Israel-based cleantech company UBQ Materials has raised $70 million in a financing round led by Eden Global Partners, the company announced today. The round was joined by return investors in the company, including TPG Rise Climate, the investment arm of American private equity firm TPG; Battery Ventures; and M&G’s Catalyst strategy, a UK-based investor specialising in long-term impact investments.
The funding will be used to support the company’s continued scale-up and global expansion. Next to the industrial-scale 80 kT/pa facility in Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands which is scheduled to open later this month, the company operates a small-scale plant at Kibbutz Tze’elim in Israel, which can produce around 7,000 tons of material a year. The new funding will enable the company to expand and build additional facilities in Europe and North America.
“We believe the market opportunity for UBQ’s materials is enormous and look forward to supporting UBQ’s world-class management team as they continue to grow the business,” said David Dwek, Chief Executive Officer of Eden Global Partners.
UBQ Materials was founded in 2012 by Yehuda Pearl, a co-founder of Sabra; Jack Tato Bigio, and Eran Lev. The company has developed and patented a closed-loop process, which converts garbage waste - including food waste, mixed plastics, cardboard, paper, and dirty diapers - into a new, sustainable raw material for the manufacturing of everyday goods across a multitude of industries. The process works by breaking down the heterogeneous waste streams into their basic, natural components before reconstituting them to create a brand-new material. The organic trash - around 70-80% of UBQ’s feedstock is broken down to its particulate constructs—lignin, cellulose, fibres, and sugars—and then reassembled and bound together into a matrix. The remaining 20-30% are mixed plastics that melt and bond into the matrix, creating a climate-positive and highly recyclable thermoplastic material.
UBQ has partnered with leading industry brands, including Mercedes-Benz, PepsiCo, and McDonald’s, who have already integrated UBQ into durable and semi-durable products such as car parts, footwear, pallets, display stands, panels, and planters.
Over 3 billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are expected to be produced annually by 2050 while current approaches to waste management continue to contribute to climate change. Landfills are the third largest human source of methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over 20 years, while incineration emits 1.7 kg CO2eq for every kilogram of MSW incinerated. Every kilogram of Israeli-manufactured UBQ replaces 1 kg of oil-based plastic, diverts 1.3 kg of waste from landfills and incinerators, and prevents up to 11.7 kg of CO2eq emissions measured over a 20-year time horizon.
“UBQ has pioneered a fully sustainable resource, pivotal for existing manufacturing industries across endless applications,” said co-founder and co-CEO Bigio.