Materials technology startup Alterpacks closed its pre-seed funding round with $1 million in investments to further its commercialization drive.
Alterpacks said it will use the fund to speed-ramp its food containers production and supply across key markets in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
The funding round was led by Plug and Play APAC and SEEDS Capital and was also participated by Earth Venture Capital and angel investor Alice Foo, the company said in a statement.
“The genesis of AlterPacks lies in garbage. As countries look at producing more food, we turn our attention to what is being left behind and thrown out with the food waste and loss and use that as a raw material to replace plastic packaging,” said AlterPacks Founder and Chief Executive Officer Karen Cheah.
Founded in 2019, Alterpacks aims to address single use plastics, which is one of the most challenging problems of today.
Alterpacks has the technology to up cycle food loss in manufacturing to create a biodegradable and home compostable materials to replace plastic food containers.
Supported by Temasek Foundation, Alterpacks is incubated under Singapore Management University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Business Innovation Generator.
The startup also collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to combat plastic pollution in Indonesia after they also emerged as the winners in the End Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) 2021.
In addition, the team also won the Enterprise Singapore Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge in sustainable packaging.
AlterPacks piloted in 2022 its food containers at the Motor GP Event in Mandalika, Indonesia and in Vietnam, with Pizza 4P’s – a popular F&B brand with over 26 restaurants across the country.
The startup is also working with different F&B businesses, converters and manufacturers to create tailor-made, sustainable packaging solutions at scale as it also provides new economic value to spent grains, a by-product of the food manufacturing process, after malted drinks are produced, such as milo or beer.
Grains are currently used as animal feed, turned into fertilizer or disposed in landfills.
By up cycling the material into food containers that can be molded into any shape, the new product is returned to the supply chain to combat the dependence on plastic use.
Alterpacks containers are 100 percent organic and these may be used from freezer to microwave.
Recently, the startup started work on creating bio-pellets to replace petroleum-based resins used in standard manufacturing machines and changing the raw material with other forms of agricultural waste.
Jupe Tan, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Asia Pacific (APAC), said that he partnered with SEEDS Capital to co-lead and invest in their very first sustainability startup in APAC. He looks forward to having many other sustainability investments with SEEDS Capital in the future.
Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, is headquartered in Silicon Valley. The firm has built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house venture capital to make technological advancement progress faster.
Since the launch of its APAC headquarters in Singapore in 2010, it then expanded into Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
The firm has also accelerated over 500 startups across various programs and invested in more than 70 startups in Southeast Asia.