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Pernod invests $10 million in circular economy

Funding for ecoSpirits, low-emission alcohol distribution startup

Pernod Ricard is investing $ 10 million in technology company ecoSpirits through its venture capital fund, Convivialité Ventures. The beverage giant joined the funding round by taking a minority stake in the start-up, which is engaged in developing low-carbon, low-waste distribution systems for the spirits industry. New York-based circular economy investment fund Closed Loop Partners, food industry private equity investor Proterra Asia, Singapore-based investor Pavilion Capital, and Wavemaker Partners also participated in the funding round. The news was released as Pernod moves to expand its partnership with ecoSpirits to markets outside Asia.

EcoSpirits' closed-loop distribution system offers a "powerful cost advantage" and reduces waste and carbon emissions by "avoiding the production and transportation of glass bottles and other secondary packaging". Pernod partnered with ecoSpirits in March 2022 to distribute some of its premium brands in Hong Kong and Singapore, including Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, and Havana Club rum. 

These spirits will henceforth be transported and delivered to venues in a fully reusable 4.5-liter glass container, reducing waste and emissions associated with bottle production and transportation and secondary packaging. EcoSpirits says it will use the funds from the new investment round signed by Pernod to strengthen its leadership position and accelerate its research and development activities.

The start-up will be able to get hands-on with its hardware, software and IoT research and development program, expand operations in key markets globally (including the United States), and grow its regional customer and engineering teams in Miami, London, Singapore and Shanghai. 

"This investment will contribute to the development of a company that offers such an innovative solution for our industry, dramatically reducing waste and carbon emissions -stresses Stéphane Longuet, co-founder and ceo of Convivialité Ventures-. EcoSpirits' approach is perfectly in line with our group's goals of reducing carbon emissions, and we look forward to using it on a large scale around the world". 

"The closing of our funding round not only validates our progress in building a comprehensive technology platform, but also marks a significant milestone in our journey to global scale -adds Sui Ling Cheah, chairman of ecoSpirits' board of directors-. The future becomes brighter when more resources are invested in circular economy innovation".

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EFA News - European Food Agency