Ecobean, a Warsaw-based startup which developed a technology to fully valorize coffee waste, has recently closed an investment round with EIT InnoEnergy, CofounderZone, CIECH Ventures and Angel Investors from COBIN Angels.. Investment is a key milestone on the company’s path to building its Ecobean Technology Center and will help in attracting and accessing talent and paving the way for further global expansion.
On average, 9,000 tons of used coffee grounds are sent to landfill in Europe every day. Ecobean developed a patented technology to process waste coffee grounds into sustainable materials – coffee oil, antioxidants, lactic acid, protein-rich additives and coffee lignin – which are direct alternatives to products used widely today by various industries: food, cosmetics, manufacturing and pharmaceutical. Ecobean’s solution significantly decreases the carbon footprint of the coffee industry.
On its path to becoming a leader in the circular economy within the coffee industry, Ecobean works closely with market leaders like AmRest, operator of such brands as Starbucks in Central Europe, a leading multi-brand restaurant operator in Europe. In this cooperation Ecobean is responsible for spent coffee grounds collection as well as the development of tailor-made applications. Company also leverages its strong partnership and collaboration with Warsaw University of Technology which backs Ecobean since its inception in 2018 and is a shareholder in Ecobean via its subsidiary Institute of Applied Research.
 Based on International Coffee Organization (ICO) and European Coffee Federation (ECF)
“We are the most technologically advanced company in the sector, with a proven logistic solution to fully process spent coffee grounds and transform them into materials needed by various industries. Recent round and partnerships are a key milestone in our growth as we target to operate several Gigarefineries by 2025”, says Marcin Koziorowski, CEO of Ecobean.
“Ecobean proves that developing sustainable technologies and cutting carbon emissions goes hand in hand with creating value for customers, partners and investors. We also hope that the Company, as a university spin-off, will inspire more scientists to work closely with financial investors, which will contribute to supporting the commercial potential of technologies developed at Polish universities.”, says Tomasz Goliński, Ph.D., Founding Partner of CofounderZone.
“Ecobean works in a sector which is of particular interest for CIECH Group – sustainable raw materials and green chemicals will have significant importance in the future and CIECH is very content to contribute to the development of one of the most prospective solutions in that field”, says Szymon Smyk, Corporate Development & New Ventures Director at CIECH Group
“At EIT InnoEnergy, we are constantly screening the market for scalable, technology driven innovations which combine positive environmental and climate impact with great value creation opportunities. Not only does Ecobean tick all the boxes above, but it also connects circularity, sustainability and green transformation objectives to make it relevant for multiple players in the ecosystem. Refiners, chemical companies, HORECA and consumer brands, food & feed value chain stakeholders – they all see the impact of Ecobean’s solution. We see it as a great opportunity to be leveraged in all Europe and beyond ”, said Marcin Wasilewski, CEO at EIT InnoEnergy Central Europe.
“An increasing number of Business Angels are looking for so-called impact investing. In addition to the possibility of achieving high returns, impact investing provides an opportunity to support startups that make a positive impact on society and the environment. Ecobean is part of the trend of responsible impact investing, which is attractive to business angels.” – comments Robert Lugowski, founder and managing partner at the COBIN Angels Business Angels Club
CofounderZone is a Polish VC fund that focuses on early-stage projects in co-investment with Business Angels. It integrates the private investor community with start-up founders to support the further development of portfolio companies not only with financial resources, but also with assistance in the exchange of experience and the realisation of synergy effects.
CIECH Ventures is responsible for initiating the cooperation of CIECH Group with start-ups. The activities of CIECH Ventures perfectly complement the pursuits of the professional R&D team operating within the Group. The company is looking for technology-driven start-ups from all over Europe operating at the junction of the following three areas: chemical technologies, cleantech & circular industry and agriculture, to cooperate with them through partnerships, pilots and direct investments.
EIT InnoEnergy is recognised as one of the largest and most active cleantech and sustainable energy investors. The company backs innovations across a range of areas including energy storage, transport and mobility, renewables and sustainable buildings and cities – leveraging its trusted ecosystem of 1200+ partners and 29 shareholders. The 180+ portfolio companies are on track to generate €72.8 billion in revenue and save 1.1G tons of CO2e annually by 2030.
Institute of Applied Research of the Warsaw University of Technology is a company, fully owned by Warsaw University of Technology whose purpose is to support modern science through technology transfer. Furthermore, the goal of the Institute is to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of Warsaw University of Technology through innovation.
COBIN Angels is a club of individual investors (business angels) launched in 2015 in Warsaw. It engages in the development of companies with high growth potential with a particular focus on projects in the technology sector. It connects startups with private investors, offering founders the opportunity to raise funding and club members an efficient and convenient way to invest.