Traceless raises EUR 36.6 million in latest financing round

Hamburg-based start-up to build first production plant for its recyclable plastic alternative
28 September 2023
Das Team von Traceless

The Hamburg-based start-up, Traceless, has raised EUR 36.6 million in a series A financing round, a press release said Monday (September 25, 2023). The Hamburg-based start-up has come up with bio-plastic packaging that decomposes itself making for a sustainable alternative to the plastic blight in oceans and on land. Traceless will invest the capital in building its first production plant. The financing round was led by the private equity fund UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund (UB FIGG) and SWEN Blue Ocean as well as a consortium consisting of GLS Bank Hamburg, Hamburger Sparkasse and three existing investors Planet A, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the deep-tech investor B-Value.

Financing industrial manufacturing startups challenging

"By scaling our innovative technology, we are showing that a climate-friendly, circular, resilient and regenerative industry is possible," said Dr Anne Lamp, CEO and co-founder of Traceless. "Many investors and banks are still unfamiliar with funding capital-intense start-ups. That makes industrial production challenging for start-ups like us that are developing tomorrow's innovative technologies," said Johanna Baare, COO and co-founder. UB FIGG and SWEN are suitable shareholders, she added. UB FIGG invests in sustainable forestry and bio-based industries while SWEN backs innovations that safeguard the ocean and prevent pollution.

Production process 

The founders pooled their synergies in 2020 and have developed a versatile plastic that is fully compostable. The raw material comes from agricultural by-products and is used to make fully compostable storage-stable films, solid materials and wafer-thin coatings which have the same properties as plastics. The real innovation, however, is the relatively cheap production, which saves up to 91 per cent of CO2 and 89 per cent of fossil energy over conventional plastic. The new production plant would help replace several thousand tons of plastic every year. Traceless received EUR 5 million in funds from the German Ministry for the Environment in May 2023. The series A financing round completes the second part of the start-up's financing strategy.