Posted: Wed 15th May 2024

Deeside’s Polytag receives key investment from Women Angels

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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A syndicate of 15 female investors from Women Angels of Wales (WAW) is helping to improve recycling rates of single-use plastic with an equity investment in Deeside-based Polytag.

With the backing of Collateral Good and Knop Ventures, Polytag has now raised £2.85 million to help fund the growth of its unique, tag and trace barcode technology.

The GS1 Digital Link QR Codes allow brand owners and retailers in the food and beverage sectors to track packaging from the time it’s labelled to the moment it’s scanned at recycling centres.

Trials are already underway with Ocado, Co-op, Arla, Aldi and Biffa.

Lead investor Rachel Ashley, a Director of Women Angels of Wales (WAW) leads the syndicate of 15 female angels that have also been joined by a further six male investors.

Their combined investment of £100,000 was match-funded with £100,000 from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. Polytag also has the support of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Broughton.

Chief Executive Alice Rackley said: “Our GS1- approved technology allows brand owners and retailers to see where and when their bottles are being recycled so that they can track recycling habits across the UK. This is powerful data that no brand or retailer can access, allowing them to drive sustainability strategies, develop new campaigns and make recycling more rewarding for customers.

“But it doesn’t stop there; these QR Codes also empower consumers with valuable product-level recycling information, supporting a sustainable circular economy. The support of our funders means that we now have the capital to make further investment in our technology and our resource, helping to scale the business as we accelerate our growth while improving recycling rates and increasing circularity.”

Mariana Gonzalez, Principal at Collateral Good said “We are delighted to support Alice and the Polytag team on growing the multi-tenanted platform, which combines in-house designed hardware and software relying on GS1 standards. The technology is highly scalable and can be used for unlimited industries. The valuable insight into consumption patterns, market penetration and disposal information allow brands or retailers to understand their customers and encourage sales and recycling. The label is now seen as a revenue driver.”

Lead angel investor Rachel Ashley said: “Led by Alice, this is a team with a shared commitment to making a positive change for future generations with the development of a solution that will improve recycling rates of single-use plastic. They have achieved some impressive traction over the last year and we hope that the smart capital from our syndicate of business angels will now add further value to the business.”

Carol Hall is Investment Manager for Angels Invest Wales. She said: “With match funding from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund, this is a syndicate of business angels who are working together to share risk and knowledge while making a real difference to Polytag. It’s a win-win that benefits both the company and the investors who are bringing real value alongside Collateral Good Ventures and Knop Ventures as venture capital specialists.”

Set-up by the Development Bank of Wales in 2022, Women Angels of Wales is a business angel investment syndicate for women.

Jointly supported by the Development Bank and the British Business Bank, the syndicate of 48 women can access co-investment of up to £250,000 from the £8 million Angel Invest Wales Co-investment Fund.

Bethan Darwin of Darwin Thompson acted for the angel syndicate and Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund.

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