Denmark-based biotech startup Kaffe Bueno announced this week it has raised €1.1 million (~$1.3 million USD) in seed funding from Paulig Group Venture Capital, Vækstfonden, The Yield Lab, and an undisclosed angel investor. According to a company blog post, Kaffe Bueno will use the new funds to scale up production of existing products and launch new ones in addition to growing its team and securing intellectual property protection for its technology.
Kaffe Bueno bills itself as an ingredients company that uses upcycled coffee byproducts, such as grounds, to make cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and functional food and beverage products. The company, which was founded in 2016 by three Colombian entrepreneurs, currently has three products made from coffee byproduct: a lipid used in personal care and food products, a functional flour, and an exfoliant for cosmetics.
“Growing up in Colombia, coffee is much more than a beverage, we use it for everything: wounds, skincare, desserts, you name it,” cofounder and CEO Juan Medina said in today’s blog post.
Kaffe Bueno also noted that less than 1 percent of coffee’s “health-beneficial compounds” actually wind up in a brewed cup of joe. The rest of them go to the landfill, where they emit methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Upcycling coffee byproduct for use in other products is a way to make greater use of coffee’s existing health benefits for consumers while simultaneously cutting down on waste and emissions.
Functional ingredients and healthier cosmetics are a couple ways to make use of coffee byproduct. A growing number of other examples exist, including a McDonald’s/Ford initiative to turn coffee byproduct into car parts and Berlin-based Kaffeeform, which makes coffee cups from leftover grounds. Meanwhile, a company called Grounded will mail you a kit with which you can grow gourmet mushrooms from spent coffee grounds.
For its part, Kaffe Bueno will launch “new food, nutraceutical, and cosmetic ingredients into the European market throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021.