Data driven chemistry for a more sustainable and competitive future - why we invested in DUDE CHEM

Insights
Anna Bosch
February 7, 2024
5
min read

Data driven chemistry for a more sustainable and competitive future - why we invested in DUDE CHEM

Insights
Anna Bosch
Published on
Feb 7, 2024
5
min read
Back to stories

Data driven chemistry for a more sustainable and competitive future - why we invested in DUDE CHEM

Data driven chemistry for a more sustainable and competitive future - why we invested in DUDE CHEM

Insights
Anna Bosch
February 7, 2024
5
min read

Chemical products are everywhere around us - but have you ever wondered how chemicals are manufactured? I am fairly new to the chemicals industry, and after talking to experts from the industry and from our b2venture angel investor community, I was surprised to learn that the process to develop a new manufacturing process for a chemical has been the same for more than a 100 years, with virtually no innovation.

At the same time, the chemical sector has an enormous environmental impact and is rife with inefficiencies:  the healthcare sector alone is responsible for 4.4% of global carbon emissions, a CO2 footprint that is expected to more than triple by 2050 if left unchecked, and yet it receives relatively little attention from sustainability advocates. The pharmaceutical industry is a particularly emission-intensive part of the healthcare industry with the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (so called “APIs”) generating large amounts of waste. Moreover, competitive pressures have created a race to the bottom in which manufacturers have cut costs by off-shoring production instead of addressing potential savings through innovation. 

That’s why we are very excited to be supporting DUDE CHEM and their mission of making the pharma-chemical industry more sustainable and more competitive in Europe and beyond.

When I first met the team behind DUDE CHEM, I was very impressed by their ambition for solving this challenge. Named after the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry from the Latin “numeral DUoDEcim”, DUDE CHEM is building a virtual pharmaceutical manufacturer for green chemicals. Green chemistry is a scientific discipline co-founded by Prof. John Warner in 1998 that combines the use of greener raw materials (e.g. bio-based) and greener processing (e.g. less production steps, less energy usage). Founded in 2019 and launched in 2021, the company aims to transform the entire pharma-chemical industry into an environmentally benign sector that leverages cutting-edge science to make manufacturing greener and vastly more efficient.

Combining the newest technology in the fields of computational chemistry and digitalization, DUDE CHEM’s market-validated IP portfolio and green chemistry expertise can be applied to reuse expensive resources, fast-track synthesis design and upscaling, as well as monitor and control chemical production processes to ensure the highest quality and efficiency. As a result, DUDE CHEM delivers not only greener but also more cost-efficient chemicals. In doing this, the company follows an asset-light approach. That means, unlike traditional contract manufacturers (so called “CMOs”), DUDE CHEM does not operate its own production facilities but leverages spare capacity of existing CMOs. 

Here it is also important to note that DUDE CHEM is not focusing on the development of new compounds, but how existing chemicals are produced. Thus, DUDE CHEM aims to change what’s being done inside of  existing plants. This means that traditional manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage through technological innovation at the production level, allowing for more efficiency to take hold and making production in highly developed economies in Europe and North America economically viable.

The prospect of using cutting-science and software to make a traditional industrial process like chemical manufacturing vastly more efficient and sustainable represents a transformative technology that is at the heart of our investment strategy at b2venture.     

Find some of our key investment hypotheses below: 

Strong team with unique domain expertise: DUDE CHEM’s team and angel investors consist of the who-is-who in green chemistry. The team is composed of leading scientists in green chemistry and chemical data science, who previously successfully developed and validated their green recipes on the market. Moreover, John Warner (the “founding father” of green chemistry), joined the team in 2022. The team is further complemented by strong angel investors, including Peter Gallagher, former VP at Unilever, Stefan Borgas, the former CEO of Lonza and Udo Jung, BCG’s former global leader of the chemistry practice.

Huge market opportunity and timing: The shift towards sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices is rapidly gaining momentum in the chemical industry. Moreover, in light of supply chain crises, there is a strong movement towards the repatriation of medicine manufacturing to the EU. DUDE CHEM's expertise in green chemistry, combined with their data-driven insights, positions them at the forefront of this market opportunity as it makes European Manufacturing competitive to Asian prices while being greener and less prone to supply chain shocks.

Unique value proposition: DUDE CHEM aims to revolutionize the entire chemistry industry by building a virtual manufacturer that enables a greener and more transparent supply of chemicals. By mandating Pharma Companies' chemical orders to contract manufacturers (CMOs) who produce based on DUDE CHEM's green manufacturing recipes, DUDE CHEM owns both the IP for the green chemistry recipes and the product - before they further sell the chemicals onto the market. Overall, the company’s vision has a potentially great impact on the entire chemical supply chain.

Asset light approach allows for easier scaling: By leveraging the spare capacity of existing CMOs which went to Asia, DUDE CHEM does not need to invest into building up production plants in order to scale. Moreover, their processes do not require any specialized equipment or knowledge on the CMO side, which in turn enable existing manufacturers to produce chemicals in a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner without any upfront investments. 

