The startup has developed a first-of-a-kind bioplastic that biodegrades in any environment, with zero environmental harm.
Cairo-based biotechnology startup Natrify has taken a giant leap in its goal to curbing plastic waste and helping businesses reach a negative green premium, after raising an undisclosed six-figure pre-seed round that has come as the startup launches operations domestically and globally. The investment was made by US-headquartered climate change-tackling VC, Ambo Ventures, which focuses on Africa through offices in Kenya, Morocco and Egypt.
Founded in early 2020 by Abdullah Al-Atrash, Amr Galal and Ahmed Hassanen, Natrify has developed a sustainable and biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic, with its first product coming in the form of Adigide. A first-of-a-kind in the Middle East, the bioplastic is made of genetically-modified microorganisms and shares the same characteristics and applications with petroleum-based plastics. However, it causes zero environmental harm, It biodegrades in any kind of environment including marine environments, and has the same market price as conventional plastic.
While biotech is still a somewhat nascent field in MENAP, Egypt boasts a handful of prolific players, including Nawah Scientific and Proteinea. The round speaks more of the general ecosystem’s prolific growth, experiencing 400% QoQ increase in funding in Q1’22.
With the startup in the process of launching domestic and international operations, the founders have stated that they have signed a deal that will facilitate entry to the US market. Its pilot facility will be completed later this year in Egypt, from which MENA operations will run, and there are plans afoot to sign a deal to facilitate entry into the UK.