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Today: July 14, 2024
July 2, 2024
1 min read

Leveraging Strategic Investors for Startup Success

TLDR:

  • Tato Bigio co-founded UBQ Materials, an environmental startup that turns non-recyclable trash into a non-oil-based plastic alternative.
  • Finding strategic investors, or “intelligent money,” has been crucial for UBQ’s fundraising journey.

In a recent interview with Nathan Beckord on the How I Raised It podcast, Tato Bigio shared the story of UBQ Materials, an environmental startup that is revolutionizing the recycling industry by turning non-recyclable trash into a sustainable plastic alternative. The company’s innovative approach has caught the attention of major corporations like Pepsi and McDonald’s, who are using UBQ’s plastic alternative in their products.

UBQ’s success in fundraising can be attributed to their focus on finding strategic investors, or what Tato calls “intelligent money.” When the company was founded in 2012, investing in environmental startups was not as common, so Tato and his team initially relied on angel investors and their own funds. However, as the company grew, Tato realized the importance of aligning with investors who had industry experience and could provide guidance. This led to partnerships with a plastics expert and Battery Ventures, who collectively funded $170 million without significant changes to the company’s ownership structure.

Despite the initial success, UBQ recognized the need for additional funding to support their expansion plans. Tato engaged venture capital firm Eden Global Partners for a $70 million round, emphasizing the importance of fit and alignment with the new financial partner. This latest round of funding will support UBQ’s expansion in the United States, focusing on sales, marketing, and production facilities.

Throughout the fundraising process, Tato emphasized the importance of engaging supporters, including strategic investors, suppliers, legal counsel, and other professionals who contribute to the company’s success. By maintaining close relationships with these stakeholders, UBQ was able to navigate challenges and secure the funding needed for growth.

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