Western New York Impact Investment Fund Invests $500,000 in Clean Fiber as Follow On Equity


September 21, 2021

Buffalo, NY

CleanFiber Secures $11.9 Million Financing to Expand Production of Its Carbon-Negative Building Insulation

Climate tech startup secures $4M from Aligned Climate Capital - Western New York Impact Investment Fund adds an equity investment

CleanFiber, a manufacturer of high-performance building insulation, today announced the closing of $11.9 million in financing, in a round that included strategic investments from the climate tech space as well as follow-on funding from early backers. The capital will enable CleanFiber to expand production in Buffalo, where recycled corrugated cardboard is converted into carbon-negative cellulose building insulation, and to start to lay the groundwork for additional facilities.

A first closing was quietly completed in July with investments by Jeff Wilke, the former CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer Business, and NOCO Energy, a major energy services provider in Western NY, along with strong continued backing from insiders like IFG Asset Management, The Kraft Group, Launchpad Venture Group, 43North, and the Clean Energy Venture Group. A second closing was just completed in September, with Aligned Climate Capital investing $4M, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund investing $500,000, and additional support from other existing investors.

“CleanFiber produces a clean, cost-effective alternative to foam and fiberglass insulation using materials that are carbon-negative,” said Peter Davidson, CEO of Aligned Climate Capital. “We see a tremendous opportunity for growth driven by consumer demand and strong policy incentives at the Federal and State level.” Prior to Aligned Climate Capital, Mr. Davidson served as Executive Director of Empire State Development and Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. As part of its investment, a representative of Aligned Climate Capital will join CleanFiber’s Board of Directors.

The Western New York Impact Investment Fund was an early lender of $750,000 to CleanFiber and increased its commitment to the firm with an equity investment in this most recent round. “Ramping up production of a new technology is not easy, but we have been impressed with CleanFiber’s strong sales traction and production successes even in the face of COVID-19,” said Thomas Quinn, CEO of the Western New York Impact Investment Fund. “We look forward to a continued partnership in growing the business and creating positive social impact by way of an eco-friendly product, a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce and the adaptive reuse of community assets.”

The firm’s state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility is the world’s first deployment of its patented process for making high performance insulation from recycled cardboard boxes. The project has already created more than 45 jobs and the company is still hiring. Production is increasing to supply a multimillion-dollar backlog of demand, with an expectation of ultimately producing approximately 3 million bags of insulation annually. The company plans a broad rollout of facilities employing its breakthrough technology.

Jonathan Strimling, CEO of CleanFiber added, “We’re excited to now have the Aligned Climate Capital team working with us to accelerate the deployment of our carbon-negative building materials. We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support of local backers like the Western New York Impact Investment Fund and 43North, as well as some of our earlier backers like IFG Asset Management, the Clean Energy Venture Group, and others who continue to support our expansion.”

About CleanFiber

CleanFiber makes high-performance carbon-negative building insulation from recycled corrugated cardboard. The company’s patented processes and unique liquid fire retardant technology allow it to produce an advanced form of cellulose insulation that is cleaner, more uniform, and lower in dust than competitive products. Offering not only superior performance, this CleanTech company can offer its product at pricing that is directly competitive with conventional products. CleanFiber has raised $39M to date from investors including Aligned Climate Capital, IFG Asset Management, The Kraft Group, The Libra Foundation, Clean Energy Venture Group, Launchpad Venture Group, 43North, Western NY Impact Investment Fund, The Closed Loop Fund, and others.

Contact: Rachel Stern via rstern@cleanfiber.com or (888) 616-8393 ext. 55

About Aligned Climate Capital

Aligned Climate Capital is a leading investment manager focused exclusively on climate solutions. Through its different strategies, Aligned invests in the people, companies, and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy and its infrastructure. The firm had approximately $549 million of assets under management (AUM) as of December 31, 2020. Based in New York and Los Angeles, the Aligned team leverages its deep prior experience in clean energy, public policy, and energy markets. For more information, please visit www.alignedclimatecapital.com

Contact: Brendan Bell, COO via brendan@alignedclimatecapital.com or (202) 669-5977

About the Western New York Impact Investment Fund

The Western New York Impact Investment Fund is an innovative for-profit investment fund made up of corporate, private and philanthropic investors. The investors are committed to providing a new source of funding for socially responsible businesses and organizations located in the eight counties of Western New York while seeking a financial return on their investment. For more information, visit www.wnyimpact.com.

Contact: Sarah Irwin via press@wnyimpact.com or (202) 573-0091