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Exclusive: Applied Bioplastics raising $3M for plant-based plastics

Apr 19, 2023
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Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Applied Bioplastics is raising up to $3 million for its plant-based feedstock for plastics, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: Applied says its product offers a cheaper alternative to conventional materials.

Driving the news: Applied is raising $2 million to $3 million from venture firms and through a crowdfunding campaign, at a $15 million to $20 million valuation, CEO Alex Blum tells Axios.

  • The round has attracted Ascend Venture Capital, as well as Daigle Labs at the University of Connecticut. It's also raised $27,600 through the crowdfunding site Raise Green.

Meanwhile, Applied signed a nonbinding letter of intent to supply 43 million pounds of its plastic to EarthGrid, which is developing robots equipped with "plasma torches" to burrow through the ground.

  • "It’s an underground light saber that vaporizes rock," Blum says.
  • Utility PG&E then plans to bury electric lines sheathed in plastic tubing made in part from Applied pellets.

How it works: The company makes treated-cellulose "filler" from waste products like lawn clippings or harvest leftovers.

  • That filler can then be extruded by plastics producers into pellets for making toys, tools and other "durable plastics."
  • The company signed its first licensing agreement in November with a plastics producer in India.

What's next: Applied plans to supply an initial $1.2 million of material to EarthGrid by Q3.

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