Upcycling startup Novoloop has raised $11 million in Series A financing led by Envisioning Partners with participation from Valo Ventures and Bemis Associates.
Novoloop is advancing the chemical transformation of plastic waste into high-performance chemicals and materials. The company’s proprietary process technology, ATOD (accelerated thermal oxidative decomposition), breaks down polyethylene into chemical building blocks that can be synthesized into high-value products. Polyethylene is the most widely used plastic today, but just 9 percent is recycled and virtually none is upcycled, Novoloop noted.
The first product based on Novoloop’s ATOD process is Oistre, a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) for use in high-performance applications such as footwear, apparel, sporting goods, automotive and electronics. The company said Oistre is the first TPU made from post-consumer polyethylene waste that matches the performance characteristics of virgin TPUs made from petrochemicals, meaning Oistre’s carbon footprint is up to 46 percent smaller than conventional TPUs.
“What really compelled us to lead the investment round is that Novoloop has found product-market fit,” said June Cha, partner of Envisioning Partners. “Novoloop has proven that Oistre has a wide range of applications in the market even at their early stage.”
Novoloop’s technology can upcycle carbon content found in common plastic waste like grocery bags, packaging and agricultural plastics that is too low value for material recovery facilities to bale and sell. Instead, the plastics go into landfills or incinerators. Novoloop’s ATOD technology aims to increase commercial demand for waste polyethylene.
“Plastics are not going away anytime soon, so we need to innovate to close the gap between what is produced and what is repurposed,” Novoloop co-founder and CEO Miranda Wang said. “After years of technology development, we’re thrilled to announce backing by high-caliber investors and partners to commercialize this much-needed technology.”
Novoloop co-founder and chief operating officer Jeanny Yao said the funding will enable the company to complete crucial pilot scale-ups and commercializing process technology to make a lasting impact.
Novoloop is also announcing a new partnership with Bemis Associates, a specialist in apparel bonding solutions such as seam tapes that can be found in high performance outerwear. Together, the companies will introduce Oistre into the Bemis product portfolio as a first step to replace virgin petroleum-based thermoplastic polyurethane.
“Novoloop’s technology is a major breakthrough for our supply chain,” Bemis director of sustainability Ben Howard said. “Scaling it will be a huge step in shifting away from virgin petroleum sources and reducing our products’ carbon footprints.”
Novoloop is currently sampling and taking pre-orders for Oistre 65A, a soft grade polyester TPU for injection molding especially suitable for footwear applications. Higher durometer grades of Oistre TPU will be introduced soon.
Envisioning Partners is an impact investing venture capital firm in South Korea that focuses on climate change, wellness, education and the future of work. The firm invests globally, and manages a fund dedicated to climate solutions in industrial and circular economy solutions, sustainable food and agriculture, energy solutions and carbon-to-value technologies.