It’s been an exciting few months for the team at Genecis. We were accepted into Y Combinator, closed $6 million in deals and continued to build our pipeline of LOI’s which has grown to $55 million. As we prepare for YC Demo Day, I wanted to reflect on how far Genecis has come in the past two years, how our landscape has evolved and our plans for the future.
Our Journey So Far
When we started in late 2017, our team of three built our own bioreactors from rice cookers and relied on pitch competitions for funding. Since then, our capacity has grown from 3L rice cookers, to a 60L bench lab, to our current 240L pilot plant which we have used to make sample products. Our technology has been validated by a third party lab at 1000L and our demo plant will be commissioned by next year with a capacity of 3000L. Our team of three has grown to 15, with more on the horizon.
We were always convinced that the world needed a bold solution to tackle the waste problem, and it has been an exciting journey seeing growing interest from industry, consumers and government in our technology. More than ever, we are seeing our vision being validated. We have seen it in the support of our early corporate partners, such as Sodexo who shared our vision of sustainable production and waste reduction, and Novo Nordisk who accepted us into their Innovation Challenge. Through our private funders, and through the Canadian government’s SDTC program, where we were one of the youngest teams to ever receive funding, which we leveraged to build the demo plant.
Genecis Compostable PHA in Soil
Global Changes and Challenges
Our technology has sparked interest from companies around the world, who recognize the need to transform their production processes and see our compostable plastics as part of the solution. We have seen urgency from policymakers to tackle the waste problem with the European Union banning single use plastics and the government of Canada set to declare plastics as a toxic substance. All of these factors point to a strong desire from all stakeholders to solve the waste challenge.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted global reliance on single use plastics. Critics of government policy have used it as a case to bring back single use plastic bags, Starbucks has pivoted back to exclusively using disposable cups, and it is estimated that 3.5 billion face masks will be needed to meet demand during this pandemic. The environmental challenges that the pandemic presents magnify the need for better solutions, and we are eager to build a future where single-use plastic is not synonymous with waste.
We are focussed on continuing to generate revenue and becoming cash-flow positive in the near future. We will achieve this by penetrating new markets and expanding our existing pipeline of deals and prospects. As we scale, we are planning to expand our team to ensure we have the resources to meet our projected growth.
Our research team is working to uncover new efficiencies and uses for our technology. We are scaling up our R&D activities as we move from conversations to implementation with our existing partners. We are also continuing to discover new materials and chemicals which can be produced by our patented bacteria and processes.
PHA plastics will be the core focus of Genecis as we grow. PHA’s are soil compostable, have over 500 applications and superior performance to other biodegradable plastics. PHA’s currently have a reputation of being too expensive, due to the feedstock required to produce it. Our unfair advantage is our bacteria, which allows us to produce PHA’s at the same efficiency as sugar feedstock without the need to waste water, resources and capital growing feedstock for production. We will continue to leverage this unfair advantage as our reputation grows.
PHA Plastic in Molding
Our team is already working on a number of innovative product customization projects. We are excited to see our current partners realize the competitive advantage from working with us and from taking a sustainable approach to production. I’d like to thank them for believing in our technology, vision and team and look forward to many successful projects with them in the future.
We have many exciting things ahead of us, and a huge amount of work. Big, global challenges need bold solutions and we are looking forward to what the next stage of our growth holds for us, our partners and the environment.
CEO – Genecis Bioindustries