Today Finnish biochemical company Montinutra announced it has raised €2 million in Pre-A funding led by Metsä Spring, a corporate venture unit of Metsä Group, with a syndicate of private investors also participating.
Founded in 2018, Montinutra transforms forest industry sidestreams into sustainable, high-value, and natural biochemicals that replace fossil alternatives in the chemical and cosmetics industries.
The company has developed novel, highly sustainable, zero-waste, closed-loop manufacturing methods to extract ingredients from forest waste products such as sawdust and bark for second-life uses.
Soon, Montinutra will be newly branded as Boreal Bioproducts, and its biochemicals used in new bio-based product applications such as industrial binders, barrier coatings, dispersants, and personal care products. The products are natural, vegan, non-GMO and biodegradable.
In spring 2023, Montinutra announced its partnership with Ole Hyvä Luonnontuote in a new personal care product range that contains Montinutra’s Boreal Bioproducts® SpruceSugar™ as an ingredient, produced at the current pilot plant in Turku, Finland.
The funding will accelerate Montinutra's internationalisation, advancing the designing of the industrial demo production plant, and bringing new products to market under its Boreal Bioproducts® brand.
Jaakko Pajunen, Managing Director of Montinutra, shared:
“Forest industry sidestreams – such as sawdust, bark, or plywood processing residues – are currently hugely undervalued as raw materials, and are often burned for heat and energy.
Traditionally, the focus has been on utilising cellulose from wood. Still, the possibility of utilising the rest of the wood, namely hemicellulose and lignin, which comprise over 50 percent of wood content, has been limited.
We enable the broader utilisation of hemicellulose and lignin extracts by developing biochemicals. This is how we turn these previously underused sidestreams into mainstream materials and increase the value of the raw material in multiples.”
Forest industry sidestreams are not competing with the same land as the food cultivation, and they are readily available also outside the growth season, hence creating a secure and stable supply of sustainable feedstock.
Katariina Kemppainen, SVP, Group R&D at Metsä Group shared:
“Solutions that use natural resources responsibly and reduce carbon emissions are needed to help different industries transform from fossil-based to bio-based materials.
Montinutra helps their customers in this and aims to build a new industry in Finland that combines bio-economy, sidestreams, and added value.”
The company aims to reach 100 million euros in annual revenue by 2035, with its demo plant up and running by 2026.
Lead image: Montinutra team. Photo: Uncredited.