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Hollywood stars back Bristol-based microplastics filtration firm Matter

Hollywood stars including Leonardo Dicaprio and Ashton Kutcher have lent their support to Bristol-based microplastics filtration firm Matter, which has secured a $10m funding package to scale its pioneering solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics.

Matter’s series A funding round was led by S2G Ventures, the direct investment team for Builders Vision, and SOUNDWaves, the sustainability-focused investment vehicle backed by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary.

Kate Danaher of S2G Ventures and Katherine Keating of SOUNDWaves will both join Matter’s expanded board of directors.

Additional investment came from Leonardo Dicaprio backed Consumer ClimateTech fund Regeneration.VC, and Katapult Ocean, which has made a significant follow-on investment via its new Deep Blue Fund since co-leading the Seed investment round, along with a small number of strategic investors.

Matter was founded in 2018 by Innovate UK Young Innovator, Adam Root.

The new funding unlocks innovative solutions for sustainable laundry and the removal of microplastics from wastewater, and demonstrates continued investment in climate tech.

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles less than five millimeters in size and are produced through the production and use of our clothing and textiles. For each laundry cycle, up to 700,000 microplastic fibers are released from washing machines and into waterways.

An estimated 171 trillion microplastic particles currently float within our oceans, and growing research suggests that microplastics are harmful to the environment, as well as human and animal health.

“Matter’s vision is to live in a world without micropollutants. We are dedicated to building the necessary tools, techniques, and scalable solutions to drive this transformation,” said Adam, CEO of Matter.

“We knew from the start that as a small company intent on tackling this global problem, we’d need to work with partners who have the scale, vision and resources to help us deliver our technology as quickly and effectively as possible.

“The combined support and expertise of our investors enables us to accelerate our work, moving beyond laundry into industrial-scale applications of our technology, and drive globally meaningful reductions in micropollutant emissions with confidence and speed.”

Matter is working with domestic and commercial laundry appliance manufacturers to integrate its technology into their products ahead of incoming French legislation requiring new domestic and commercial washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters by January 2025.

Matter is also partnering with textile brands and manufacturers to help them better understand and prevent pollution from microfibre fragmentation in the textile manufacturing process.

“As established partners of Matter, we’ve been impressed by the relentless determination and speed at which they’ve been able to develop innovative solutions and demonstrate an instant impact on the industry,” said Kate Danaher, managing director at S2G Ventures.

“Continued investment in solutions like the ones Matter provides are critical, if not essential, to ensuring the long-term health of our oceans, and subsequently, the overall health of our planet.”

With this funding, Matter will leverage their core technology to further develop scalable solutions capable of stopping microplastic and other micropollutant emissions from domestic, industrial and municipal water systems.

The solution will capture the microplastics that would otherwise end in sewage sludge to be used as fertiliser or incinerated, enabling a fully circular solution.

“Matter’s micro-filtration technology is class-leading and represents a crucial defence against the continuous flow of microplastic pollution from our homes, workplaces and built environments” added Katherine Keating, managing partner at SOUNDwaves.

“Legislation is inevitable given the ecological and health impacts of microplastic pollution that are becoming better understood every day, and we are already working with Matter to realise the commercial relationships required to bring this impact to industrial scales, mitigating thousands of tonnes of plastic materials entering our environment every year from textile production and industrial wastewater processes.”

Matter’s growth journey has been supported by Innovate UK project funding and bespoke growth support from Innovate UK EDGE.

“Innovate UK have been an important part of our journey from inception to scale up,” says Adam.
“The first £5000 into the business paid for a living wage was co-sponsored by Innovate UK and The Princes Trust through their Young Innovator Programme.

“Now Innovate UK have sponsored our manufacturing program with Gulp, along with support from Innovate EDGE which so far has included networking, IP support and we’re currently working together on several scaling challenges. We look forward to continuing working with Innovate UK.”

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