DATE :Tuesday 3rdSeptember 2019
CuanTec, the blue biotech company based in Motherwell and Oban, have completed an investment round with Sky Ocean Ventures and Scottish Enterprise that will enable them to process at pilot production scale and finalise their formulations. The investment will also create new jobs at the CuanTec lab at the European Marine Sciences Centre at Dunstaffange outside of Oban.
The investment round has been led by Sky Ocean Ventures – Sky’s impact investment fund committed to accelerating ideas that can help turn off the plastics tap and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency.
Cait Murray-Green, CEO of CuanTec:“The world has awakened to the problems that we have created with single use plastic. CuanTec are working to provide compostable alternatives which will eliminate single-use plastic from the food industry. We are delighted by the support of Sky Ocean Ventures and Scottish Enterprise in enabling this early stage technology to move forward and to help create scientific jobs in rural Argyll and in Motherwell. Increasingly the investment community has also taken up the challenge and SOV has proven to be a valuable partner who believe strongly in our team and in what we are trying to achieve – to make plastic pollution history.”
Jamie Rowles, Head of Investment, Sky Ocean Ventures:“We are excited to support the next phase of CuanTec’s development, alongside Scottish Enterprise, on the company’s journey to imbed their formulations into the packaging of fresh produce. We have developed a strong relationship with the team over the last 6 months, and their strong passion and desire to develop sustainable solutions to single use packaging is unmatched.
Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank:“This deal represents an exciting progression in the growth of Cuantec and will enable the company to scale up production. We are delighted to support the company, alongside Sky Ocean Ventures, as it continues to innovate and develop products with the potential of addressing the problems of plastic pollution and food waste. The company has been supported by Scottish Enterprise’s SMART: SCOTLAND innovation support and Financial Readiness support and we look forward to working further with the business, through Scottish Enterprise’s many support mechanisms, as it continues to develop and grow. ‘’
CuanTec Ltd is a Scottish blue biotechnology company. They extract chitin, a naturally occurring biopolymer, from shellfish waste. Using a clean, energy-efficient method, they convert this chitin into chitosan which is currently used in thousands of applications around the world, many in medical applications. Perhaps most excitingly, they convert chitosan into an antimicrobial, compostable bio-plastic, directly addressing the problems of plastic pollution and food waste in the world.
With operations only starting in 2107, they’ve grown from 3 people in one lab in Biocity outside Glasgow to a staff of 14 and an additional lab facility at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology in Oban.
About Sky Ocean Ventures
Launched in March 2018, Sky Ocean Ventures is a £25m impact investment fund committed to accelerating young companies and entrepreneurs who are developing ideas that can help turn off the plastics tap. It’s part of Sky’s Bigger Picture initiative and is the solutions arm of the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, which shines a spotlight on the issues that affect ocean health and inspires behaviour change.
About The Scottish Investment Bank
The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding.
SIB manages a suite of co-investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund, the Scottish Venture Fund and the Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s Life Sciences Fund and is a participant in the Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme with funding secured from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund.
SIB also provides funding into LendingCrowd, Scotland’s marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs, and Maven's UK Regional Buy Out Fund (MBO) that offers financial support for management buyouts (MBOs) and helps existing management teams acquire their businesses from their owners so they can continue to flourish. SIB’s team of financial readiness specialists help companies to prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.