Irish company Trifol raises €300,000 in 24 hours from crowdfunding

Portlaoise-based company has developed a process for turning landfill plastic into wax

With the cost of fuel declining sharply in recent years, Trifol was forced to revise its plans and pivot towards producing waxes from waste

With the cost of fuel declining sharply in recent years, Trifol was forced to revise its plans and pivot towards producing waxes from waste

 

Trifol Resources, an Irish company that has developed and patented a process for turning landfill plastic into wax for use in a wide range of products, raised €300,000 in a crowdfunding campaign in the space of 24 hours this week.

The company had produced a product called EnviroWax that can be used in applications such as candles, adhesives, car tyres, cosmetics, printer ink and food packaging.

It intends to use the funds raised from the campaign to help increase operating capacity at its Co Laois-based facility to 30 tonnes from 10 tonnes.

Trifol is looking to raise a total of €500,000 from the campaign, which is being hosted on the Irish crowdfunding site Spark. It ultimately intends to boost production of the EnviroWax solution to 37,000 tonnes a year by 2021 in a move that will see turnover rise to €30 million.

The company, which has secured €2.75 million in outside investment since early 2016, said it is currently in advanced discussions with a number of suppliers of waste plastics in Ireland and Britain.

Trifol, which has a pre-money valuation of €8.95 million, worked with Queens University Belfast and University of Limerick on developing its technology, which was originally licensed from another Irish company called Cynar, which went into liquidation in early 2016.

From fuel to wax

The company was founded by Patrick Alley, a former Glanbia board member who also established waste-management company AES, which was sold to Bord na Móna for €62 million in 2007.

Mr Alley remains chairman of Trifol, while Daire Gilmore, a former head of chemicals and plastics investment banking for JP Morgan for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, now leads the business.

Trifol was originally focussed on turning waste plastic into fuel and in late 2014 announced plans for a €54 million investment locally to build six processing plants and create up to 180 jobs. It estimated that, once fully operational, the plants would process 42,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year, generating 40 million litres of fuel valued at €28 million, excluding taxes and duties.

With the cost of fuel declining sharply in recent years, the company was forced to revise its plans and pivot towards producing waxes from waste, which give a better rate of return.

Latest accounts show Trifol incurred a €361,245 loss in 2017. The following year it issued additional shares for a total consideration of €1.05 million with a further commitment of €340,000.

Trifol’s crowdfunding campaign still has 40 days to run with a minimum investment starting at €100.

Spark Crowdfunding, which was established last year, has recently closed fundraising campaigns for Fleet, Campsited and Wellola, three Irish start-ups that are backed by Enterprise Ireland.