Cruz Foam Raises $2.5 Million to Create Packaging Materials Made of Natural Ingredients

By Thomas Price Tuesday, November 23, 2021

As more companies in the global supply chain look to be more sustainable, Cruz Foam is a packaging startup that has created compostable, naturally made packing materials. The company recently closed its seed funding round to scale up its business and improve its technological infrastructure.

A globe surrounded by cardboard boxes.

Cruz Foam’s Sustainable Packaging and Growing Business

Packaging startup Cruz Foam has developed packing materials that are meant to serve as a replacement for plastic-based or styrofoam materials, which are currently used in the global supply chain. The company has created its replacement packing materials out of a naturally-occurring biopolymer called Chitin. Chitin is a waste product created by the seafood industry. The packaging startup takes that Chitin and converts it into a styrofoam-like substance that can protect goods as they are being shipped.

The large abundance of Chitin makes the packing materials sustainable in the long term. This is especially true when considering that the creation of the materials would divert waste from reaching landfills. Furthermore, the packing materials are biodegradable. In tests run by the packaging startup, all of its products reached an average of 97.9% biodegradation in soil after 60 days. The addition of the packing materials had no negative effects on the soil.

Additionally, the materials created by the company can be manipulated and shaped to fit around specific items to provide greater protection. Cruz Foam claims that Chitin-based packing materials are fully scalable and can be sold at the same price as basic styrofoam packaging is today.

The company has recently made significant efforts to grow its business and create a larger customer base. Recently, the packaging startup announced it hired several business advisors who will guide the business’s long-term strategy moving forward. These new business advisors include former mayor of Santa Cruz, Hilary Bryant; founder and Executive Creative Director of Cutwater Advertising, Chuck McBride; and Director of the Office of Government Relations at UC Berkeley, Michelle Moskowitz.

Cruz Foam’s Funding Round and Future Business Plans

In its seed funding round, Cruz Foam raised $2.5 million in capital. The funding round was led by At One Ventures with participation from the Sony Innovation Fund, Regeneration VC, and several private investors. The company had earned $1 million in non-dilutive funding from the NSF SBIR Phase II Grant six months prior to this seed round.

The packaging startup plans to use the new funding to scale up its current operations and support the commercial launch of its product in the near future. The company will be marketing its packing materials to Fortune 500 brands as well as smaller and mid-sized businesses. Cruz Foam also plans to improve and grow its technological infrastructure to sustain global sales.

When commenting on Cruz Foam’s product, Regional Managing Director at the Sony Innovation Fund, Austin Noronha, said, “Pollution due to polystyrene is a major issue -- especially for our oceans. With a platform technology that can empower existing materials manufacturing processes as well as offer a wide variety of foam properties, Cruz Foam fundamentally changes the paradigm by creating a fully-compostable equivalent. We are focused on supporting companies that develop technologies to address global environmental issues such as climate change, resources, chemical substances, and biodiversity and look forward to partnering with the team at Cruz Foam as they bring an environment-friendly solution to industries including electronics, appliances, and durable goods.”


About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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