Bio-bean announces £4m in equity funding with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank.
Bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. The funding round will enable bio-bean to launch new product lines and expand internationally.
Approximately 95 million cups of coffee are consumed per day in the UK alone, producing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste coffee grounds annually. Currently, the majority of this waste goes to landfill where it emits methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. As well as damaging the environment, landfill is a costly method of waste disposal for businesses because of the UK government’s landfill tax.
Founded in 2013, bio-bean was set up on the basis that there is no such thing as waste, only resources in the wrong place. By offering a coffee waste recycling service to clients who produce SCG (spent coffee grounds) in large quantities such as cafes, office buildings and transport hubs, the company collects and transports the SCG to its factory where it is then transformed into a range of valuable bio-based products using a patent-pending process to extract the latent resource.
This true circular economy business model has the potential to disrupt markets that are dependent on intensive use of virgin and scarce resources.
Chris Harrison, CEO of bio-bean, commented: “This investment is a hugely exciting development for bio-bean. It will enable us to push for even greater innovation in extracting commercial value from used coffee grounds otherwise considered a waste, helping to further strengthen bio-bean’s position at the forefront of the circular economy and increase the use of sustainable, second-generation resources.”
Jon Wright, investment manager at ClearlySo, commented: “Bio-bean is one of the best examples of a circular economy business that I have come across. Thinking about how we use waste and our limited resources is especially important as we drive towards a more sustainable future, and the massive opportunity presented by the circular economy is proving a popular theme with investors.”