Packaging start-up AlterPacks secures US$1M in pre-seed funding to expand operations

SINGAPORE – Singapore-based provider of biodegradable food containers, AlterPacks has closed its US$1 million pre-seed funding round to expand operations.

The funding was led by Plug and Play APAC and Seed Capital, while other contributing investors included Earth Venture Capital and angel investor Alice Foo.

Jupe Tan, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Asia Pacific (APAC) said: “We got to know AlterPacks while sourcing for relevant startups for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste Innovation Program.

“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 the first of many other sustainability investments with SEEDS Capital.”

AlterPacks says it will use the financing to commercialize its operations, including production and supply, in Asia, Australia and Europe.

The company aims to combat plastic packaging by offering solutions made using food waste such as malt and barley.

It converts this food waste into takeaway boxes and other containers.

According to AlterPacks’ website, the company’s containers have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Singapore Food Agency (Sfa) certifications for direct food contact.

AlterPacks uses automated machines to manufacture containers at scale by cleaning raw materials, mixing their formulation and pressing them into container shapes.

Co-founder Karen Cheah said that the process of converting brewer’s grains into AlterPacks’ food containers is similar to that of making pulp.

“The properties of spent grains and the volume of grains available globally were two key factors,” said Karen Cheah.

“By upcycling the grains, we are creating new economic value and putting what would have been a by-product disposed of as animal feed, or headed to landfills and compost, back into the supply chain as food containers that can be used to replace plastic disposables.”

In addition to its containers, 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.

These pellets will be made from spent grains and other agricultural waste such as coconut shells.

The company follows a business-to-business (B2B) model that involves working with distribution partners that sell supplies to food and beverage businesses.

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