December 18, 2018

12-13-18 As seen in Buffalo Business First - CleanFiber raises another $2.3 million to support new factory in Blasdell - Woods Oviatt serves as counsel.

CleanFiber has raised another $2.3 million in funding to support its new factory in Blasdell. (Woods Oviatt attorneys Christian Henrich, Esq., Katarina Polozie, Esq. and Lawrence Kallaur, Esq. serve as Counsel for Clean Fiber.)

The former 43North winner has now raised $9.2 million this year to support the facility – a former Bethlehem Steel warehouse – where recycled cardboard will be turned into high-performance building insulation. Company CEO Jonathan Strimling said the facility will utilize state-of-the-art technology and be the first of its kind in the United States.

CleanFiber expects at least 30 workers at the 60,000-square-foot factory once it is fully operational, according to a news release. The company has millions of dollars in pre-orders and is sold out into the second quarter of 2019.

Manufacturing is set to begin early next year. The facility will support the construction markets in New York state, New England, the mid-Atlantic region, the Midwest and eastern Canada.

“This last round came together extremely quickly, faster than we ever would have anticipated,” Strimling said. “We’re excited to have larger funds and family offices now participating, who can help us roll out similar plants nationwide, once our Buffalo plant reaches capacity.”

The company represents a hit for 43North, the state-funded business plan competition, which brings eight startups to Buffalo each year in return for cash awards. CleanFiber moved from Massachusetts to Western New York in early 2017 after winning a $500,000 prize.

“One of the goals of 43North is providing our portfolio with access to additional capital, and we're thrilled with the progress CleanFiber has demonstrated," said Alex Gress, president of 43North. "CleanFiber's traction with customers in its industry, breakthrough product performance, securing over $11 million in investment (over the past few years) and plans to hire at its new manufacturing facility are all markers of growth that should be celebrated by Western New York.”

Even before this latest round of financing was announced, CleanFiber was recognized recently as the Upstate Capital Association of New York’s “clean-tech investment of the year.”

“CleanFiber epitomizes the type of practical innovation that is attracting major investors to Upstate New York,” said Noa Simons, Upstate Capital executive director. “Their breakthrough technology has the potential to disrupt the insulation industry, and they are bringing in world-class backers.”

Known investors in CleanFiber include the Western New York Impact Investment Fund, Buffalo Angels fund, Richmond Capital Partners, Clean Energy Venture Group, Investors’ Circle and SustainVC.

CleanFiber is among 18 local startups to acknowledge a growth-oriented round of financing this year. Others include Tactiva Therapeutics ($35 million), ACV Auctions ($31 million), PostProcess Technologies ($7.8 million), TargetProcess ($5 million), Viridi Parente ($4.05 million), Graphenix Development ($2 million), Garwood Medical Devices ($1.8 million), Circuit Clinical ($1.75 million), SomaDetect ($1.5 million), Drone Energy ($1 million), Ru’s Pierogi ($1 million), 3AM Innovations ($1 million), Buffalo Automation ($900,000), EcoVerde ($450,000), RepHike ($195,000), Dimien (undisclosed) and OmniSeq (undisclosed)