Vyld: Fresh capital for the world's first algae tampon

Vyld: Fresh capital for the world's first algae tampon

The Berlin start-up Vyld has raised millions from investors as part of an early-stage financing round, thereby securing the further development of its seaweed products.

Start-up Vyld - Ines Schiller und Melanie Schichan entwickelt Tampons aus Meeresalgen
Ines Schiller and Melanie Schichan develop tampons from seaweed.

Due to their diverse ingredients, algae are not only interesting for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. They can also be used to dye textiles and as a raw material supplier for the production of biopolymers. The Berlin start-up Vyld is the first to use the potential of seaweed for the production of sustainable hygiene products. The aim is to develop menstrual products. The non-profit company has now secured fresh capital from investors in an early-stage financing round.

Further development of hygiene products secured

The investment is a "low seven-figure sum", as bioökonomie.de learned from Vyld founder Ines Schiller. The start-up intends to use the money raised to drive forward production - including of the world's first tampon made from algae. The so-called Tangpons were already successfully tested by consumers in the fall of 2023. Vyld plans to launch the first algae tampons on the market this year.

The second menstrual product, a compostable sanitary pad with an algae core called "Vyndel", is already in development. The pilot phase has begun with consumer tests in 50 households. According to Vyld, the used sanitary pads are then composted under controlled conditions and used to plant a small forest. To this end, the Berlin start-up is cooperating with the Windelwald project, which composts diapers into humus fertilizer.

Innovative financing model for sustainable management

Vyld was founded in 2021 by Ines Schiller in Berlin and is a "responsibly owned" company that is not owned by an investor or the founder and, with the Future Profit Partnership Agreement (FPPA), relies on an innovative financing instrument that is geared towards self-determined and non-profit-oriented action and thus towards long-term sustainability - also economically. The team is also relying on federal and EU funding to realize its vision of an "Algaeverse" - a universe of sustainable algae products.

"A necessary question for me was and is how Vyld plays on the themes of ownership, power and financing. Business models create realities and extractive models not only threaten the environment and health, but also reproduce exploitative
standards and anti-democratic tendencies. We want to counter this with a model that promotes creation instead of consumption, quality instead of quantity and triple top line instead of hypergrowth," explains Ines Schiller.

Investments also possible without profit maximization

According to Vyld, the innovative financing model is particularly appealing to investors "who want to invest their money in a regenerative way and critically question economic activity based on the maximum principle". "Vyld shows that neither shareholder value-driven venture capital nor unbridled growth is needed to successfully implement sustainable ideas that really make a difference for our planet and our society," emphasizes investor Kai Viehof.