Cruz Foam, a biomaterial technology startup based in Santa Cruz, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to develop the next generation of environmental-friendly packaging solutions.
The seed funding round was led by At One Ventures with participation from Sony Innovation Fund, Regeneration.VC, and other environmentally-focused private investors. This round brings the total funding raised by Cruz Foam to $7.2 million, which will allow it to scale its operations and further expand the technical back-end technology infrastructure. Austin Noronha, Managing Director-US, Sony Innovation Fund, referred to the round by stating:
“Pollution due to polystyrene is a major issue — especially for our oceans. With a platform technology that can empower existing materials manufacturing processes as well as offer a wide variety of foam properties, Cruz Foam fundamentally changes the paradigm by creating a fully-compostable equivalent. We are focused on supporting companies that develop technologies to address global environmental issues such as climate change, resources, chemical substances, and biodiversity and look forward to partnering with the team at Cruz Foam as they bring an environment-friendly solution to industries including electronics, appliances, and durable goods.”
Founded in 2017, Cruz Foam aims to empower industry leaders to work towards a cleaner environment by providing them with compostable, protective packaging, foams, and other eco-friendly solutions. Companies making use of this innovative material will enjoy the same benefits as petroleum-based foams in terms of technical strength, flexibility, and protective qualities with reduced environmental impact. Tom Chi, At One Ventures’ Founding Partner, said in this regard:
“Cruz Foam is taking on plastic pollution at the root — by inventing a versatile, earth-compatible foam with disruptive economics, requiring no technical recycling to return to the nutrient cycle. We believe this approach will help set the standard for the future of packaging and sustainable materials.”
Despite more than 80 thousand tons of Styrofoam being produced in the United States back in 2019, only less than 5 thousand tons were recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. With concerns around the environmental impact of the increasing waste being produced, startups like Cruz Foam are seeking to help revert the damage by offering eco-friendly solutions that don’t require organizations to compromise on terms of efficiency or costs.