Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring Ltd has made an equity investment in Innomost Ltd, a startup converting forest industry side streams into high-value bioactive products. The financing round totals approximately EUR 5 million, consisting of private investments and public financing from Business Finland and ELY Centre for Central Finland. Metsä Spring is participating in the round with Innovestor Technology Fund and other private investors.
Innomost intends to produce valuable ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry, as well as for other industrial applications. Metsä Group has several mills, which may provide birch bark for the production. The company’s present product portfolio includes betulin, suberin, birch charcoal powder and birch bark powder. These ingredients can be used in different cosmetic product categories, including skincare, hair care, body care, decorative cosmetics and oral care. Especially betulin and suberin have also other potential industrial uses. The Finnish skincare brand Lumene has launched a couple of cleansing products with Innomost ingredients.
“We are excited to support Innomost on its path to commercial success. The link to Metsä Group’s business ecosystem is strong, because our industrial side stream, birch bark, is used as the raw material in making the Innomost products. Resource-wise use of wood has always been in the focus of Metsä Group’s development activities. By collaborating with startups, such as Innomost, circular economy can be taken to a new level,” says Erik Kolehmainen, VP, Corporate Venturing at Metsä Spring and new Board member of Innomost.
“It is our privilege to work with a great forest industry company like Metsä Group. The partnership affects us dramatically in a positive way. We have now a solid partner that gives us reliability and supports our long term plans. Additionally, we have secured our raw material supply with Metsä Group. There is no limit, only our imagination, what we can do together from these side streams. I am looking forward to collaborating and introducing our sustainable products to customers”, says Sami Selkälä, CEO at Innomost.
Metsä Spring was established in May 2018 with the aim of strengthening Metsä Group’s business ecosystem in the long run. Innomost is the sixth project in Metsä Spring’s portfolio. Other projects include equity investments in startups Woodio Ltd and Montinutra Ltd, the ExpandFibre collaboration with Fortum, as well as the in-house projects developing textile fibres and 3D packaging products from wood pulp.