Polystyvert closes $16 million Series B tranche,  looks to open first commercial recycling plant

Polystyvert demo plant
Polystyvert expects to close a second tranche within three months that brings the round up to $30 million.

Montréal-based cleantech startup Polystyvert has raised $16 million CAD in the first closing of its Series B round. 

Polystyvert says it can recycle and purify the plastic waste that is typically considered non-recyclable.

The all-equity round’s initial close was led by Dutch venture capital firm Infinity Recycling, with participation from other cleantech VCs, including French firm SWEN Blue Ocean and  return investor Earth Foundry, which is based in Chicago. Polystyvert said that other investors will participate in a second tranche of its Series B round to raise up to a total of $30 million, which it expects to close within the next three months.

Polystyvert president and CEO Nathalie Morin said all the “conditions for success” have been met to move forward with the construction of Polystyvert’s first commercial plant in Montréal. The plant will use Polystyvert’s technology to recycle highly contaminated polystyrene waste. The company claims it will be operational in 2026. 

“This is a key step in the promotion of our technology, which will allow us to achieve our ambitious goals in order to break into strategic global markets and position ourselves as a key player in the circularity of styrenic plastics in collaboration with the industrial leaders of this value chain,” Morin said.

Part of this funding will also be dedicated to expanding Polystyvert’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio, which the startup said already includes over forty patents worldwide.

RELATED: Montréal-based cleantech startup Polystyvert receives $3.5 million in government funding

Founded in 2011, Polystyvert has developed what it calls a “low-carbon-footprint process” for the dissolution-based recycling of styrenic plastics, also known as polystyrene, which are used in common items such as styrofoam, packing peanuts, and disposable containers. Polystyvert says it can recycle and purify the plastic waste that is typically considered non-recyclable due to high contamination, and turn it into a raw material that can replace virgin plastics

The startup has been backed in the past by Anges Quebec, Anges Quebec Capital, Cycle Capital, the Crown corporation BDC Capital, and federal agency Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) across multiple funding rounds. Polystyvert last received $3.5 million from SDTC in December 2021 to “take the final steps” towards planning the construction of the commercial plant. 

Once a $750-million part of the federal government’s climate action plan, SDTC has been an embattled government entity in recent months. The Government of Canada suspended SDTC from funding new projects in October 2023, following a third-party investigation that discovered evidence of conflicts of interest and governance issues. Earlier this month, the federal government resumed funding from the agency and announced plans to bring SDTC under the authority of the National Research Council of Canada. 

UPDATE (07/08/2024): This story has been updated with additional information shared by a Polystyvert spokesperson.

Feature image courtesy Polystyvert. 

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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