Singapore-based new material technology startup, Alterpacks has closed its first round of Pre-Seed funding led by Plug and Play APAC, SEEDS Capital with participation from Earth Venture Capital and angel investor Alice Foo to further its commercialization drive.
In 2019, AlterPacks was founded to combat one of the most challenging problems today - single used plastics. Using their proprietary technology, the start-up upcycles food loss in manufacturing to create a biodegradable and home compostable material to replace plastic food containers. Takeaway packaging dominates single used plastics, accelerated by Covid-19 and the delivery economy.
According to AlterPacks Founder & CEO, Karen Cheah “The genesis of AlterPacks lies in garbage. As countries look at producing more food, we turn our attention to what is being left behind and thrown out with the food waste and loss, and use that as a raw material to replace plastic packaging.”
AlterPacks provides new economic value to spent grains, a by-product of the food manufacturing process, after malted drinks are produced, such as milo or beer. The grains are currently used as animal feed, turned into fertilizer or disposed in landfills. By upcycling the material into food containers that can be molded into any shape, the new products return to the supply chain, combating the dependence on plastic use today. Alterpacks containers are 100% organic and go from freezer to microwave. The start-up is also working on creating bio-pellets to replace petroleum-based resins used in standard manufacturing machines today and changing out the raw material with other forms of agricultural waste.
The US$1m raised will speed-ramp AlterPacks’ food containers production and supply across key markets in Asia, Australia and Europe.
“We got to know AlterPacks while sourcing for relevant startups for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste Innovation Program and they have gained significant interest from the members of the Alliance, which is naturally a signal for us to do further due diligence for investments. We are glad that we managed to tap into our partnership with SEEDS Capital to co-lead and invest in our very first sustainability startup in APAC and we hope this will be first of many other sustainability investments with SEEDS Capital” - said Jupe Tan – Managing Partner of Plug and Play APAC.
“The environmental burden caused by widespread usage of plastic is increasingly a concern for consumers and businesses alike. Alterpacks’ new technology upcycles spent grains into food containers and other foodware products, providing a more sustainable option for producers worldwide. SEEDS Capital looks forward to accelerating Alterpacks’ expansion plans to scale up its biodegradable resin production to reach more partners and markets to address this pain point,” said Ms. Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital.
“The story of Alterpacks is the story of endless trials towards the most painful truth of our modern world: plastic reliance. We are impressed with the dedication, concentration and innovation of the team. The long-term and huge problem of plastic needs more innovative solutions. And we are so pumped to back Alterpacks in this brave journey of replacing the plastic food containers and scalable solutions that will not only leverage the circular economy but also take advantage of the abundance of raw materials availability in South East Asia.” - said Tien Nguyen - General Partner of Earth Venture Capital.
About Plug and Play APAC
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 35 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 500 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 700 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal.
Plug and Play APAC, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.plugandplayapac.com/
About SEEDS Capital
As the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, SEEDS Capital catalyses smart investments into innovative Singapore-based early-stage startups with strong intellectual content and global market potential. We adopt a co-investment model, working hand in hand with institutional investors from around the world. Leveraging our collective expertise and networks, we help startups commercialise, realise their business development plans and expand globally. We focus our investments into emerging and strategic sectors aligned with national priorities, including Manufacturing, Trade & Connectivity, Human Health & Potential, Urban Solutions & Sustainability, and Smart Nation & Digital Economy.
SEEDS Capital, email@example.com , https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/financial-assistance/investments/investments/seeds-capital
About Earth Venture Capital
Earth Venture Capital (Earth VC) is a global venture firm investing in climate-tech solutions, with a focus on the Southeast Asia region. The firm invests in Seed to Series A startups in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Internet of Things, New Materials, and New Energy that serve the goals of switching to renewable energy, abandoning fossil fuel, and increasing the level of carbon storage.
AlterPacks is a Singapore-based start-up supported by Temasek Foundation and incubated under Singapore Management University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Business Innovation Generator. The start-up has collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to combat plastic pollution in Indonesia, having emerged winners of the End Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) 2021. The team also won the Enterprise Singapore Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge in sustainable packaging. In 2022, AlterPacks piloted their food containers at the Motor GP Event in Mandalika, Indonesia and in Vietnam, with Pizza 4P's - a popular F&B brand with over 26 restaurants across the country. AlterPacks is working with different F&B businesses, converters and manufacturers to create tailor-made, sustainable packaging solutions at scale.
Alterpacks is a part of our Batch 2 End Plastic Waste and Batch 2 Food & Agtech program.
To find out more about our End Plastic Waste program, click here.
To find out more about our Food & AgTech program, click here.