ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology

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2, Nov 2022

Samsara funding round raises $54m

Samsara Eco, an Australian start-up that uses enzyme-based technology to break down plastic into its core molecules, has raised $54 million AUD in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch.

The company, whose scientific lead is Chief Investigator Professor Colin Jackson, plans to build its first plastic recycling facility in Melbourne later this year, with the target of full-scale production by 2023.

Investors in the round include Breakthrough Victoria, Temasek, Assembly Climate Capital, DCVC and INP Capital. Existing investors like deep-tech fund Main Sequence, Woolworths Group’s W23 and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) also participated.

The company’s enzyme-based technology breaks down plastics into their molecular building blocks to produce new plastic products

‘It means plastic can be infinitely recycled,’ Professor Jackson says. ‘Our technology allows us to break down products and produce food-grade plastics with the same characteristics as virgin plastic.’

Samsara’s new funding will be used for building its library of plastic-eating enzymes and funding its first commercial facility.

Samsara told TechCrunch it is also preparing for the launch of its first enzymatically recycled packaging, in partnership with Woolworths Group. The packaging will be on shelves in Woolworths’ supermarkets next year, moving the company toward its goal of recycling 1.5 million tons of plastic per year by 2030. Woolworths Group reportedly has committed to turning the first 5,000 tons of recycled Samsara plastic into packaging for its branded products.