Investment will enable rapid scaling of commercialization as the company responds to the urgency of global market demand and converts to Benefit Corporation
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Oct. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Cruz Foam, a circular materials company providing bio-based, regenerative replacements for single-use plastic in the multi-billion dollar packaging industry, today announced an $18M Series A funding round led by the problem-solving group, Helena. The round was joined by One Small Planet, Regeneration.VC, At One Ventures, and SoundWaves.
Cruz Foam is scaling the production of circular materials with existing industries catalyzing the transition of global supply chains away from harmful single-use materials for protective packaging and other uses. The first line of products targets plastic foam. The company was founded in 2017 by John Felts, CEO, and Marco Rolandi, Chief Science Officer, with a mission to replace single-use, petroleum-based plastics starting with replacements for EPS and EPE and moving into new spaces such as cold chain and primary packaging for consumer packaged goods. The sustainable packaging market is expected to grow to $358B by 2028.
The sense of urgency for companies to transition to more sustainable materials has been escalated by government legislation, as well as calls from NGOs and consumers for near-term solutions. Cruz Foam is a proactive solution that answers that call and accelerates the pace of change by preventing new plastic from entering the waste stream by design. Derived from all naturally occurring food waste materials, Cruz Foam was developed to provide protection and performance but without adverse environmental impacts.
Matthew Saunders from Helena, Will Peterffy from One Small Planet, and an Independent Director will join existing Cruz Foam board members CEO & Cofounder, John Felts, and Executive Chairman & COO, Toby Corey. The company has also recently added to the management team bringing on Ted Witt as VP of Commercial Operations and Carlo Woods as SVP of Finance.
The company also announced its conversion to a Benefit Corporation, formalizing its longstanding commitment to creating a more sustainable planet. Cruz Foam will report annually on its progress in achieving its public benefit.
"Cruz Foam's Series A will allow us to accelerate and scale the commercialization of our circular materials to respond to the urgent market demand," says Felts. "Helena is highly aligned with our mission and values. We are excited to collaborate with their team and our other partners to deliver proactive solutions to address the preventable environmental crisis of plastic pollution. Further, our conversion to a Benefit Corporation underscores our core values and commitment to this mission."
"Petroleum-based products, specifically those designed for single-use, pose one of the greatest threats to our planet," states Henry Elkus, founder of Helena. "Through our work and investment with partners like Cruz Foam we're aiming to tackle the issue in a wholly innovative way to sustain meaningful change in the packaging space."
Cruz Foam is a circular materials company that produces regenerative, earth-digestible protective packaging foam and other eco-friendly solutions that offer a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products. Cruz Foam's patented products are circular in nature, using biopolymers found in nature to create a compostable material using the existing supply chain and at a similar cost. Cruz Foam currently works with consumer-packaged goods, electronics, appliance, and durable goods companies. Cruz Foam is a mission-driven company creating impact at scale by empowering industry leaders to be the catalyst for a cleaner environment. Cruz Foam is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California.
Helena is a global problem-solving organization. Through Helena Projects, Helena seeks to implement solutions to critical societal problems. Since its founding in 2015, Helena Projects have included: America In One Room, which garnered the attention of President Barack Obama and The New York Times for one of the most significant political experiments in US history; Factory in the Sky, which supported the development and construction of the world's first carbon capture factory; Shield, which worked to protect the electrical grid from foreign and domestic threats; The Covid Project, which supplied tens of millions units of medical supplies and personal protective equipment to frontline responders during the COVID-19 pandemic; and Energy Vault, which expanded pathways to renewable energy adoption through a $22m investment in sustainable grid-scale energy storage. To learn more about Helena, visit https://helena.org/.
At One Ventures invests in disruptive deep tech that can help humanity become a net positive to nature. The firm is highly technical and was founded by Tom Chi, former Head of Experience and founding member at Google X. At One Ventures finds, funds, and grows deep-tech startups to catalyze a world where humanity is a net positive to nature. To date, At One Ventures has invested in 21 startups, including Iron Ox, Dendra, Gradient, Apis Cor, Alchemie Technology, and Cruz Foam. For more information, please visit https://www.atoneventures.com/.
One Small Planet is a Vital Capital Group. We are on a mission to harmonize the wealth of people and planet by working with the intelligence of the natural world to evolve our economic systems. Our founder, Will Peterffy, has spent his life building bridges between the natural and financial worlds. Witnessing how economic wealth was not incentivizing ecological wealth, he started One Small Planet to participate in the creation of new global systems informed by the natural world. One Small Planet's Fire Fund approaches investment by first focusing on ripple of impact and then on return on investment. We work with capital to contribute to new systems focusing on regenerative technologies that support human systems operating in harmony with nature. One Small Planet's Fire Fund thus far has invested in 10 companies and multiple funds and is moving into imminently deploying capital for its second fund. To learn more visit onesmallplanet.org.
Regeneration.VC invests in founding teams accelerating the transition to a circular economy. We are seasoned entrepreneurs and early-stage investors with a world-class advisory team of scientific, corporate, cultural, and environmental leaders. To learn more about how the circular economy is transforming global business and regenerating our planet, please visit https://www.regeneration.vc.
SOUNDWaves is a climate-focused investment vehicle that partners with leading brands and corporations to pilot and invest in early-stage solutions greening supply chains. SOUNDWaves is dedicated to supporting the next generation of clean, circular, and sustainable businesses and works closely with founders to scale for enterprise contracts. SOUNDWaves is an extension of SOUND Ventures and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
SOURCE Cruz Foam