CelluComp veg barrow

CelluComp's investment story

Thanks to backing from the Scottish Investment Bank and investment from international French-based venture capital funds FPCI CapAgro Innovation and Sofinnova Partners, CelluComp’s patented nano-fibre is finding a host of new uses and markets.

Nano-fibre finds new uses 

When materials scientists Dr David Hepworth and Dr Eric Whale first realised the industrial potential of cellulose nano-fibre extracted from root vegetables, they went on to consider new applications. The first of these was an award-winning, super-strong, super-light fishing rod that could harness the material’s unique properties. 

This unique material attracted the attention from international investors, who saw the global potential of their Curran (Gaelic for ‘carrot’) nano-fibre.  

Twelve years on, and several rounds of investment later, Curran – which is twice as strong as carbon-fibre – is finding a host of new applications. It can be used in paints and coatings, paper production, home and personal care products, the oil industry, food, drilling fluids and in the manufacture of concrete and composites. 

How we helped

Throughout this journey, Scottish Enterprise has been alongside the company, supporting R&D and marketing activities and helping to secure appropriate investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) at the seed, growth and international expansion stages.  

Christian Kemp-Griffin, CEO of CelluComp, said, “Scottish Enterprise has been with us from the start, offering advice and guidance on the company’s formation, innovation and organisational support, as well as support to help us get ready to raise investment.

“We also benefitted from international support through Scottish Development International (SDI) and access to Scottish Enterprise’s GlobalScots network has also allowed us to make key contacts in overseas markets and gain valuable advice on doing business in these markets.” 

Growth leads to new bio-refinery

CelluComp now operate from an advanced manufacturing facility in Glenrothes, Fife where they are able to increase product on and satisfy demand for this high tech and sustainable composite product. 

The company now has the potential to make up to 400 tonnes of Curran a year, and is planning to upscale production to 10,000 tonnes per year within three years.

Christian said, “It’s taken a long time for the company to reach this point, where we have a product on the market.

”But now we’re here, we’ll accelerate growth very quickly.” He added, “We could become a billion-pound company.”

A low carbon footprint and no emissions

CelluComp is contributing to Scotland’s sustainable manufacturing processes by using materials otherwise discarded by the animal feed industry. Compared to existing materials used as rheology (thickening) additives, Curran has a low carbon footprint, uses fewer fossil fuel-based chemicals and is emission free.

Securing international investment

With the backing of SIB, the company raised £3.7 million of investment in 2016. The money has come from FPCI CapAgro Innovation (a French venture capital fund), Paris-based Sofinnova Partners, angel investors and SIB.

“This round of financing with such important partners was very important for us,” said Christian.

“We couldn’t have made it this far without partners such as Scottish Enterprise, and we look forward to broadening our offer even further.”

CelluComp is an example of an ambitious and innovative company that has successfully secured international investment, and which has benefitted from the networks and expertise of these investors. 

Funding that backs ambition

All of the Scottish Investment Bank’s funds and activities are designed to encourage increased investment into Scotland’s most ambitious companies. 

Scottish Enterprise and the European Investment Fund (EIF) will provide co-investment under the new Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme.

We work with private fund managers accredited by the EIF looking to raise, primarily, equity finance of scale to support the growth and expansion of Scottish companies.

Next step

Explore our grants and funding support