- LiquiGlide, a startup based in Cambridge, MA, has received $16 million in a new round of venture funding to advance its patented slippery coating technology, as reported by Boston Business Journal.
- The majority of this investment will go toward developing the CleanTanX system for sealants, oil and agro-chemical products. LiquiGlide's coating can be used inside the tanks to make them easier to clean and prevent material from being wasted.
- This new funding will also be used to expand the company's ongoing consumer packaging business. Because their formula is flavorless, odorless and FDA-approved it can be used inside condiment bottles to prevent waste and make them easier to clean.
This latest round of funding brings LiquiGlide up to $25 million in equity and marks a major expansion for the company that started at MIT in 2012. In 2015, LiquiGlide signed an agreement allowing Norwegian company Orkla ASA to use their coating for condiment products in Nordic countries. It has also been reported that the startup is working with other large brands such as glue maker Elmer's.
As highlighted by efforts such as Republic Services' "Empty, Clean & Dry" campaign, dirty recyclables are a challenge for the industry. Some residents may not wash their containers thoroughly enough and others may avoid recycling them because they're too hard to clean in the first place. If this coating is expanded for wider use, particularly in condiment packaging, it could help improve that situation. This could also help expand opportunities for recycling glue or adhesive containers which don't currently have much of a market outside of mail-in collection programs.
While this technology is geared toward making existing containers more recyclable and less wasteful, it fits an ongoing trend of food-safe packaging innovations. Last year, a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers announced a new type of edible film packaging made from milk protein and many other ideas are in the works that could create a more circular economy.