Estonia’s RAIKU, a firm dedicated to eco-friendly packaging solutions, declared the reception of a €5.65M grant and equity investment from the European Innovation Council (EIC) and an additional €3.15M from private sector investors.
The EIC Accelerator supports deep tech companies in their seed and growth stages that may not yet be suitable for private funding. It merges public grants with long-term equity investments, striving to become Europe’s premier early-stage deep technology investor.
Karl Pärtel, co-founder of RAIKU, remarked, “Amid the current economic landscape, this type of financing is particularly suitable for us. It also serves as a significant endorsement for both customers and potential investors since we have undergone scrutiny from a panel of experts and investors.”
Pärtel further stated, “Moreover, the EIC will involve us in various events, trade fairs, and overall business prospects.”
Revolutionizing the Packaging Industry for Contemporary Times
Established in 2021 by Karl Pärtel and Rain Randsberg, RAIKU specializes in creating protective, environmentally-friendly packaging materials with a low CO2 footprint.
RAIKU offers chemical-free materials that can safely return to nature as nutrients, effectively addressing environmental concerns.
Karl Pärtel mentioned, “Our competitors include bubble wrap, paper, and cardboard, all requiring significant resources for production – such as wood, chemicals, substantial water, and energy.”
RAIKU has developed packaging filling material using wooden springs. Although its concept is simple, its industrial production is intricate, as mentioned by co-founder Pärtel.
The product’s key features include resource efficiency, expanding raw material volume by 15-20 times without the use of chemicals and with minimal water and energy consumption. Its spring structure provides excellent shock absorption properties.
Pärtel added, “In Europe, only about 60% of packaging is recyclable, and we generate millions of tons of packaging waste annually. Moreover, the carbon footprint of production processes is often underestimated.”
RAIKU is accelerating its progress through strategic collaborations, including partnerships with the AIRE center for artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, Taltech Wood Laboratory for wood industry expertise, and private sector ally MindTitan for AI advancements.
“We have many partners in engineering and intellectual property, and we receive strong support from the Estonian startup community, the state, EAS, and many others,” Pärtel highlighted.
RAIKU intends to utilize the funding for developing chemical-free, biodegradable packaging material. Additionally, the company plans to establish its inaugural factory and expand its production on a global scale.
Co-founder Pärtel commented, “A majority of our primary production is already earmarked for export across Europe, and numerous international companies are eagerly awaiting our products.”
Pärtel emphasized, “The European Innovation Council recognizes that our technology can play a vital role in achieving the European Union’s Green Deal objectives. It appreciates the unique value proposition of our products and production technology.”
The funding will also support RAIKU in team expansion, fostering further collaborations, procuring equipment, and the establishment of a new factory.
Pärtel mentioned that they are in the final stages of developing fully automated industrial lines.
“Thankfully, we’ve directed most of our resources toward development, and we have an immensely skilled team of seven industrial engineers. Moreover, we’ve established a broad network of collaborations in both the private sector and academia,” Pärtel added.