Estonian startup RAIKU is making waves in the world of sustainable packaging. With a mission to combat the mounting issue of packaging waste, they have secured a substantial €5.65 million grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC) and an additional €3.15 million in private sector investments. This financial boost is set to propel their chemical-free and compostable packaging material technology to new heights and help them establish their first factory for global production expansion.
RAIKU, founded in 2021 by Karl Pärtel and Rain Randsberg, specializes in creating innovative and environmentally-friendly packaging materials that leave an impressively low CO2 footprint. While their product might seem straightforward, its real complexity lies in its industrial production. It's an ultra-resource-efficient material, using minimal water and energy without the need for chemicals. What sets it apart is its unique spring structure, providing superior shock absorption, unlike traditional packaging materials like bubble wrap, paper, and cardboard, which are notorious for their resource-heavy production processes.
RAIKU's overarching goal is to significantly reduce the consumption of packaging materials across Europe, aligning perfectly with the European Union's Green Deal objectives. By addressing the challenge of packaging waste and its environmental impact, they aim to become a game-changer in the industry.
With the recent backing, RAIKU plans to expand its team, foster further collaborations in development, acquire necessary equipment, and establish a state-of-the-art factory. They are actively partnering with organizations like AIRE (the artificial intelligence and robotics center) and Taltech Wood Laboratory to fast-track their development efforts.
Notably, securing a European Innovation Council grant is no small feat. These grants are highly competitive, with only a select few receiving positive responses. RAIKU credits their success to a rigorous business analysis and recommends that aspiring entrepreneurs seek advice from established companies and national contact points.
Karl Pärtel, co-founder of RAIKU, regards the EIC funding as a perfect match for their current trajectory. It not only offers financial support but also provides a prestigious quality mark for customers and potential investors. This opportunity also includes participation in events, trade fairs, and various business prospects facilitated by the EIC.