SANTA CRUZ — Cruz Foam, a circular materials company providing bio-based, regenerative replacements for single-use plastic in the multi-billion dollar packaging industry, today announced an $18M Series A funding round led by the problem-solving group, Helena. The round was joined by One Small Planet, Regeneration.VC, At One Ventures, and SoundWaves.
Cruz Foam is scaling the production of circular materials with existing industries catalyzing the transition of global supply chains away from harmful single-use materials for protective packaging and other uses. The first line of products targets plastic foam. The company was founded in 2017 by John Felts, CEO, and Marco Rolandi, Chief Science Officer, with a mission to replace single-use, petroleum-based plastics starting with replacements for EPS and EPE and moving into new spaces such as cold chain and primary packaging for consumer packaged goods. The sustainable packaging market is expected to grow to $358B by 2028.
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 but without adverse environmental impacts.
Matthew Saunders from Helena, Will Peterffy from One Small Planet, and an Independent Director will join existing Cruz Foam board members CEO & Cofounder, John Felts, and Executive Chairman & COO, Toby Corey. The company has also recently added to the management team bringing on Ted Witt as VP of Commercial Operations and Carlo Woods as SVP of Finance.
The company also announced its conversion to a Benefit Corporation, formalizing its longstanding commitment to creating a more sustainable planet. Cruz Foam will report annually on its progress in achieving its public benefit.
“Cruz Foam’s Series A will allow us to accelerate and scale the commercialization of our circular materials to respond to the urgent market demand,” says Felts. “Helena is highly aligned with our mission and values. We are excited to collaborate with their team and our other partners to deliver proactive solutions to address the preventable environmental crisis of plastic pollution. Further, our conversion to a Benefit Corporation underscores our core values and commitment to this mission.”