Patented materials made from plant proteins and natural biopolymers

Xampla gains funding for growth

Xampla's products can replace plastics in various uses

Xampla has gained a further $7m (£5.5m) in funding to fuel expansion of its natural, biodegradable materials that promise a drop-in replacement to plastics.

The company is a spin-off from the University of Cambridge, and remains based in the area.  

It has developed a patented range of materials under its Morro brand that are made from plant proteins and other natural biopolymers.

The range includes Morro Coating, a food safe, plant-based replacement for petrochemical and fluorochemical coatings used on paper and cardboard.

Morro products also include an edible film, a soluble film, and a plastic-free biodegradable alternative to traditional plastic microcapsules.

The company said of the latest funding round: “Existing investors reaffirmed confidence in the business, with new investor, CIECH Ventures, contributing to the round.”

The firm said it would be used to expand the applications for Morro Coating into new markets, replacing plastic-based coatings in takeaway packaging, sachets and cups.

Xampla promises to remove so-called “forever chemicals” from food packaging, and said its materials offered a drop-in, like-for-like high performance replacement for existing plastics “without compromising on performance”.

Alexandra French, who became CEO of the business in October 2023, commented: “This investment is a testament to the shared commitment of our backers, who can see that Xampla products are the gateway to a new era in materials sustainability.

“This new funding will support the expansion of our Morro material into new territories and new applications and enable us to make a big impact.

She said Xampla was “determined to lead the way towards a future where natural materials thrive, and traditional plastics become a thing of the past.”

In November Xampla announced a partnership with Milton Keynes-based 2M Group to scale up production.

The company has already gone public with its partnerships with some high-profile companies including Britvic, Elemis and Gousto as it strives to bring sustainable alternatives to market.

Its technology is based on more than 15 years’ of “fundamental protein research” helmed by co-founder Professor Tuomas Knowles.

Knowles is described as a global leader in protein biophysics and Professor of Physical Chemistry and Biophysics at the University of Cambridge.