Home » Samsara Eco Raises $100 Million to Revolutionise Plastic Waste in Asia

Samsara Eco Raises $100 Million to Revolutionise Plastic Waste in Asia

by Kehinde Giwa
  • Canberra-based agritech startup Samsara Eco raised $100 million in a Series A+ round to expand its enzyme-based plastic recycling technology into Asia.
  • Founded in late 2021 as a spin-out from ANU and backed by Main Sequence Ventures, the company addresses the global plastic waste crisis, especially in the fashion industry.
  • Previous funding of $54 million in 2022 came from investors including Woolworths VC fund W23, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ANU, and Breakthrough Victoria.
  • Samsara Eco plans to build a large-scale recycling plant in Southeast Asia by 2026, aiming to recycle 1.5 million tonnes of plastic annually by 2030, with a focus on infinitely recycling all plastics for various industries.

A groundbreaking Canberra-based agritech startup, Samsara Eco, has successfully raised $100 million in a Series A+ funding round to expand its innovative recycling technology into Asia. 

The company, a spin-out from the Australian National University (ANU) and backed by Main Sequence Ventures, launched in late 2021 with a mission to tackle the global plastic waste crisis.

Samsara Eco’s pioneering approach uses enzymes to break down plastic waste into raw materials, addressing the issue that less than 10% of plastic waste is currently recycled. 

The startup has made significant strides in the fashion industry, where only 1% of recycling is fibre-to-fibre. By processing nylon and polyester, Samsara Eco’s technology has already been utilised in clothing by Canadian activewear brand Lululemon, which participated in the latest funding round.

The company’s previous funding includes $54 million raised in a Series A round in 2022, with investments from the Woolworths VC fund W23, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ANU, and Breakthrough Victoria

Samsara Eco operates a proof of concept facility in Canberra and is developing a $25 million R&D plant in Queanbeyan, set to be operational by the end of the year.

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Looking ahead, Samsara Eco aims to build a large-scale recycling plant in Southeast Asia by 2026, with the ambitious goal of recycling 1.5 million tonnes of plastic annually by 2030. 

This initiative seeks to infinitely recycle all forms of plastics for reuse in industries such as automotive, electronics, and consumer packaged goods. The company is also focused on increasing its team of chemists, engineers, and technicians and expanding its library of plastic-eating enzymes.

Founder and CEO Paul Riley emphasised the potential for almost all plastic to be reused and recycled with the right technology. “Our enzymatic recycling technology makes it easy for brands in almost every industry to meet their sustainability and decarbonization goals by creating a circular loop for plastics,” he said. 

“We’ve already made significant traction in the textile space, but this is just the beginning. We’re creating a first-of-its-kind infinite recycling process that is genuinely better for our planet.”

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Main Sequence partner Phil Morle praised Samsara Eco’s scientific approach to solving major environmental issues, highlighting the company’s potential to significantly reduce the accumulation of plastic waste and the need for new plastics derived from fossil fuels.

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