British American Tobacco - New investment supports the development of bioplastics

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04 October 2023

New investment supports the development of bioplastics

Btomorrow Ventures (BTV)  – BAT’s corporate capital venture arm - invests in sustainable packaging and bioplastics company FlexSea.

BTV is pleased to announce its participation in FlexSea’s seed fundraising round and is excited to join the team on their ‘beyond plastics’ journey.  The investment will continue a relationship, which started last year, and has the potential to help BAT meet its sustainability targets.

FlexSea  is a sustainable packaging company with patent-pending technology to make biodegradable, compostable and edible seaweed-derived bioplastics, designed to replace plastic film packaging. The technology can be used as packaging for various products, without sacrificing packaging quality or competitiveness.

Founded in 2019 by Carlo Fedeli and Thibaut Monfort-Micheo, FlexSea’s sustainable seaweed-derived plastic breaks down rapidly and naturally in a matter of weeks. There are no harmful chemicals involved in its manufacture and almost no waste in its production stream.

BAT has been a fan of FlexSea since the company won Battle of Minds  – a global business pitch competition run by BAT – in 2022.  After winning Battle of Minds, FlexSea took part in BTV’s ESG Lab, a supportive partnership between BAT and innovative businesses, like FlexSea, to accelerate BAT’s progress towards achieving its sustainability goals.

As part of our investment, FlexSea and BAT will work together to explore how FlexSea’s technologies and processes could benefit BAT’s supply chain.

BAT’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Mike Nightingale said: “The partnership with FlexSea enables BAT to explore the development of innovative technology that could improve future packaging and product development to help meet our sustainability targets, and also deliver competitive benefits.”

BTV’s Investment Director, Lukasz Garbowski, said: “FlexSea is a very special start-up for us, not only because the company was the BTV-sponsored Battle of Minds 2022 winner, but because it is our first investment in the sustainability space, and we hope there will be many more.”

"It is a very promising technology with an application across many products and industries. We have high hopes for FlexSea and cannot wait to support them on the journey to redefine the bioplastics landscape and advance a global ESG agenda.”

BTV’s investment is part of a £3 million equity seed funding and grants round, alongside several other investors and grantors.
FlexSea’s CEO and Founder, Carlo Fedeli, said “It is great to complete this funding round with a stellar team of backers. A great mix of strategic investors with a clear commercial direction that can help us bring our materials to market and make seaweed biomaterials a widely available and true alternative to single use plastics”.