Packaging

Morro by Xampla Set to Support Brands Away from Single-Use Plastics with $7 Million Investment

British natural materials company Xampla has secured $7 million in a funding round to expand the production of its biodegradable, plant-based materials at lower costs to support brands in moving away from single-use plastic.

The funds will also expand the applications of Xampla’s new consumer brand, Morro, into new markets. This capital injection brings Xampla’s total investment to $17.6 million.

“We are determined to lead the way towards a future where natural materials thrive”

Amadeus Capital Partners, Horizon Ventures, Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Enterprise, and Martlet Capital reaffirmed their support. Meanwhile, new investor CIECH Ventures, a clean tech backer and part of an international chemical group, also contributed to the round.

Alexandra French, Xampla’s recently appointed CEO, commented, “This new funding will support the expansion of our Morro material into new territories and new applications and enable us to make a big impact. We are determined to lead the way towards a future where natural materials thrive, and traditional plastics become a thing of the past.”

Biodegradable takeaway packaging solutions made with Xampla's coatings.
© Xampla

Addressing real-world problems

Morro materials, developed over 15 years of research at the University of Cambridge, are edible, biodegradable, and home-compostable. They offer high strength, grease, and oxygen barrier properties and can be used to create sustainable packaging solutions, microcapsules, and coatings.

In 2023, Xampla partnered with 2M Group to expand the production and European distribution of Morro coating, the company’s plastic-free protection for paper and card used in packaging applications such as takeaway packaging and cups. 

The Cambridge-based firm has also launched its innovative materials with several global brands, including drinks retailer Britvic, skincare experts ELEMIS, and meal-kit retailer Gousto (in a stock-cube wrapper), to replace single-use plastics with its biodegradable alternative. 

According to the company, this investment will help it continue exploring future applications of its Morro Edible Film and Morro Soluble Film, as well as expand its Morro Nutri line, which are edible microcapsules that guard vitamins against UV light, pH imbalance, and pasteurization, even in clear bottles.

In 2023, the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, granted Xampla £1 million in funding to scale its technology and material processing. Also, last year, the firm was selected among the world’s 100 most promising global cleantech companies in the 2023 Global Cleantech 100.  

Szymon Smyk, CEO of CIECH Ventures, added, “Xampla’s innovative approach and impact on the industry align deeply with the values of CIECH Ventures. Cleantech solutions capable of addressing real-world problems, such as plastic pollution, and promoting sustainable development are of particular interest to us.”

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