Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring Ltd has made an equity investment in Woodio Ltd, a leading developer of waterproof wood composite products.
The financing round totals approximately EUR 4 million, and Metsä Spring participates in the round together with current investors Ardent Venture BV, Finow Ltd, NextStone Ltd and Valve Ventures Ltd.
Metsä Spring was established in May 2018. Its main aim is to identify and help the selected companies reach a Proof-of-Concept relevant in the context of Metsä Group’s business ecosystem. This is the second investment by Metsä Spring. Through its first investment Metsä Spring is developing a new process for the production of textile fibres from wood pulp.
Woodio’s proprietary technology enables the valorisation of Metsä Group’s underutilised side-streams into long-lived, value-added products. A potential industrial side-stream, to be used in the Woodio material, is the undersized wood chips generated in wood chipping at several Metsä Group mills. The combination of using a side-stream as the main raw material and a product storing CO2 for a long time is also expected to be very competitive, when assessing the environmental footprint of this new biomaterial against the existing commercial solutions of today. Woodio’s first success, in terms of sales, comes from using this technology in the production of bathroom and kitchen washbasins.
“We conceive the current design washbasins of Woodio merely a first step for the company. Hence, we see significant potential for this technology also in various business-to-business material markets. Woodio has a unique technology, has already achieved some market traction, has a realistic plan for the upcoming 3–5 years, and a capable team to implement the plan. We are thrilled to start supporting this promising startup in its strive towards industrialisation,“ says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring.
“Closing the series A financing round is a significant milestone for Woodio on the company’s path to becoming a major international design and material technology company. We are pleased to extend our partner network with Metsä Group, which complements the industry competences of the early investors. The new partnership will contribute positively to Woodio’s ongoing build-up of an efficient supply chain for its products,” says Eerik Paasikivi, Chair of Woodio’s Board of Directors.
“The direction, in which startups join forces with large companies, thus harnessing effectively the best qualities of both worlds, adds an important dimension to securing forest industry’s competitiveness also in the future. We are excited about the new collaboration and of being at the forefront pioneering new practises related to future use of the Finnish forest-related know-how, innovativeness and resources. The series A financing enables us to start a new phase in the development of Woodio. Most importantly, it enables us to better serve our customers by setting up in-house manufacturing and expanding our product portfolio,” says Petro Lahtinen, CEO & Founder of Woodio.
Meet the representatives of Metsä Spring, Valve Ventures and Woodio on 1 August 2019 at 2–4 pm at Woodio, Kaikukatu 2C (2nd floor), Helsinki. Kindly register in advance by email: woodio[at]woodio.fi or by phone: +358 50 478 2944.
Woodio is a Finnish design-oriented material technology company, established in 2016. Woodio’s proprietary material is the world’s first 100% waterproof solid wood composite that consists of real wood chips. The material innovation and design was recognized in April 2019, when Woodio won the Design Plus powered by ISH award organized by German Design Council. Woodio is here to change the traditional bathroom material norms into more ecological and inspiring. Woodio products have significantly lower carbon footprint, throughout the whole product lifecycle, than current solutions.
Metsä Spring is the venture capital arm of Metsä Group. Metsä Spring invests worldwide in promising startups as well as spinout and early-stage companies with a visible path to the Metsä Group business ecosystem. In addition to financing, Metsä Spring also provides access to Metsä Group’s global network and expertise.
Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and greaseproof papers.
In 2018, Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.7 billion, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 103,000 Finnish forest owners.
Source: Metsä Spring