United States announces partnership to reduce ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia

August 4, 2022

The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program, joined Circulate Capital, an impact-focused investment management firm, and Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia (POPSEA), a plastic recycling company that is developing sorting and collection infrastructure in underserved communities across Indonesia, in announcing a partnership to expand collection and recycling infrastructure in Indonesia to generate high-quality, traceable recycled plastic.

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Singapore Is Well-Positioned To Play A Leadership Role In Advancing The Circular Economy

August 3, 2022

As the global race to develop sustainable solutions heats up to advance a circular economy, Singapore finds itself with an enviable opportunity to take a leadership role.

As our team has sourced more than 300 investment opportunities and invested more than $40m in solutions to combat plastic waste and advance the circular economy, we believe Singapore has the ideal conditions to catalyze a reconfiguration of global supply chains and become a resilience hub for advanced manufacturing.

Continue reading article by Rob Kaplan on Forbes.com

Rob Kaplan on Forbes.com graphic

Scale the Circular Economy in Indonesia

August 1, 2022

Indonesia’s growing population and economy create significant waste challenges.

Thanks to Circulate Capital’s investment, Tridi Oasis evolved from a local start-up into a key player in Indonesia’s plastic circular transition.

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Lucro secures a follow-on funding round from Singapore-based Circulate Capital

July 29, 2022

Lucro Plastecycle Private Limited has received follow-on funding from Circulate Capital, a Singapore-based investment management firm that funds high-growth opportunities at the intersection of climate-tech and plastics, recycling, and the circular economy. The increased funding will allow the company to triple its capacity in order to fulfil the increasing demand for its products.

Continue reading on Startup Story

Startup Story

Circulate Capital attracts investments from IFC

July 28, 2022

Singapore-based Circulate Capital has achieved a third close for Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), by raising $53 million led by institutional investors IFC and Proparco.

The firm’s total assets under management now stand at $165m, making it the largest impact investment firm dedicated to fighting plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia.

Continue reading on CityWire Asia

CityWire Asia

Circulate Capital announces follow-on investment into Lucro as company closes the loop on flexible plastic packaging in India

July 27, 2022

Singapore, July 27, 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management firm financing high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate-tech and plastics, recycling and the circular economy, today announced a follow-on investment in current portfolio company, Lucro Plastecycle Private Limited (Lucro). The additional capital is expected to allow the company to triple its capacity in order to meet the growing demand for its products.

Created in partnership with leading global corporations including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Mondēlez International, Circulate Capital has committed to investing half of its US$112 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I) into India, and today has the largest portfolio dedicated to fighting plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy in the country. The fund’s activities are complemented by the US$53 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), which acts as a companion venture and private equity fund to CCOF I.

A homegrown Indian company, Lucro specializes in recycling difficult-to-manage post-consumer flexible plastic packaging and converting it into granules and high-value end products. The company’s trademark Plast-E-Cycle™ process sets new standards for the industry and helps to close the loop in plastic usage. It buys back and recycles end-of-life flexible plastic and films, which are then washed and converted into granules sold to converters or made into end products such as shrink wraps, polybags and other primary, secondary and tertiary packaging for various industrial applications.

Rapidly evolving into an innovative material sciences company, Lucro is as of today the first and only Indian company able to make customized single compounded granules and end products from this waste. Since Circulate Capital’s initial investment in March 2020, Lucro has made strides towards advancing the circular economy in India, increasing its capacity to process waste by more than tenfold with the opening of eight new collection centres across the country. The company is also working with municipalities on ground to collect post-consumer waste from direct sources, alongside waste pickers, helping to improve supply while enabling the informal sector to earn more. Additional funding from Circulate Capital will enable Lucro to triple its capacity, with the company projecting that it will recycle more than 315,000 tonnes of flexibles and rigid plastic waste by 2031 and expand employment and contract opportunities to over 1,000 individuals.

Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO, Circulate Capital said, “We are proud of Lucro’s amazing growth over the past two years. They have demonstrated tremendous resilience through the pandemic and their success proves that the creation of financial and environmental value can go hand in hand. We are excited to support them as they expand their world-class operations to meet the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.”

“Circulate Capital’s additional investment is a strong endorsement that we are delivering on our vision of closing the loop on plastic packaging and becoming a leader in advanced recycled materials to support the global shift towards circularity. Their ongoing support will enable us to strengthen our capacity to meet the growing demand for post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging and accelerate our impact across India’s waste management and recycling industry” said Ujwal Desai, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Lucro.

Over the past two years, Lucro has also cemented its position as a leading innovator in India’s recycling industry, implementing waste traceability software, “SATMA CE”, to bring transparency into the supply chain and increasing the market demand for new post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging products through long-term agreements with top international brand names. In February 2021, Lucro and Circulate Capital’s founding investor, Dow, entered a memorandum of understanding to co-develop a PCR polyethylene film solution. This partnership embodies Circulate Capital’s vision of being a value-added investor by bringing the power of relationships to support product development and market access.

