Toulouse-based PILI receives €4 million, on track to lead biobased colour production

From the country that’s brought us the impressionist movement, pointillism, and surrealism, Toulouse-based PILI is developing renewable colours and will soon commence with the industrialisation of the first biobased pigments for paints and inks with a fresh investment of €4 million.

This industrialisation phase funding arrives via PILI’s previous investors including SOSV, Elaia, BPI France, an unnamed German angel network, as well as the French Recovery Plan.

The new round of funding is expected to help scale up the production of biobased pigments and test them in industrial inks and paints. The end goal is to considerably reduce the environmental impact of the production of these products.

Through the use of local renewable raw materials, namely straw, oil, and molasses, PILI is aiming to significantly reduce the colour industry’s CO2 production on a global scale as well as cut back on the use of fossil fuels used in the process. Likewise, PILI is striving to reduce the dependence on several Asian imports needed for the production of colours, thus recreating a European supply.

PILI’s unique proprietary fermentation and chemical processes enable the production of environmentally friendly colours. If the industrial ink and paint formulation tests are successful, the technology could remove petroleum and other polluting chemicals from the production of colouring in textiles, plastic, paint, and inks.

Founded in 2015, PILI consists of a team of just over twenty individuals and is based at Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) and Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris.

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