Suzano launches venture capital initiative with US$70 million to invest in startups

Photo: Suzano

Suzano Ventures will stimulate the development of new solutions in areas including climate technology, bio-based products, agroforestry and sustainable packaging

 

Suzano, the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer and a global reference in developing sustainable and innovative solutions from renewable sources, today announces the launch of Suzano Ventures, a global corporate venture capital initiative.

 

Suzano Ventures’ will invest US$70 million in a range of businesses with the potential to revolutionize their sector and beyond, by addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Initially, the initiative will focus on companies operating within at least one of four bioeconomy applications:

 

Improving the measurement and management of carbon sequestration

Accelerating and maximizing agroforestry yield

Developing new technologies and applications for pulp biomass

Creating more efficient pulp packaging from renewable sources

All investments will be aligned with Suzano’s ethos of ‘innovability’, the pursuit of sustainable solutions through innovation, which is at the core of all of Suzano’s operations.  Investments will be made in businesses at both Seed and Series A funding stages. Suzano Ventures will also have a structure of acceleration programs to leverage solutions that are in the laboratory phase or seeking commercial validation (pre-Seed).

 

“Suzano has established Suzano Ventures to ensure support and finance for the fast-growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs who are bringing fresh thinking and ideas to the bioeconomy and the wider environmental challenges we are all facing. Suzano Ventures will provide financial and strategic support to these enterprises and, using Suzano’s wider network and resources, will help to accelerate sustainable solutions for the pulp sector and beyond,” said Julio Ramundo, Director of Carbon Businesses and Corporate Venture at Suzano.

 

Suzano has had a long history of backing new ideas and evolving throughout its 98-year history. Suzano Ventures will now help shape the company’s future by bringing it closer to a fresh ecosystem of entrepreneurs. Suzano Ventures’ mission is to set a global example for transparent and open innovation and foster a sense of entrepreneurialism which will inspire companies of all sizes to share ideas and drive forwards the positive change.

 

Suzano has invested in a number of startups in recent years as part of its efforts to identify new everyday sustainable uses for eucalyptus biomass. Among its most recent successes is Spinnova, a Finnish company that has developed the technology to produce a highly sustainable textile fiber made from wood-based pulp fiber. Production requires very little water, uses no fossil materials and no waste.

 

Suzano’s initial investment in Spinnova, made in 2017, was €5 million, succeeded by other investment rounds. In 2021, Spinnova floated the company on the Nasdaq Helsinki First North Growth Market and held a market capitalization of €390 million at the time of listing. Woodspin, a joint venture between Suzano and Spinnova, is currently building a plant which is expected to start production of the fiber for global textile brands in 2022. Major fashion groups such as H&M, Adidas and Marimekko have already signed agreements with Woodspin to support the development of its materials.

 

Now, with Suzano Ventures, the company wants to scale similar projects and ensure greater structure and agility in analyzing innovative projects and emerging startups seeking capital, which align with Suzano’s areas of expertise.

 

Suzano’s team of R&D experts who already operate in Brazil, North America, China and Israel will help identify potential investments and a new dedicated Suzano Ventures team will be formed to work with partners to scale their ideas and operations.