The issue at hand
Let’s start with a mind-boggling fact: 30% of all farmed land is producing food that will be wasted and thrown away without ever reaching the end-consumer. Couple this with the 2B forecasted increase in population size by 2050, and we’re heading straight towards a critical food and ecological crisis. To support this incremental demand, the UN estimates that we will need to increase our food production output by 70%. Our planet simply cannot sustain such an increase.
Recycling? It’s an essential yet limited part of the equation. But what can be done with the cast-off food and cosmetic ingredients that wind up in huge containers in the factory sidestream, alongside other trash?
There is a tried and tested solution to help solve the issue at hand: by identifying and recovering waste in one industry, we can turn it into raw materials in another while reducing your costs and environmental footprint. Upcycled ingredients are as effective, virtuous… and cheaper. Often neglected, upcycled ingredients benefit the whole chain, from manufacturers valuing their side streams, to customers accessing cheaper ingredients of equal effectiveness.
The food and cosmetics industries produce significant quantities of a range of materials, from natural byproducts such as orange peels which become citric acid or tomato skins used for their antioxidants properties or to reduce carcinogen risk in meat, to industrial waste like soya bean hulls which are turned into amino acids and lipids for a variety of applications. Hubcycle is helping these industries find ways to upcycle the natural resources they already produce so that manufacturers can benefit from lower prices and greener products.
Since 2016, Hubcycle has been building the new leader in sustainable ingredients. The company owns the identification, processing, logistics and quality monitoring to provide manufacturers with upcycled ingredients of an equivalent quality and lower price than their direct alternatives. It is the bridge between companies across industries to efficiently connect them.
The process was arduous - It took close to five years for Julien and his team to create an ingredient bank of 100+ scalable ingredients and 150,000 tons of valuable side-streams. After delivering on 900+ R&D projects for close to 30 industrial partners, Hubcycle is now ready to accelerate and become the must-have solution for upcycled ingredients. To do so, they have just closed a 5M EUR round with Citizen Capital, Daphni, Swen Capital and Bleu Capital.
Julien Lesage is the founder behind Hubcycle and has an invaluable role to play, not only in the business development but also in the liaison with the manufacturing industry. After studying molecular biology, he set off to build up his domain knowledge at Charabot group and Agrial group, two ingredient suppliers, where he discovered the potential of upcycled ingredients. He is now a man on a mission, driven by his incredible passion and will to change the industry as a whole. Throughout our diligence, we were impressed by his voracious learning appetite - He consumes management books and seeks feedback like few others do, and showcases the combination of humility and high ambition that we seek to find in every founder we back.
Hubcycle is the leading supplier of upcycled ingredients, converting fruit, vegetable waste into raw materials for the hygiene and food industries.