US – Circular materials company Cruz Foam has secured US$18 million in a Series A funding round led by the US-based problem-solving group Helena.

The funding round saw the participation of One Small Planet, Regeneration.VC, At One Ventures, and SoundWaves.

The company will use the proceeds to expand its operations, as well as Research and Development (R&D).

This funding round follows a US$2.5 million seed round the company received in November last year to support the transition towards circular packaging solutions.

Cruz Foam is partnering with established firms to scale the manufacturing of circular materials, accelerating the shift of the world’s supply chains away from hazardous single-use materials for protective packaging and other uses.

Founded in 2017, the firm aims to replace single-use, petroleum-based plastics. It develops alternatives for EPS and EPE and has expanded into new areas like cold chain and primary packaging for consumer packaged goods.

Helena founder Henry Elkus said: “Petroleum-based products, specifically those designed for single-use, pose one of the greatest threats to our planet.

“Through our work and investment with partners like Cruz Foam, we’re aiming to tackle the issue in a wholly innovative way to sustain meaningful change in the packaging space.”

Matthew Saunders from Helena, Will Peterffy from One Small Planet, and an independent director will join existing Cruz Foam board members CEO and co-founder, John Felts, and executive chairman and COO Toby Corey.

Recently, the firm added to the management team bringing on Ted Witt as vice president of commercial operations and Carlo Woods as senior vice president of finance.

The company says that the sense of urgency for companies to transition to more sustainable materials has been escalated by government legislation, as well as calls from NGOs and consumers for near-term solutions.

Cruz Foam is a proactive solution that answers that call and accelerates the pace of change by preventing new plastic from entering the waste stream by design.

Derived from all naturally occurring food waste materials, Cruz Foam was developed to provide protection and performance without adverse environmental impacts.

The company also declared that it has changed from a for-profit corporation to a Benefit Corporation, formalizing its long-standing commitment to preserving the environment.

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