Kebony, an environmentally friendly wood modification technology company, has announced a successful EUR 30 million funding round led by Jolt Capital and Lightrock. Kebony’s vision is to reduce CO2 emissions and tropical deforestation using its patented wood modification techniques, which produce superior wood in an environmentally friendly way.
The key disruptive trends in the construction industry are expressed by the need for greener, safer and better products, as the standard construction materials concrete and steel are large emitters of CO2 globally. In addition, the current large market for tropical wood is set to be replaced by enhanced wood to protect bio-diversity and reduce tropical deforestation.
The Kebony technology permanently transforms sustainable wood species such as pine into Kebony wood with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of precious tropical hardwoods. This unique environmentally friendly process is also a superior alternative to traditional wood treatment based on impregnation with wood preservatives.
Kebony’s EUR 30 million financing round is led by Jolt Capital and Lightrock, who will join longstanding Kebony shareholders such as Goran, MVP, FPIM, PMV and Investinor, of which the latter two will remain represented on the Board of Directors. The capital injection will expand and accelerate Kebony’s growth initiatives in core markets in Europe and the US. The funding will enable Kebony to further penetrate a EUR 3 billion market, and leverage the underlying megatrends of producing sustainable materials for the residential and non-residential construction industries.
“Kebony produces the most beautiful and ecological wood on the market, with a superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. To further leverage opportunities within the enhanced wood technology industry, we are proud to announce Jolt Capital and Lightrock as new investors in Kebony,“ says Norman Willemsen, CEO of Kebony.
“At Jolt Capital we have a strong interest in material science companies which leverage their patented technologies to offer sustainable products. With over 20 years of R&D in woodtech and a well-proven process that gives cultivated soft woods the desirable properties of hard tropical ones, Kebony is one of them. We are thrilled to finance the expansion of their European production facilities to both support the strong market growth and offer an alternative to rainforests deforestation,” says Antoine Trannoy, managing partner at Jolt Capital.
“Kebony is perfectly positioned in the race for a decarbonized world with an ambition to be the leader within wood modification technologies. We look forward to supporting the company to implement its growth strategy and to leverage the significant operational scalability and continue the profitable growth journey,” says Kevin Bone, partner at Lightrock.
“The new management team has conducted a successful transformation of the company, and with backing of our new high-quality investors providing improved financial flexibility, Kebony can accelerate growth, enhance its technology development roadmap, and explore potential acquisitions. The addition of Didier Roux and Rebekah Braswell to the Board of Directors will strengthen Kebony’s expansion and scalability. Coupled with the company’s unique selling proposition and backed by double-digit growth, we believe Kebony is ideally positioned to unlock the full potential of sustainable and enhanced wood” says Cornelius Walter, newly appointed chairman of the board of directors.
“Kebony reported a revenue growth of 23 percent in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, with a strong positive EBITDA. The revenues in 2020 had already increased by 26% year-over-year, with a significant EBITDA improvement, driven by the company’s geographical growth strategy in key markets. The finalization of the private placement significantly strengthens Kebony’s financial flexibility and supports the accelerated growth strategy,” says Thomas Vanholme, chief financial officer of Kebony.
“As early investors in Kebony, we were impressed by the technology and the market opportunity that lay in substituting tropical hardwood with a sustainable alternative. We have seen the company through its transition from an early pioneer in the modified wood market to being a market leader in the segment, with demonstrated international growth potential. We are delighted to have Lightrock and Jolt Capital bring momentum to scaling Kebony in the years to come. What better way to make a massive impact on sustainability than stopping logging of precious tropical hardwoods, whilst still providing a long-lasting wood alternative to concrete, plastic and steel?” adds Thomas Hoegh, founder and CEO of Arts Alliance Ventures.
Carnegie AS and Pareto Securities AS have acted as financial advisors to the company.