Suzano, the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer and a global reference in developing sustainable and innovative solutions from renewable sources, launched Suzano Ventures, a global corporate venture capital initiative. It will invest US$70 million in a range of businesses with the potential to revolutionize their sector and beyond, by addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The initiative will focus on companies operating within at least one of four bioeconomy applications: improving the measurement and management of carbon sequestration, accelerating and maximizing agroforestry yield, developing new technologies and applications for pulp biomass, and creating more efficient pulp packaging from renewable sources.
All investments will be aligned with Suzano’s ethos of ‘innovability’, the pursuit of sustainable solutions through innovation, which is at the core of all of Suzano’s operations. Investments will be made in businesses at both Seed and Series A funding stages. Suzano Ventures will also have a structure of acceleration programs to leverage solutions that are in the laboratory phase or seeking commercial validation (pre-Seed).
“Suzano has established Suzano Ventures to ensure support and finance for the fast-growing ecosystem of entrepreneurs who are bringing fresh thinking and ideas to the bioeconomy and the wider environmental challenges we are all facing. Suzano Ventures will provide financial and strategic support to these enterprises and, using Suzano’s wider network and resources, will help to accelerate sustainable solutions for the pulp sector and beyond,” said Julio Ramundo, Director of Carbon Businesses and Corporate Ventures at Suzano.
The Brazilian company has had a long history of backing new ideas and evolving throughout its 98-year history, and has invested in a number of startups in recent years as part of its efforts to identify new sustainable uses for eucalyptus biomass. Among its most recent successes is Spinnova, a Finnish company that has developed the technology to produce a highly sustainable textile fiber made from wood-based pulp fiber.
Suzano’s initial investment in Spinnova, made in 2017, was €5 million, succeeded by other investment rounds. In 2021, Spinnova was listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki and held a market capitalization of €390 million. Suzano Ventures now seeks to scale similar projects and ensure greater structure and agility in analyzing innovative projects and emerging startups seeking capital, which align with Suzano’s areas of expertise.