Waste-to-recyclable plastics startup UBQ Materials announced today it has raised $170 million in a funding round led by TPG’s global impact investing platform, TPGI Rise. The investment will be used to fund UBQ Materials’ global expansion.
Jack Bigio, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials, said:
“Waste is not the end, it is only the beginning. This financing round enables us to widen the reach of our patented conversion technology and novel material, bringing us closer to a functioning circular economy worldwide.”
Founded in 2012, UBQ Materials has developed a conversion technology, patenting the world’s first bio-based thermoplastic, UBQ, made of unsorted household waste. The solution is a sustainable replacement to plastic, wood or concrete, and can be used on its own or together with oil-based resins to offset the carbon footprint of end-products in the construction, automotive, logistics, retail, and 3D printing industries.
According to UBQ, today, over 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are produced annually, with more than 70% ending up in landfills. Landfills are the third largest human source of methane. For every ton of UBQ produced, the solution can prevent as much as 12 tons of CO₂ equivalent from entering the environment.
The investment will be used to fund the company’s global expansion to meet growing demand, beginning with a large-scale facility in the Netherlands, expected to be operational by the end of 2022, as well as to fund the company’s continued research to advance certifications and R&D for new products.
Albert Douer, Chairman and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials, said:
“Through the prevention of landfill-related methane emissions and the replacement of carbon intensive raw materials, UBQ can support governments, brands and major manufacturers in achieving their sustainable development goals.”
TPG’s investment was made through TPG Rise Climate, the company’s climate investing fund, and The Rise Fund, its impact investing fund, and included participation from existing investor, Battery Ventures, as well as UK-based investor M&G Catalyst strategy.
As part of the transaction, Steve Ellis, Co-Managing Partner of The Rise Funds will join UBQ’s Board of Directors along with Ignacio Giraldo, Business Unit Partner at TPG Rise. Ellis, said:
“In addition to converting municipal waste into functional thermal plastics, UBQ’s material solution is energy efficient, uses no water and produces no effluents. UBQ can be utilized in a broad array of industrial and consumer applications. We’re excited to be partnering with management to scale the business globally.”