TechVision Fonds I and High-Tech Gründerfonds invest in textile recycling startup EEDEN
June 22, 2022
Textile recycling rethought: Innovative process enables upcycling of old clothing
Aachen, 22 June 2022 – TechVision Fonds I, together with High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and a business angel, are the first investors to invest in EEDEN. The startup from Moenchengladbach, Germany has developed an innovative process for the sustainable and environmentally friendly recycling of clothing and other textile products. With the financing, EEDEN plans to further expand their R&D-activities and to build up initial production capacities.
With its process, EEDEN addresses the major problem of cotton shortage in the clothing industry. Since only a fraction of textiles are currently recycled and made into new clothing, high resource losses occur. At the same time, the demand for cotton is increasing rapidly due to the growing world population and trends such as fast fashion. EEDEN’s technology counters these developments by enabling resource-saving and environmentally friendly textile recycling.
Bernhard Kugel, MD of the management company of TechVision Fund I
Upcycling instead of downcycling
With EEDEN’s process, used textiles made of cotton or other cellulosic fibres can be converted into pulp, which serves as a resource for new fibres such as viscose, lyocell, etc. This makes it a real upcycling process: a high-quality product is created from an inferior starting material.
Currently, old clothes that cannot be used as second-hand goods often end up abroad, where they are improperly dumped in the countryside or just burnt, in many cases. Today, recycling basically means that textiles are ‘down-cycled’ into low-quality products such as cleaning rags or insulation material. We want to keep the material in a cycle and thus meet the growing demand for high-quality cellulose products.
Steffen Gerlach and Reiner Mantsch, the founders of EEDEN
Compared to other upcycling processes, EEDEN’s technology is more environmentally friendly and at the same time more cost-efficient. It uses significantly fewer chemicals and reduces by-products such as salt loads in the manufacturing process. Since the process also tolerates a higher proportion of foreign fibres compared to the competition, textiles with higher admixtures of e.g. polyester fibres can also be recycled in the future.
The conversion of a linear value chain to a sustainable circular economy requires a deep understanding of countless processes and technical details. As a seed investor, we are very pleased to support a team here that has developed a comprehensive understanding of the textile industry over the last few years and has already built up an impressive network of active and potential partners in the process.
Dr. Nik Raupp, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds
In addition to the founders and shareholders Steffen Gerlach (CEO) and Reiner Mantsch (CTO), the core team of EEDEN consists of Julian Hertrampf (CMO), Tobias Boernhorst (process engineering) and Lennart Marx (chemical engineering). Together they have already won several start-up competitions and support programmes with EEDEN.
Promising market growth
The market potential for the startup is high: with well over 20 million tonnes per year, the clothing and fashion industry, EEDEN’s core market, claims around 60 percent of the total demand for cotton and cellulose fibres.
EEDEN is operating in a dynamic market that is facing major upheavals. The demand for recycled fibres is already significantly higher than the corresponding supply. Constantly growing textile production, new legislation and trends towards regional sourcing and sustainability ensure that demand for EEDEN’s products will continue to rise in the future.
Björn Lang, Principal of TVF Fund Management
EEDEN starts upcycling – turning textile waste into valuable ressources for new fibres. The Company developed a chemical upcycling process for textile waste, recovering its resources. In this way, new, high-quality textiles can be created again from old textiles.
Globally textiles worth 100 bill. $ get landfilled or incinerated every year, while the industry faces resource shortages and regulatory pressure due to its ecological footprint. EEDENs product, a cellulose pulp for cellulosic fibres such as viscose or lyocell, is a solution to these problems.
The EEDEN team around the two founders, Reiner Mantsch and Steffen Gerlach, includes textile technologists, chemical engineers and chemists and will continue to grow in the coming months. Supported by consultants and a broad network to research and industry, the company is well prepared to further scale the EEDEN technology.
About TechVision Fonds
TechVision Fund (TVF) is the leading early-stage VC fund in the western Rhineland Area in Germany. TVF is the third venture fund managed by the team of the S-UBG Group and invests regionally in technology startups with a fund volume of € 55 million. As one of the most experienced investors, TVF supports founders with proximity, network and expertise and paves the way to becoming the next international category leader. In addition, TVF offers unique access to the “old economy” via the S-UBG Group, giving young start-ups access to their first potential customers in the crucial early phase. The network includes over 150 successful portfolio companies from 30 years of investment experience.
TVF – Brain | Cash | Proximity
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With around EUR 900 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 670 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial technology, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected more than EUR 4 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,900 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 150 companies.
Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, KfW Capital, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, 1+1 AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Stefanie Grüter, Head of Marketing & Communications
T.: +49 228 82300 – 188
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Nikolaus Raupp
T.: +49 228 82300 – 185
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