SG biotech startup RWDC Industries raises $22m to produce biodegradable straws

Photo by Zeny Rosalina on Unsplash

Singapore-based biotech startup RWDC Industries – which produces biodegradable polymers with a potential to replace single-use plastic items –  has raised $22 million in an extended Series A financing round led by Vickers Venture Partners and US institutional investor Eversource Retirement Plan Master Trust.

RWDC’s existing investor WI Harper Group also participated in the round, according to a statement. Vickers and WI Harper last co-led a $13-million Series A2 round in the Singaporean startup six months ago.

Founded in 2015 by Roland Wee and Dr Daniel Carraway, RWDC produces medium-chain-length Polyhydroxyalkanoate (mcl-PHA) biopolymers.

PHAs are produced through the bacterial fermentation of plant-based oils or sugar, making it a biodegradable polymer. These may be used to replace plastics used in daily items such as drinking straws.

According to RWDC, its PHA is certified to be fully-biodegradable in soil, water and marine conditions by the certification agency TÜV Austria.

Peter Liu, Chairman of WI Harper Group said: “The world finally recognises the urgent need to build a green and sustainable future. Plastic waste pollution in our oceans is a real threat to societies and global growth. RWDC’s biopolymer materials are fully biodegradable, durable and functional. Our goal is to replace single-use plastic and create meaningful impact.”

The fresh capital will be used to ramp up PHA production capacity in Georgia, US and support R&D efforts. RWDC added that it has also begun development programmes on non-woven fabrics, and completed trials with its clients on PHA straws and coated paper.

RWDC’s first batch of PHA straws hits markets later this year.

Also read:

SG biotech firm RWDC raises $13m round co-led by Vickers, WI Harper

Vickers Venture Partners eyes first close of Fund VI by mid-2019

SG agritech startup Glife raises $1.2m from Global Founders Capital, 500 Startups

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.