, advanced fibre and fabric technology, BFT transforms raw bast fibres from hemp, flax and jute plants to meet the exacting standards required by nonwoven customers. With the inevitable transition away from synthetics, BFT fibres will become vitally important for the production of truly sustainable nonwovens including fully compostable cleaning wipes, diapers and personal care products.
SOURCE Bast Fiber Technologies Inc.