As part of its corporate venture capital activities Henkel Adhesive Technologies has committed to invest into a new packaging fund launched by Emerald Technology Ventures (Emerald), a Zurich, Switzerland-based venture capital firm. Emerald has longstanding experience in industrial technology and advanced materials, well-established role linking conglomerates with startups, and track record of strong returns for Limited Partners. Focused on catalyzing sustainable low-carbon solutions in the packaging sector, the fund will provide Henkel as a Limited Partner an annual deal flow of several hundred startups and exposure to thousands of innovative solutions.
Henkel Adhesive Technologies is a global leader for adhesives in a broad variety of packaging and paper applications across industries. The business unit aims to pioneer new solutions for a sustainable development focusing on CO2-reduction, circular economy and safety. In its packaging businesses Henkel constantly launches new products that help reduce emissions, that enable circular solutions through compatibility with recycling, debonding, new designs and sustainable raw materials and that improve the safety of products, for example in the food industry.
“Packaging is among our core businesses at Henkel and sustainability has been an integral part of our strategy for decades”, explained Paolo Bavaj, Head of Corporate Venturing, Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “Over the course of our partnership with Emerald, we have become familiar with their skilled and diversified team of experts. We are convinced that they are a strong partner who can help us gain access to startups in a broad variety of fields, from material and technology innovation to recycling improvement. We see excellent overlap between Henkel’s ambition to lead with sustainable solutions and Emerald’s capabilities.”
The Emerald packaging fund – the first and only venture-backed investment fund targeting the full packaging lifecycle – aims to catalyze leaps in the advanced materials and industrial technologies for sustainable packaging that will both benefit the planet and earn significant returns. The fund will target investments in the categories of low footprint feedstocks; functional and smart materials; design for reuse and recycle; collection, sorting, cleaning and recycling technologies; digital and connected solutions; and new business models.
“The fund is a recognition that the packaging industry plays an increasingly proactive role in the shift toward a circular, low-carbon economy,” said Emerald Managing Partner Gina Domanig. “As we reimagine the future of packaging, we’re excited to join with giants of the global industrial landscape in a mission to supercharge the technologies that will make that transformation a success.”
In recent years, Henkel Adhesive Technologies has invested in several advanced material-focused venture capital funds globally, including an investment into the Emerald Industrial Innovation Fund in 2016. As a limited partner of these funds, the company has access to an annual deal flow of more than 3,000 start-ups per year with a regional focus on North America, Europe, Israel and China.