Canadian bast fiber company completes $7 million raise

A Canadian company that makes natural nonwoven fibers says it has raised $7 million (CAD $8.5 million) to advance its plans to expand production.

Bast Fibre Technologies announced the Series A equity financing last week. The company raised another $3.3 million last summer from angel investors.

Based in Victoria, British Columbia, the firm says it will use the capital to complete work on a manufacturing facility in Europe and to “enter full-scale commercialization,” CEO Noel Hall said in a statement.

“We now have a large number of customers using our natural bast fibers on commercial production lines, so it is critical that we invest in manufacturing capacity to feed the strong market demand,” Hall said.

The company is working on developing disinfectant cleaning wipes.

“In the single-use segment alone, there are nearly 6 million tons of plastic fibre used every year, and we will play a key role in reducing the nonwoven industry’s traditional reliance on synthetic material,” company president Jim Posa said in the announcement.

Bast fiber comes from the inner bark of the bast family group of plants, including hemp, flax, jute and kenaf. Nonwoven materials are made with fibers that are bonded with chemicals, solvents or heat.

Bast Fibre Technologies is privately held.