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Circulate Capital Achieves Third Close for Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B, Led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco

July 27, 2022

Singapore, July 27, 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment-management firm financing high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate technology, plastic recycling, and the circular economy, announced today a third close for Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), bringing the fund’s total commitments to US$53 million.

CCOF I-B’s latest close brings Circulate Capital’s total assets under management to US$165 million, making it the largest impact investment firm dedicated to fighting plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia. Alongside the firm’s US$112 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I), the fund invests in companies across the plastic-recycling and waste-management value chains, as well as startups focused on early-stage disruptive innovation and technology aligned with Circulate Capital Disrupt, the firm’s climate tech strategy, such as new delivery models, advanced recycling technologies, and new alternatives to single-use plastic.

CCOF I-B’s support includes US$10 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, and US$5.6 million from Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) devoted to private-sector financing. IFC’s investment includes an equity commitment of US$5 million from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Change Program.

We’re delighted to support Circulate Capital in its efforts to tackle the plastic-waste crisis in Asia,” said William Sonneborn, IFC’s Senior Director of Disruptive Technologies and Funds. “The fund will help address plastic pollution and climate change through critical investments in recycling, waste management, and innovations in alternate materials and advanced recycling technologies. It will also increase access to much-needed capital for the small and medium-sized enterprises delivering these important solutions.

Waste management and sustainable-plastic recycling have proven to be top priorities to invest in to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Diane Jegam, Proparco’s Regional Director for South Asia. “Proparco is proud to partner with Circulate Capital, whose significant track record and expertise on reduction of plastic waste leakage into the environment prepare them to maximize the impact of this fund.”

CCOF I-B is backed by a number of distinguished international private investors, including Align Impact, Builders Vision, Benjamin Duncan Group, DF Impact Capital, Eden Impact, Huang Chen Foundation, Jebsen & Jessen, Minderoo Foundation, Rumah Group, North-East Family Office, SK2 Fund, Twynam Investments, the Woodcock Foundation, and Neil Yeoh of OnePointFive. In April 2022, Circulate Capital announced an expected commitment to be made later this year by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which will invest up to US$20 million in CCOF I-B. In December 2021, Circulate Capital announced the US$25 million second close of CCOF I-B, which was followed by the June 2021 announcement of the CCOF I-B fund launch.

The firm has also recently achieved key milestones across its portfolio, including:

  • A follow-on co-investment by CCOF I-B and CCOF I in current Asia Recycling Supply Chain portfolio company Lucro Plastecycle Private Limited (Lucro), a homegrown Indian manufacturer that specializes in recycling difficult-to-manage flexible plastic packaging and is rapidly evolving into a material-sciences company.
  • Circ, the circular fashion company whose revolutionary technology returns clothes to the raw materials from which they were made, raised over US$30 million in Series B funding backed by some of the largest international apparel companies and venture capital firms, including Inditex, Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Circulate Capital.

The race to unlock the investment potential of the circular economy is heating up,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder, Circulate Capital. “With institutional investors like IFC and Proparco jumping in alongside global corporations, foundations, and family offices, and several of our portfolio companies achieving significant milestones, it’s clear that the time to invest in the circular economy is now. Taken together, these developments make the case that our blended finance approach has successfully created new market opportunities that generate significant impact and competitive financial returns, bringing us closer to our ambition to unlock one billion dollars to prevent 150 million tons of ocean plastic pollution by 2030.”

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Singapore Impact Investor Circulate Capital Secures Third Close of Second Fund

July 27, 2022

Circulate Capital, a Singapore-based investment management firm, has announced the third close of its second fund Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), bringing the vehicle’s total commitments to $53 million.

Continue reading on DealStreetAsia


Improve Livelihoods

July 10, 2022

Plastic waste leakage intersects with livelihoods in the high-growth markets where Circulate Capital invests. Informal collectors, the majority of whom are women, are the foundation of the collection and sorting apparatus in many regions.

We are committed to driving equitable, inclusive impact for these workers and for their communities.

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Disrupt the Status Quo

July 5, 2022

We will only solve the ocean plastics problem with both upstream and downstream solutions.

Our investees Phase Change Solutions and Circ are innovating at the leading edge of climate and recycling tech, generating deeper impact through their disruptive approaches.

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Five Ways Asset Managers Can Drive Better Financial And Impact Performance By Investing With A Gender Lens

June 29, 2022

I am delighted to be co-authoring this column with Ellen Martin, Circulate Capital’s Chief Impact Officer.

In the “real world” application of investing for impact, environmental and social outcomes are inextricably linked. It is only by understanding this fact that innovative investment asset managers can deploy capital to drive multiple positive outcomes at the same time. One such area is the intersection of innovations that address climate change and gender equality.

Continue reading article by Rob Kaplan on Forbes.com

Rob Kaplan on Forbes.com graphic

Create Value-Added Markets

June 10, 2022

Traditionally, nearly all recycled plastic in India was downgraded in the recycling process for lower value uses. Our investee Srichakra recognized the opportunity to generate greater return on the plastic it recycled.

With our capital support, the company strengthened its capabilities to become the first premium food contact-grade plastic recycling facility in India.

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