Since Joyance invests in companies that cultivate joy through science and technology, we’re thrilled to announce our recent investment in Sparxell. Sparxell develops fully biodegradable, synthetic- and toxic-free pigments for a much-overlooked industry — colors and effects. This encompasses everything from vibrant powder for nail varnish, to arts-and-crafts glitter, to sequins on clothing. Due to the flexibility of the pigments that Sparxell creates, their product has huge potential across myriad markets, including cosmetics, fashion, paint, and packaging — the entire colorant market is currently estimated between $30 and $60 billion.
The existing materials used in the making of vividly colored products include plastic-based glitters and metal-oxide-coated minerals, none of which are from renewable resources, resulting in substantial detrimental impact on the environment. From sourcing, transformation, and end-of-life, Sparxell is the first truly sustainable pigment alternative: they use the crystalline core of cellulosic fibers extracted from plants that are then organized into particles of various sizes depending on their purpose. From fine powder to large sequins, Sparxell can cover the whole spectrum. The attraction for brands is that the pigments do not contain any synthetic materials or petroleum, mica, or titania. Instead, they are 100% plant-based, completely biodegradable, mineral-free, fade-resistant, safe, and even edible.
The Sparxell team has deep experience in alternative material manufacturing and structural color. Founder and CEO Benjamin Droguet has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. He developed the groundbreaking technology for Sparxell under the supervision of Professor Silvia Vignolini, one of the world’s foremost experts in bioinspired and sustainable materials. COO Simon Kew brings a wealth of experience in innovation scale-up, having consulted for some of the largest consumer brands, and as former Managing Director of Cambridge-based Alchemie, a dye-finishing textile technology platform that he successfully took from concept to market.
With their novel technology and outstanding leadership, Sparxell has the potential to completely transform the colorant industry. And with our fund’s active investment strategy across sustainable beauty, cosmetics, and fashion, we can’t wait to watch them blaze the trail toward the future.
By Investment Associate Sean O’Connor
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