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Kelpi secures £4.3m investment for seaweed-based packaging solutions
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

30 May 2024

Kelpi secures £4.3m investment for seaweed-based packaging solutions

UK-based materials innovation company, Kelpi, has raised £4.3 million ($5.5 million) to accelerate the commercialisation of its seaweed-based packaging technology, aiming to replace single-use plastic packaging and mitigate global plastic pollution.


The funding round was spearheaded by Blackfinch Ventures, with participation from Green Angel Ventures, Kadmos Capital, QantX, Evenlode Foundation, South West Investment Fund, Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), One Planet Capital and private angel investors.


Originally targeting £3 million, Kelpi surpassed its goal, highlighting strong investor confidence in its innovative approach.


Kelpi’s proprietary coating, derived from sustainably farmed seaweed, can be applied to paper and card, providing an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. This coating is compostable, recyclable and marine-safe, breaking down completely in a matter of months without leaving toxins or microplastics.


Kelpi CEO Neil Morris said: “This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work and take to market our world-leading packaging material that is already being chosen by clients. Kelpi can now play a key role in ending our dependence on fossil fuels to create single-use packaging and so eliminating a major source of plastic pollution.”


The investment will facilitate the expansion of Kelpi’s team, enabling large-scale pilot projects and the completion of regulatory approvals. The company plans to launch its seaweed-based packaging commercially by mid-2025.


This move aligns with the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions in the food and beverage, cosmetics, and personal care industries, as companies seek to reduce their environmental footprint.


Reuben Wilcock, head of ventures at Blackfinch, added: “Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of world-leading scientific innovation with extensive entrepreneurial experience. Their technology has immense commercial potential and we’re excited to be backing the company to scale up and go to market.”

Currently, 99% of single-use plastic packaging is produced from fossil fuels, and only 9% of plastic is recycled globally. The UN Environment Programme warns that, if current trends continue, the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption by 2050.


“We’ve been consistently impressed with Kelpi’s team and technology,” Cam Ross, CEO of Green Angel Ventures, commented. “At scale, the Kelpi approach will play a vital role in reducing fossil fuel dependency, addressing climate change and impacting plastic pollution.”


By leveraging renewable feedstocks like seaweed, Kelpi’s packaging not only offers environmental benefits but also matches or exceeds the performance of traditional plastics, particularly in terms of water resistance and durability against greasy or acidic contents.


As the global demand for sustainable packaging solutions grows, Kelpi’s breakthrough technology is poised to make a significant impact, supported by strong investor backing and strategic partnerships with industry leaders like L’Oréal, Diageo and Waitrose.

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