TPG Rise Leads $170M Investment in UBQ Materials, Clean-Tech Company Converting Landfill Waste Into Recyclable Plastic Substitute. Investment comes in the wake of the UN’s Climate Change Conference, COP26, as countries around the globe commit to lowering emissions in new Global Methane Pledge.
UBQ Materials, developer of the leading climate-positive thermoplastic material on the market, today announced a $170 million funding round, led by TPG Rise, TPG’s global impact investing platform.
TPG’s investment was made through TPG Rise Climate, the firm’s dedicated climate investing fund, and The Rise Fund, its longstanding, multi-sector impact investing fund. The financing round also included participation from existing investor, Battery Ventures, and other prominent investors such as M&G’s Catalyst strategy, a UK-based investor specializing in flexible, long term impact investments. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Using a patented conversion process, UBQ Materials turns landfill-destined municipal solid waste, including all organics, into UBQ™, a climate-positive, cost-competitive, and fully recyclable plastic substitute. A sustainable replacement to plastic, wood or concrete, UBQ™ can be used both on its own and in conjunction with conventional oil-based resins to offset the overall carbon footprint of end-products in industries including construction, automotive, logistics, retail, and even 3D printing.
“In addition to converting municipal waste into functional thermal plastics, UBQ’s material solution is energy efficient, uses no water and produces no effluents,” said Steve Ellis, Co-Managing Partner of The Rise Funds. “UBQ can be utilized in a broad array of industrial and consumer applications. We’re excited to be partnering with management to scale the business globally.”
The investment will fund UBQ’s global expansion to meet growing demand, beginning with a large-scale facility in the Netherlands to be operational by the end of 2022. Funds from the round will also go into UBQ’s continued research to advance certifications, research and development of new products.
“As countries and industries converged in Glasgow at COP26, negotiating the urgent benchmarks we must hit in lowering Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, this investment could not come at a more apt time,” said Albert Douer, Chairman and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials. “Through the prevention of landfill-related methane emissions and the replacement of carbon intensive raw materials, UBQ can support governments, brands and major manufacturers in achieving their sustainable development goals.”
Today, over 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are produced annually around the world, more than 70% of which end up in landfills or is openly dumped. Landfills are the third largest human source of methane, a GHG 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over 20 years. For every ton of UBQ™ produced, the solution can prevent as much as 12 tons of CO₂ equivalent from entering the environment.
“Waste is not the end, it is only the beginning,” said Jack (Tato) Bigio, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of UBQ Materials. “This financing round enables us to widen the reach of our patented conversion technology and novel material, bringing us closer to a functioning circular economy worldwide.”
As part of the transaction, The Rise Funds’ Ellis will join UBQ’s Board of Directors along with Ignacio Giraldo, Business Unit Partner at TPG Rise.
UBQ Materials was represented and accompanied throughout the transaction process by Eran (Rany) Lev, Co-founder and general counsel, Latham & Watkins, and attorneys Adrian Daniels, Yuval Shalhevet, Itamar Cohen and Dana Kleiman of Yigal Arnon & Co.
J.P. Morgan acted as Sole Placement Agent on the transaction.