We are very excited to be backing Sonja, Henriette, Tino and Mathis and being part of their journey, building the first virtual deep tech manufacturer in the world that has the potential to transform the chemicals industry in the developed world. At a time when the industrial base of Europe is under enormous cost pressure, science-based innovation has an outsized role to play in ensuring a competitive advantage, especially in traditional areas of production. 

Chemical products are everywhere around us - but have you ever wondered how chemicals are manufactured? I am fairly new to the chemicals industry, and after talking to experts from the industry and from our b2venture angel investor community, I was surprised to learn that the process to develop a new manufacturing process for a chemical has been the same for more than a 100 years, with virtually no innovation.

At the same time, the chemical sector has an enormous environmental impact and is rife with inefficiencies:  the healthcare sector alone is responsible for 4.4% of global carbon emissions, a CO2 footprint that is expected to more than triple by 2050 if left unchecked, and yet it receives relatively little attention from sustainability advocates. The pharmaceutical industry is a particularly emission-intensive part of the healthcare industry with the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (so called “APIs”) generating large amounts of waste. Moreover, competitive pressures have created a race to the bottom in which manufacturers have cut costs by off-shoring production instead of addressing potential savings through innovation. 

That’s why we are very excited to be supporting DUDE CHEM and their mission of making the pharma-chemical industry more sustainable and more competitive in Europe and beyond.

When I first met the team behind DUDE CHEM, I was very impressed by their ambition for solving this challenge. Named after the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry from the Latin “numeral DUoDEcim”, DUDE CHEM is building a virtual pharmaceutical manufacturer for green chemicals. Green chemistry is a scientific discipline co-founded by Prof. John Warner in 1998 that combines the use of greener raw materials (e.g. bio-based) and greener processing (e.g. less production steps, less energy usage). Founded in 2019 and launched in 2021, the company aims to transform the entire pharma-chemical industry into an environmentally benign sector that leverages cutting-edge science to make manufacturing greener and vastly more efficient.

Combining the newest technology in the fields of computational chemistry and digitalization, DUDE CHEM’s market-validated IP portfolio and green chemistry expertise can be applied to reuse expensive resources, fast-track synthesis design and upscaling, as well as monitor and control chemical production processes to ensure the highest quality and efficiency. As a result, DUDE CHEM delivers not only greener but also more cost-efficient chemicals. In doing this, the company follows an asset-light approach. That means, unlike traditional contract manufacturers (so called “CMOs”), DUDE CHEM does not operate its own production facilities but leverages spare capacity of existing CMOs. 

Here it is also important to note that DUDE CHEM is not focusing on the development of new compounds, but how existing chemicals are produced. Thus, DUDE CHEM aims to change what’s being done inside of  existing plants. This means that traditional manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage through technological innovation at the production level, allowing for more efficiency to take hold and making production in highly developed economies in Europe and North America economically viable.

The prospect of using cutting-science and software to make a traditional industrial process like chemical manufacturing vastly more efficient and sustainable represents a transformative technology that is at the heart of our investment strategy at b2venture.     

Find some of our key investment hypotheses below: 

Strong team with unique domain expertise: DUDE CHEM’s team and angel investors consist of the who-is-who in green chemistry. The team is composed of leading scientists in green chemistry and chemical data science, who previously successfully developed and validated their green recipes on the market. Moreover, John Warner (the “founding father” of green chemistry), joined the team in 2022. The team is further complemented by strong angel investors, including Peter Gallagher, former VP at Unilever, Stefan Borgas, the former CEO of Lonza and Udo Jung, BCG’s former global leader of the chemistry practice.

Huge market opportunity and timing: The shift towards sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices is rapidly gaining momentum in the chemical industry. Moreover, in light of supply chain crises, there is a strong movement towards the repatriation of medicine manufacturing to the EU. DUDE CHEM's expertise in green chemistry, combined with their data-driven insights, positions them at the forefront of this market opportunity as it makes European Manufacturing competitive to Asian prices while being greener and less prone to supply chain shocks.

Unique value proposition: DUDE CHEM aims to revolutionize the entire chemistry industry by building a virtual manufacturer that enables a greener and more transparent supply of chemicals. By mandating Pharma Companies' chemical orders to contract manufacturers (CMOs) who produce based on DUDE CHEM's green manufacturing recipes, DUDE CHEM owns both the IP for the green chemistry recipes and the product - before they further sell the chemicals onto the market. Overall, the company’s vision has a potentially great impact on the entire chemical supply chain.

Asset light approach allows for easier scaling: By leveraging the spare capacity of existing CMOs which went to Asia, DUDE CHEM does not need to invest into building up production plants in order to scale. Moreover, their processes do not require any specialized equipment or knowledge on the CMO side, which in turn enable existing manufacturers to produce chemicals in a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner without any upfront investments. 

We are very excited to be backing Sonja, Henriette, Tino and Mathis and being part of their journey, building the first virtual deep tech manufacturer in the world that has the potential to transform the chemicals industry in the developed world. At a time when the industrial base of Europe is under enormous cost pressure, science-based innovation has an outsized role to play in ensuring a competitive advantage, especially in traditional areas of production. 

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