French tire manufacturer invests in Canadian pyrolysis operator
Montreal, April 30, 2020 – Pyrowave, a company that developed a breakthrough technology allowing recycling of plastics through pyrolysis, recently announced the closing of a series B investment. This investment marks the first step towards bringing Pyrowave’s modular technology to market and providing a scalable, viable and sustainable solution in the fight against plastic waste.
The round led by Michelin – a world leader in tire manufacturing – sustainable mobility and advanced materials, and Sofinnova Partners, a European life sciences venture capital firm based in Paris, London and Milan, investing in sustainable chemistry and biotechnology, also includes Ecofuel, a Quebec-based early stage cleantech venture capital fund. Early stage financial partners have also renewed their confidence by reinvesting in the company.
«This investment is a concrete illustration of our venture capital strategy which aims to support the most innovative companies, with a strong growth potential, and focusing on the relevant domains for our businesses. Alongside our current portfolio and our outstanding R&D, this investment strengthens the Michelin’s position as a referent in the field of high technology sustainable materials”, says Matthieu van der Elst from Michelin Ventures.
After more than one year of technological review, the Pyrowave technology demonstrated its ability to produce recycled styrene monomer from plastic waste to be later integrated in the production of synthetic rubber, a major component found in tires. Michelin has assessed Pyrowave technology and has decided to support it.
Pyrowave’s technology disrupts plastic recycling using a proprietary modular microwave-based technology. “With traditional recycling technologies, the market applications of recycled plastics are very limited because of contamination or plastic degradation during the process which reduces its quality and potential for applications. New recycling technologies like Pyrowave’s decompose the complex chemical structure of plastics back into a simpler form that can be used to make virgin plastics and other products in multiple applications,” said Jocelyn Doucet, Chief Executive Officer of Pyrowave. “This investment marks a turning point in the circular economy of plastics and the support from Michelin sends the signal that the market is ready to implement these solutions.”
“Pyrowave’s unique, game-changing technology brings an immediate answer to plastic waste with a solid, scalable solution,” said Joško Bobanović, Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “This investment is aligned with Sofinnova Partners’ support for exceptional entrepreneurs delivering sustainable solutions to solve an immediate societal, ecological and business challenge.” “Pyrowave’ investment by the Ecofuel Fund is not just about the technology. This company combined major partners, focused entrepreneurs, targeted markets and direct environmental impacts,” said Richard Cloutier, Managing Partner at Ecofuel Fund.
Pyrowave is one of pioneering companies in the field of the Plastic-to-Plastic microwave-based chemical recycling technology that allows post-consumer and post-industrial plastics to be regenerated and restored to their full value. Its patented high-power microwave catalytic depolymerization technology platform is the most advanced worldwide and is now at the forefront of the new generation of plastics. By bringing plastics back to their molecular state identical to virgin materials, Pyrowave technology allows infinite recycling of plastics.
Michelin, the leading tire manufacturer and mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has more than 127,000 employees and operates 69 tire production facilities which together produced around 200 million tires in 2019.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, with offices in London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The firm focuses on paradigm-shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
Ecofuel is a $40M venture capital fund and a specialized and personalized accelerator dedicated to the cleantech startups. Ecofuel works with entrepreneurs to help build globally competitive companies. Ecofuel Fund invests smart money in early stage startups that develop and commercialize clean technologies while the Ecofuel Accelerator offers entrepreneurs a specialized and personalized program of training workshops, networking sessions, an experienced mentor ecosystem.
Article by Pyrowave.