Bio-material tech startup Cruz Foam closes $2.5m seed funding to accelerate circular protective packaging solutions
Cruz Foam, a mission-driven sustainable materials company, announced it has closed $2.5 million in seed funding in a raise led by At One Ventures to enable the transition toward a circular economy.
At One Ventures is a venture capital firm investing in disruptive deep tech that can help humanity become a net positive to nature. Additional investors include Sony Innovation Fund, Regeneration.VC, and a group of environmentally-focused private investors with backgrounds across industries.
Cruz Foam intends to use the funds to continue scaling its operations to support the commercial launch of pioneering Fortune 500 companies replacing their traditional petroleum-based protective packaging with certified compostable Cruz Foam solutions. The company will also use funds to further expand the technical back-end technology infrastructure of the company with proprietary platforms that will enable the global scaling of its sustainable operations with partners and customers.
Cruz Foam is also announcing the addition of several high-profile advisors who bring invaluable expertise to the scaling and execution of the company's strategic plans. New advisors include Hilary Bryant, entrepreneur and former Mayor of Santa Cruz; Chuck McBride, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Cutwater Advertising; and Michelle Moskowitz, Director, Office of Government Relations, UC Berkeley.
Tom Chi, Founding Partner, At One Ventures: "Cruz Foam is taking on plastic pollution at the root, by inventing a versatile, earth-compatible foam with disruptive economics, requiring no technical recycling to return to the nutrient cycle. We believe this approach will help set the standard for the future of packaging and sustainable materials."
Austin Noronha, Managing Director-US, Sony Innovation Fund: "Pollution due to polystyrene is a major issue, especially for our oceans. With a platform technology that can empower existing materials manufacturing processes as well as offer a wide variety of foam properties, Cruz Foam fundamentally changes the paradigm by creating a fully-compostable equivalent. We are focused on supporting companies that develop technologies to address global environmental issues such as climate change, resources, chemical substances, and biodiversity and look forward to partnering with the team at Cruz Foam as they bring an environment-friendly solution to industries including electronics, appliances, and durable goods."
Michael Smith, General Partner, Regeneration.VC: "We started Regeneration.VC to invest in disruptive, early-stage companies like Cruz Foam, with the potential to catalyze the transformation of traditional, linear supply chains into circular economy platforms. Our shared mission to address the climate emergency and regenerate natural systems makes us natural partners, and our team is already hard at work enabling this important environmental breakthrough."
Cruz Foam is a unique, bio-benign foam material used in protective packaging that matches the technical strength, flexibility, and protective qualities of petroleum-based foams (commonly known as Styrofoam) and at a similar price. Cruz Foam's patented formula is made of chitin, a biopolymer found in shellfish waste and other natural sources, and breaks down in 60 sixty days, with a 97.9% average biodegradation in soil, and with no adverse effects on the quality of the compost after degrading. Cruz Foam is ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868 certified compostable and is USDA Bio-based Preferred. Our sustainable materials biodegrade to produce high-quality organic waste, which can be used as nutrient-rich compost and biogas used for electricity.
The latest raise comes six months after the company was awarded $1 million in non-dilutive funding with an NSF SBIR Phase II Grant supported by America's Seed Fund powered by the NSF. This news also follows the news of Cruz Foam's selection from hundreds of candidates to participate in Rabobank's Foodbytes 2021 program supporting startup companies innovating in food industry technology, and was also chosen for the Japanese Government's JETRO "Japan Challenge for Society 5.0" program seeking innovative solutions that address social challenges.