Investment by Born2Grow - eeden
Investment by Born2Grow

Investment by Born2Grow

eeden receives further funding to solve the global used textiles problem and accelerate the scaling of its technology

Born2Grow invests in circular economy startup eeden

Startup eeden has developed an innovative process for the environmentally friendly recycling of clothing and other textile products. The founders Reiner Mantsch and Steffen Gerlach were also able to convince Born2Grow of their concept just a few months after their 1st closing with TechVision Fonds, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Markus Hölzl.

Every second, a truckload of used textiles is burned or landfilled – resulting in an annual material loss of over €80 billion. At the same time, millions and millions of tonnes of new resources are cultivated every year for fibre production, creating a gigantic ecological footprint. ‘Why don’t we just use our old clothes to make new textiles?’ The eeden project began with this vision, and the EU Textile Strategy laid an important foundation stone for its realisation. The strategy aims to ensure that by 2030 textiles on the EU market will consist largely of recycled fibres.

However, there is a long way to go before this milestone is reached, because currently less than 1% of used textiles worldwide are recycled into new textile fibres. In order to recycle the remaining 99% as efficiently as possible, the start-up eeden has developed its pioneering technology: A chemical upcycling process that enables the production of high-quality textiles from textile waste.

“We see eeden’s technology as a great opportunity for the industry and major fashion brands to become independent of scarce natural resources, while solving the global used textile problem and already meeting future EU directives. Already today we see great potential beyond the demand of the fashion industry.” Andrea Muth, Investment Manager at BORN2GROW

eeden’s process extracts the biopolymer cellulose (cotton consists of > 90% cellulose) from waste textiles containing cotton. This is then used for the existing production of high-quality fibres such as viscose or lyocell. The start-up benefits greatly from its location in Germany. This is because there is already an existing textile collection infrastructure here and thus large quantities of old textiles that are suitable for eeden’s upcycling process.

Compared to other upcycling processes, eeden’s technology is more environmentally friendly and at the same time more cost-efficient. It uses significantly fewer chemicals and reduces by-products such as salt loads in the manufacturing process. Since the process also tolerates a higher proportion of foreign fibres, textiles with higher admixtures of e.g. polyester fibres can also be recycled in the future.

“We are very pleased to have won Born2Grow as another investor for us. The long-term orientation of the fund fits perfectly with our vision to change the textile industry sustainably. With the additional capital, we are now in a position to further accelerate the scaling of our technology to serve the gigantic demand for high quality recycled fibres as quickly as possible.” Steffen Gerlach & Reiner Mantsch, Founders of eeden

“The additional commitment by B2G shows that the eeden team has done a great job so far and that the topic of sustainability is increasingly coming into focus in the textile industry. With this additional capital, eeden has further means to realise the vision of a circular textile chain.” Björn Lang, Principal of the TechVision Fund


BORN2GROW (B2G) is a Heilbronn-based and internationally active seed fund that focuses on investments in high-growth startups in forward-looking technologies such as Life Sciences, CleanTech, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, IoT, Hardware & Robotics and Software. B2G was founded in 2013 and supports its portfolio companies with capital, know-how and its extensive network. Since its foundation, the fund has actively supported more than 25 portfolio companies. B2G works together with other VC funds and business angels. B2G is a subsidiary of ZFHN Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn, a family office that focuses on networking activities and investments in the Heilbronn-Franken region. In this context, the cooperation between national and international start-ups and medium-sized companies from the region is intensified.

About eeden

eeden “starts upcycling” and transforms textile waste into valuable resources for new fibres. The company has developed a chemical upcycling process for textile waste that recovers its resources. In this way, new, high-quality products can be created again from old textiles. The eeden team, along with its two founders, Reiner Mantsch and Steffen Gerlach, includes textile technologists, chemical engineers as well as chemists and will continue to grow in the coming months. Supported by advisors and a broad network to research and industry, the company sees itself well equipped to further scale the eeden technology.

About TechVision Fund

TechVision Fund (TVF) is the leading early-stage VC fund in the Western Rhineland. TVF is the third venture fund managed by the S-UBG Group team and with € 55 million fund volume invests regionally in technology start-ups. As one of the most experienced investors, TVF supports founders with proximity, network and expertise and paves the way to becoming the next international category leader. In addition, TVF offers unique access to the “old economy” via the S-UBG Group, giving young start-ups access to their first potential customers in the crucial early phase. The network includes over 150 successful portfolio companies from 30 years of investment experience.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds 

The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) finances tech start-ups with growth potential and has supported over 680 start-ups since 2005. With the launch of its fourth fund, HTGF now has over 1.3 billion euros under management. Its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts support young companies with expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected more than 4 billion euros of capital into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,900 follow-on financing rounds. In addition, HTGF has already successfully sold shares in more than 160 companies.

Fund investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, KfW Capital and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft along with over 40 companies from a wide range of industries.

Article by Born2Grow

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