MicroGreen gets even greener, raising $17m in capital for earth-friendly food containers

InCycle Cups by MicroGREEN

InCycle Cups by MicroGREEN

MicroGreen Polymers, which has come up with a way to turn disposable water and soda bottles into durable and light-weight coffee cups, has raised $17 million in additional capital.

The Arlington, Wash.-based company, which spun off from University of Washington after winning second-place in the University’s business plan competition in 2002, has a very “green” pitch: One that’s environmentally friendly and one that could potentially make a lot of money.

MicroGreen’s CEO Tom Malone said the company recently raised $7 million in equity, $5 million in convertible debt and another $5 million in secured debt in order to help keep up with customer demand. To date, it has raised $45 million in equity and $17 million in debt.

Investors in the most recent funding were all insiders including Waste Management, Washington Research Foundation’s WRF Capital, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Stillaguamish Tribe and several individuals.

In a video embedded below, MicroGreen’s Co-founder and CTO Krishna Nadella, who was a mechanical engineering graduate from UW, explains that one water bottle can turn into seven 12-oz coffee cups. Nadella explains that it is the company’s intention to try and keep trash out of landfills and reduce emissions without giving up on consumerism.

Malone said the latest infusion of cash will allow it to build out a major expansion to its facility that will allow it to meet five times as many customer orders. Today, its major customers include airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, and this expansion will allow it to target hot beverages, especially coffee, up and down the West Coast. MicroGreen currently employs 116 full-time workers and 30 temps.

In early 2013, MicroGreen raised $5 million from the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians. As part of that funding, the tribe had agreed to use the environmentally friendly cups and trays at its Angel of the Winds Casino and other businesses.

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