Founders of recycling startups say the pandemic has changed the investing game – TechCrunch


For years, startups in the face of the recycling crisis worked in relative anonymity. But for those who stuck to it — or survived the lean times — investors are now rewarding them with growing support, three founders told me this week at TC Sessions: Climate 2022 in Berkeley.

“It’s been very difficult to go up in space, traditionally. I’ve seen that change a lot over the past year,” said Miranda Wang, co-founder and CEO of Novoloop, a plastic recycling startup.

There were several different catalysts behind this change, most of which can be attributed to COVID.

“I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but for a while there it was a bit difficult to get toilet paper,” said Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics, a robotic and AI vision start-up specializing in sorting recyclable materials. materials.

“We saw that the demand for toilet paper translated into a demand for recycled content, translating into a demand for our systems at a time when it was really hard to get people to work and people were afraid to touch packaging that could have come from households that had COVID. It was an accelerator for our business.

COVID supply chain shortages combined with new business models have sparked renewed investor interest, panelists said.

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