Sustainable packaging business receives £500k CIOSIF equity investment
A company designing and manufacturing sustainable packaging is the latest business to benefit from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).
Flexi-Hex, based in Porthleven, has secured a £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment as part of a £1.25million funding round which includes multiple angel investors. The deal was handled by The FSE Group, the appointed CIOSIF Fund Manager.
The funding will be used to support the growth of the business, with a focus on international expansion and continuing to develop its pioneering product range, while creating a number of new jobs.
Co-founded by twin brothers Will and Sam Boex, Flexi-Hex produces sustainable packaging solutions originally developed for the shipping of surfboards. The patented honeycomb sleeves are made of 100% recycled paper, are curbside recyclable, and biodegrade within eight weeks.
Renowned for its strength, the innovative hexagonal cell structure provides improved protection for fragile products and offers a superior alternative to plastic and polystyrene products, such as bubble wrap and air pillows, while delivering an attractive product that is appealing to high-end brands.
Creative Director Sam said: “As surfers ourselves, we knew how important protecting the marine environment is to the surfing community and so in 2018 we launched our first Flexi-Hex surfboard sleeve. Since then we have gone on to develop eco-friendly packaging, that is also aesthetically appealing, for use across a range of sectors including drinks, cosmetics and electronics.”
Operations Director Will added: “This investment comes at a critical point in our development, supporting our launch in the US and other international territories as well as helping us to create additional innovative products and pursue our ambitious growth strategy.”
The global packaging market is currently worth almost $1trillion and e-commerce continues to grow following its pandemic boom. Consumer demand is leading the growing move towards sustainable packaging with legislative changes also becoming a key driver. The UK is set to introduce a tax on plastic packaging from April 2022, while some other countries – including Canada and Western Australia – are planning to ban single-use plastic packaging altogether.
Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds, Cornwall at The FSE Group, commented: “Flexi-Hex has a great track record, having achieved 260% organic sales growth year-on-year since launch. The team has established a strong customer base and has credible co-investors already in place. The investment secures 11 high-quality, professional jobs in Cornwall with many more expected to be created post-investment and we are delighted to be working with this vibrant team to help them take advantage of the opportunities available.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Sarah Newbould, Senior Investment Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “The British Business Bank is actively supporting sustainable businesses around the UK through our regional funds. Flexi-Hex have created an innovative product that will help stem the tide of plastics entering our oceans, while creating jobs in Cornwall. We are delighted to support their further growth.”
LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Flexi-Hex’s mission to tackle plastics in packaging with a sustainably-sourced, biodegradable alternative is an excellent example of a Cornish business that has innovation and sustainability at its heart. Their patented system has applications in a range of sectors and is poised to break into new markets.”
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2