February 15, 2018 | Sasha Campbell

Raleigh-based Tethis is a step closer to commercializing a product that could revolutionize the diaper market by making it greener and reducing plastic waste that ends up in landfills. The startup announced a Series C investment of $17.5 million led by the Blue Hill Group (BHG) Wednesday.

The financing will enable Tethis to scale commercial production for products manufactured out of starches and other renewable feedstocks.

Founded in September 2012 by graduate students at North Carolina State University, Tethis has developed technologies to equip customers with renewable solutions for large-scale industrial problems.

Its first product being brought to market is Tethex, which provides a bio-based, biodegradable alternative to the $18 billion global superabsorbent polymer market for diapers that has been dominated by petrochemicals made from sodium polyacrylate.

A TRANFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGY

“We are excited about the potential of the Tethis products,” said Steve Lerner, one of the BHG managing partners, in a statement.

“Scott and the team have developed a transformative technology that will fundamentally change the diaper industry by moving it into a more sustainable space less dependent on oil. We’re proud to be a part of this significant phase.”

“This round of funding is an important milestone,” said co-founder and CEO Scott Bolin. “It’s a testament to the hard work our team has put together to validate our technology and prepare it for commercial scale.”

Blue Hill is joined by existing Tethis investors from previous rounds and by new investments from members of local university angel organizations, The Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) from NC State and Carolina Angel Network (CAN) from UNC-Chapel Hill. It is the largest funding round for either group to date.

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