One million franc pre-seed round to produce an alternative to plastic
Noriware's algae-based packaging material is 100% natural, fully home-compostable and can be manufactured on machines used in the traditional plastics industry. Industry insiders and serial entrepreneurs are now supporting the startup with a pre-seed investment.
Noriware is setting out to fight the plastic industry and the environmental problems associated with it. Founded by Jessica Farda, the company was able to raise over one million Swiss francs in the pre-seed financing round that just closed. Investors include proven experts in the packaging industry and successful serial entrepreneurs Ertan Wittwer, Marcel Kubli and Philip Magoulas, who sold their medical retail startup Bestsmile to Migros last summer and have since invested in several startups. Ertan Wittwer will join the company's board of directors. The fresh money will be used to further expand the lab infrastructure in Lupfig, AG and increase the size of the team.
The goal is to bring a product to market that has the potential to permanently solve the global plastic problem: An algae-based packaging material that decomposes in record time in domestic compost and - unlike existing solutions - leaves no microplastic particles behind. It can be used in a wide range of industries, with the main focus currently on protective films for the rapidly growing e-commerce sector.
Production with conventional machines
Unlike algae-based packaging materials from other manufacturers, Noriware's product can be produced efficiently and highly scalable on existing plastics industry infrastructures and machinery, providing a huge competitive advantage. "Our product is highly scalable and can be produced at competitive costs. As a result, we have developed a packaging solution that is not only ecologically but also economically viable," explains Farda.
Interest in Noriware is correspondingly high. "We receive numerous inquiries and are currently setting up test procedures with selected companies so that we can adapt our product to their market needs," Farda continues. Noriware's packaging is then expected to be used commercially for the first time in 2024.
Discovered by chance in the kitchen of a shared flat
Noriware's founding story is as unique as the packaging solution itself. After vacationing by the sea in Mexico in 2021, HSG student Jessica Farda began researching uses for algae out of personal interest and experimenting with the rapidly renewable raw material in her shared kitchen. In the process, she accidentally discovered a method for producing an algae-based plastic substitute. In order to advance her research, she subsequently looked for a partner with the necessary know-how in the field of materials science and the adequate infrastructure. She found this first at ETH Zurich and later at FHNW.
In 2022, Farda founded Noriware AG together with COO Stefan Grieder, received the "Plastics for Zero Emissions" sponsorship award from NTN Innovation Booster Plastics and a research grant from the Aargau Research Fund. In February 2023, they finally succeeded in producing the completely new material that sets Noriware apart from the competition and is expected to replace conventional plastic packaging one day.