ReLeaf Paper (Challenger accelerator Green&Digital alumni), is the first worldwide manufacturer of paper and packaging from fallen leaves from Ukraine. The company developed a unique technology to obtain cellulose and produce paper from fallen leaves.
The technology allows the processing of leaves and other green waste into cellulose, which is the basis for creating paper and some types of packaging. This material is a direct replacement for primary cellulose, which is obtained from wood, but at the same time, it has a number of advantages. First, leaf paper is fully recyclable and has a biodegradation period of only 60 days. Secondly, carbon dioxide emissions when using such raw materials are 78% lower. And third, ReLeaf Paper contributes to forest conservation by saving 17 trees for every ton of its paper produced. The startup launched test production in Ukraine in 2021, using the services of other factories. In September of the same year, pilot sales of several ReLeaf products began: wrapping paper and paper bags. Among the very first clients of the startup are L'Oreal, Samsung, Weleda, and Schneider Electric.
The total cost of the submitted project is 3.5 million euros, of which the European Commission will finance 2.5 million in the form of a grant. In addition, ReLeaf will engage in the negotiation process to receive around 8M euros of investment to further scale the project.
The selection process lasted over 7 months and included 2 rounds of validation and a final interview with five experts representing European VCs and industry. As a result, ReLeaf Paper beat out more than 6,500 competing companies and received blended funding.
CIVITTA has helped ReLeaf Paper to identify the financing source that would enable them to finalize their product, bring it to the market, and scale. Furthermore, we have assisted in writing the funding application and preparing for the interview stage in what is one of the most competitive European funding programs.
"Each year thousands of startups and representatives of small and medium-sized businesses from all EU countries apply for funding from the EIC Accelerator. Statistically, about 1-1.5% achieve success. In addition to the ReLeaf team, consultants from CIVITTA, a leading management consulting company in Central and Eastern Europe with headquarters in Estonia, also joined the project team. This became an important success factor”– comments startup co-founder Oleksandr Sobolenko.
Iurii Volodymyr Blavt - Associate Partner
Olena Shershun - Project manager
Alina Rudnytska - Analyst