Before presenting an account of the Pitch Event, we regret to say that, at the very moment we finalised this summary, Impact Recycling told us that it is no longer available for Green Angel Syndicate members’ investment. It has received a Term Sheet from a fund wishing to fill the round exclusively. We are delighted for Impact, and wish it well. We are sorry to withdraw this from the list of available deals, but encourage you to consider the other excellent deals. There will be more plastics recycling opportunities presented to us in the coming months. We have kept the account of Impact Recycling as a matter of record.
Smile Plastics – Beautiful sustainable panel material
Ambition – Smile Plastics manufactures large scale decorative flat panels out of recycled plastics. The company wants to become the sustainable panel material of choice for retail and furniture design globally, offering products made locally in micro-manufacturing sites around the world.
Market and business model – Smile Plastics’ panels, made of 100% recycled and recyclable materials, are designed to be attractive, versatile, and of the highest quality in the market; their CO2 footprint per square meter is much lower than for traditional recycled plastics.
The company currently focuses on the UK commercial fit-out market: shops, bars, restaurants and offices – and generates high gross margins. The UK office & shop furniture manufacturing sector is worth more than £2bn, and the joinery & installation sector £10bn. Globally, the sustainable construction materials market is worth $175bn and growing fast.
Smile Plastics plans to make its products in micro-factories in the UK, and then globally. It owns specific know-how and IP licences and there are patentable elements in its production technology.
What it’s achieved so far – Over the past four years, Smile Plastics’ revenues have been growing steadily and the company is profitable. The company has successfully sold hundreds of square meters of its products, to hundreds of customers. Well-known brands include Selfridges, Liberty, Hilton and Pret a Manger. Smile Plastics’ products and services are attracting greater demand than it can satisfy with its current small batch production operation.
Team – The two co-founders are Rosalie McMillan (Customers and Operations), with a background as business manager, designer and psychologist; and Adam Fairweather (Technical), an industrial designer with materials specialism.
Exit – Targeting an exit in 4-5 years, potentially through further rounds of funding which would enable a quick replication of factories in multiple sites.
Fundraise – Seeking £1m to rollout a blueprint micro-factory in South Wales to increase significantly their production capacity and to develop a consumer focussed brand for finished products with a London-based showroom.
Impact Recycling – Enabling the recycling of mixed plastic waste
Ambition – Impact Recycling aims at significantly increasing the proportion of plastics that are recycled globally thanks to a breakthrough technology which enables post-consumer mixed plastic waste to be transformed into consistent streams of high-purity recycled plastics.
Market and business model – Huge quantities of mixed rigid plastics are going to landfill, incinerated or into our oceans and the amounts which are currently recycled are small. However, regulation, consumer awareness and corporate responsibility initiatives point to massive growth in plastic recycling over the coming years. The EU’s recycling targets are 45% by 2020 and 65% by 2025, pointing to a growth opportunity of millions of tons annually.
Impact Recycling’s BOSS technology (for Baffled Oscillation Separation System) separates the components of mixed plastic waste into consistent streams of polyethylene and polypropylene, each with 98% purity – ensuring a high value product that meets the industry demand. Compared to existing solutions, the technology enables a drastic improvement in the cost of recycling. The company’s business model will be to licence the technology.
What it’s achieved so far – The BOSS technology has initially been developed by Impact Laboratories between 2010 and 2014, and Impact Recycling was founded in 2014 to develop it to commercial scale. Patent protection was granted in 2016 and the first commercial unit was installed in 2017. The first fully operational plant was commissioned in Newcastle in Q2 2018 and the company now has several industrial clients.
Team – The CEO is David Walsh, an entrepreneur involved in recycling projects since 2010 and with 20 years’ prior experience as a hedge fund manager.
Exit – Impact Recycling foresees a trade sale to a large recycling specialist company.
Fundraise – Raising a minimum of £850k, with £600k already secured. The proceeds will be used to fund a large capacity expansion at the Newcastle plant and to secure licence agreements.
Nova Pangaea Technologies – Replacing fossil oil with biomass waste
Ambition – Nova Pangaea Technologies aims at replacing fossil oil by biomass-derived chemicals in the large-scale production of fuels and chemicals.
Market and business model – NPT’s technology converts waste biomass into cellulosic sugars and other valuable products, targeting huge markets, in particular:
Historically, the petrochemical industry has processed fossil fuels to produce chemicals for conversion into plastics, resins, fuels, etc. but there is now a growing trend for these industries to move to renewable solutions; and the feedstock industries (e.g. sugarcane, forestry and woodchip) need to add value through co-products – hence the opportunity for NPT. Compared to traditional processes, NPT’s process can achieve a 100%+ reduction in CO2 emissions.
NPT’s patented process, called Refnova, enjoys superior economics compared to competing ones, notably because it employs steam at ‘non-exotic’ temperatures and pressures. The company’s business model is to license its technology, reducing capital requirements.
What it’s achieved so far – NPT claim that independent technical due diligence has confirmed the competitive superiority of NPT’s process. Pilot plant facilities have been set up in the UK and Latvia, and a pre-commercial plant is nearing completion, supported by a major government grant. Discussions are ongoing with 5+ industrial partners and NPT has signed a commercial development agreement with a multi-national company. To date, NPT has received funding of ~£6m, mainly from angel investors, including its Directors.
Team – The CEO is Ed Wilson, civil engineer & MBA with 30 years extensive experience in managing chemical plant construction projects around the world.
Exit – NPT is targeting an exit through an acquisition or IPO over the next 5-6 years. NPT highlighted that valuable acquisitions have been made of comparable companies even before their demonstration plants were complete.
Fundraise – Raising £1.5m in 2019 of which £0.5m already underwritten by a large investment fund. Proceeds will notably be used to support the demonstration plant, install further pilot facilities, apply for several new patents, and pursue commercial activities to lead to revenues.
RE-search – Global renewable energy marketplace
Ambition – RE-search aims is to simplify and accelerate the uptake of clean energy globally, thanks to a marketplace connecting corporate energy buyers and renewable energy project developers.
Market and business model – RE-search’s global renewable energy marketplace is aimed at corporate energy buyers on one side, and renewable energy projects on the other side, helping:
Companies, large and small, to buy clean energy – a fast-growing demand – by showing them hundreds of renewable energy projects around the world.
Project developers, suppliers and generators to fund their projects by connecting them with potential clients and investors.
RE-search’s revenue model will be based on listing fees (charged listing projects) and success fees. Based on research forecasting global corporate renewable energy spending of $777bn in 2019, RE-search’s total addressable market is estimated at more than $230m.
The team will develop AI algorithms to enhance the matchmaking experience between buyers and sellers, and to support the aggregation of energy demand from medium-sized companies.
What it’s achieved so far – RE-search has launched its MVP in July 2018, with 250+ projects listed, which received good press coverage and led to 150 requests to access its portal. In December 2018, the company was selected by the Department of International Trade to exhibit at the UK Pavilion at COP24 and it was nominated for ‘App of the Year’ at the Business Green Technology Awards. To date, the company has received £150k in funding.
Team – The CEO and founder is Juan Pablo Cerda, an entrepreneur with 15 years’ experience in the environmental and energy industries.
Fundraise – Raising £150k (SEIS) to build a proof of concept, with potential further rounds.