Yesterday, the European Innovation Council (EIC) announced a new wave of start-up funding for 65 companies, which are expected to collectively receive more than â¬ 360 million in funds under the EIC accelerator. Funding has been awarded to innovative startups and SMEs working with disruptive innovations in a variety of industries, including healthcare, digital technologies, energy, biotechnology and space.
âThe EIC accelerator is a unique European funding instrument of the European Innovation Council. It supports the development of first-class innovations by attracting private investors and offers a portfolio of services to support their scale-up â,Said Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
Gabriel said that part of the EIC’s larger goal in funding these companies was to move Europe forward to meet today’s health, environmental and societal challenges.
Kaffe Bueno to receive â¬ 2.5m grant – “a huge step forward”
Among those selected to receive funds, Denmark-based recycled coffee startup Kaffe Bueno is expected to receive a grant of â¬ 2.5 million. Founded in 2016, the biotech company offered several recycled active ingredients, including a lipid-rich coffee oil (Kaffoil), launched globally in 2019 and distributed exclusively by global aroma and fragrance company Givaudan under the name by Koffee’Up. The startup also offers a natural exfoliant for cosmetics and gluten-free flour for food.
The EIC funding came on top of the â¬ 1.8 million in equity and soft funding that Kaffe Bueno had already received to date, including â¬ 1.1 million in seed funding secured in October 2020 that was injected into a wave of active cosmetic ingredient launches targeting the inside out. beauty, anti-aging and sun protection.
So what did this latest round of funding mean for the startup and how did Kaffe Bueno plan to use the EIC grant?
âThe funding represents a huge step forward for Kaffe Bueno in realizing his vision – to change the perception of coffee around the world – as it allows us to step up the unlocking of its potential, especially in cosmetics and nutraceuticals. “Alejandro Franco, co-founder and CCO of Kaffe Bueno, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
Franco said the company plans to use the funds to build its first coffee biorefinery in Denmark – a first for Europe as well and a project that has been running for three to five years. The goal, he said, was to complete the biorefinery by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
Kaffe Bueno also wanted to use part of EIC’s funding to help advance the development of new active ingredients to ensure they were suitable for commercialization and scale-up. The goal was to launch these new ingredients soon, all derived from coffee molecules to bring high value to key segments such as sun care, makeup, hair care and skin care, he said. declared.
âWe cannot yet fully disclose the ingredients and their modes of action, but they will be positioned as assets within [these] segments, “he said.
Active upcycled coffee to help “decarbonize” beauty
Above all, these assets were all recycled, biobased and circular and could therefore help “decarbonize”finished products, said Franco.
Today, about 60 to 70% of the coffee grounds in the world end up in landfill; much of it was incinerated for energy; and a very low percentage recycled into briquettes and pellets or fertilizer, according to Kaffe Bueno. Recycling this coffee grounds into high-value active and functional ingredients was therefore a valuable alternative, he said. And for the personal care and food industries, the use of these ingredients has enabled them to reduce the overall CO2 emissions of products and has also enabled cosmetics manufacturers to replace certain synthetics and petrochemicals.
âCoffee is the most underused resource in the world. And Kaffe Bueno’s vision is a world where people see coffee as a resource to improve people’s lives, rather than seeing it as their dose of caffeine â,said the startup.
The final administrative preparations would now take place for the EIC grant of 2.5 million euros to be paid to Kaffe Bueno.