Investment

Deal of the Week: Sustainable innovation, aristocracy, and one of America’s savviest family offices

A UK aristocratic family-backed investment group has teamed up with one of America’s savviest family office investors to back a US-based Greentech packaging company. 

The Wheatsheaf Group, part of an umbrella organisation that represents the commercial activities of the UK Grosvenor family, led the Series C round worth $31 million. Wheatsheaf was joined by Tao Capital Partners, the family investment group of Nicholas Pritzker, which has developed a reputation as one of the biggest players in the family office world when it comes to direct investments, particularly in venture businesses. 

Other investors included Revolution Growth, a subsidiary of Revolution, the Washington DC-based investment firm set up in 2011 by AOL co-founder, Steve Case. Also backing the round were Harbert Growth Partners and SJF Ventures, a North-Carolina-based venture capital firm focused on sustainability and tech investments. An impact-focused Maryland firm, Arborview Capital, as well as Third Prime Capital and Greenhouse Capital, also joined the round.

Founded by Brian Powers, Charles Vincent and James McGoff– who has a background in materials engineering – in 2015, TemperPack’s plant-based “ClimaCell” thermal liners produce fewer carbon emissions than plastic insulation while providing a similar level of thermal protection, according to the group. 

In a statement released following their latest funding announcement, Powers said Covid-19 had actually accelerated the company’s growth, with more customers opting for sustainable packaging solutions. This, in turn, encouraged them to bring their fundraising date forward.

The Wheatsheaf Group – part of an umbrella organisation that represents the commercial activities of the Grosvenor family, whose wealth goes back many centuries and are one of London’s biggest landowners – was set up in 2012 to diversify the property investments of the Grosvenor Estate, effectively the family’s investment group. Wheatsheaf invests in businesses in the food and agriculture sectors, with a sustainable focus.

The current Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, oversees a family fortune estimated at more than $12 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. 

Prior to inheriting the title, he worked at Bio-Bean, a UK company that pioneered the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals at an industrial level. He also worked in the property arm of the estate, the Grosvenor Group, and joined the Wheatsheaf Group as an investment analyst before working in their family office.

This latest round brings TemperPack’s total funding raised to more than $78 million.

 

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