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Temasek co-leads US$65 mil Series A+ round in ‘plastic-eating enzyme’ creator Samsara Eco

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
Temasek co-leads US$65 mil Series A+ round in ‘plastic-eating enzyme’ creator Samsara Eco
Samsara Eco founder and CEO Paul Riley, pictured with enzymatically-recycled yarn. Photo: Samsara Eco
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Temasek Holdings has co-led a US$65 million ($88.25 million) Series A+ round in Sydney-headquartered plastic recycling tech firm Samsara Eco. 

Founded in 2020, the company has pioneered the ability to recycle materials like nylon 6/6 and polyester through “plastic-eating enzymes”, according to a June 27 announcement. 

Temasek joins fellow lead backer, Australian deep tech investment fund Main Sequence; and investors like Lululemon, Hitachi Ventures, Greycroft Coca‑Cola System Sustainability Fund, Titanium Ventures and Wollemi Capital, among others.

Earlier this year, Samsara Eco unveiled the world’s first “enzymatically-recycled nylon 6/6 product” and helped introduce activewear retailer Lululemon’s first product made from “enzymatically-recycled polyester”.

According to Samsara Eco, the fresh capital will help the firm scale operations, with new commercial facilities to be built in Southeast Asia “in the next few years”. 

The firm says these upcoming facilities will recycle millions of tonnes of plastic waste like discarded textiles and packaging, to produce tens of thousands of tonnes of monomers — the molecular building blocks of plastics. These will be turned into brand new products, creating a “truly circular loop”.

See also: DBS and Deloitte launch sustainability accelerator tool in Singapore; aims to extend to other regional market from 2025

Plastics have been an “environmental disaster”, says Paul Riley, CEO and founder of Samsara Eco, with “almost every piece” of the 9 billion tonnes ever made still on the planet. “But almost all plastic is reusable and recyclable with the right technology. We’re on a mission to end plastic waste and with it, repair our climate.”

The ability to infinitely recycle plastic in an environmentally-friendly way is a game-changer for brands and the planet, adds Riley. “Our enzymatic recycling technology makes it easy for brands in almost every industry to meet their sustainability and decarbonisation goals by creating a circular loop for plastics. We’ve already made significant traction in the textile space but this is just the beginning.”

See also: UOB partners DHL to scale sustainable aviation fuel use for international shipments

Prior to founding Samsara Eco, Riley spent close to eight years as CEO of Sphere Healthcare, reportedly one of the three largest contract manufacturers of healthcare products in Australia. He has also spent decades in venture capital.

‘Plastic-eating’ tech

Samsara Eco claims to use a combination of biophysics, chemistry, biology and computer science in its patented recycling technology, EosEco, to create a family of plastic-eating enzymes. 

The enzymes break down plastic waste into raw materials, which are then integrated into existing manufacturing processes to make new products, says the firm. 

Samsara Eco plans to scale its technologies to “infinitely recycle” all forms of plastics, potentially working with the automotive, electronics and consumer packaged goods sectors. 

Samsara Eco last raised A$56 million in a 2022 Series A round. The company’s first proof-of-concept facility continues to operate out of Mitchell, Australia, with construction of Samsara Eco’s new innovation campus in Jerrabomberra, Australia currently underway. 

Samsara Eco launched in 2020 with the backing of Main Sequence and Woolworths Group’s W23. It has so far raised more than A$160 million ($144.59 million) in funding.

Photo: Samsara Eco

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