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.