UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund I LP announces first two investments

United Bankers Plc

PRESS RELEASE 29 June 2023 at 09:30 EEST


United Bankers’ UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund I LP (“UB FIGG” or “the Fund”) investing in sustainable and resource efficient forest and bio-based industries has signed its first two investment agreements and conducted its first closing. The Fund started its operations in January 2023 with over €100m in investment commitments. UB FIGG’s target size is €300m and the Fund accepts investments from professional investors until the target amount is reached or until July 2024.

“We are happy to announce the first investments of UB FIGG in two companies in two European countries, both contributing to fossil replacement with innovative bio-based products. I would like to thank our team for this achievement and hard work over the past months. We are excited about the opportunities in the sector and continue to work on a number of new potential investments.” states Matti Lehtipuu, Managing Partner of UB FIGG.

Investment in traceless materials GmbH

UB FIGG signed an Investment Agreement with traceless materials GmbH (“traceless”), a Germany-based company processing agricultural industry plant side-streams into fully biodegradable and home compostable, plastic-free natural biomaterials with applications for example in the packaging industry. UB FIGG led the funding round, regarding which a further announcement will be made after the closing.

The invested capital will be used to invest into a new commercial scale manufacturing facility and further supporting traceless’ international expansion.

”We are pleased to announce UB FIGG’s investment into a Hamburg, Germany-based company who have developed an essential plastic-free packaging material from an under utilised agricultural side stream. The team at traceless are solving some of the problems that are in the very core of UB FIGG’s focus, namely reducing plastics in packaging and reducing GHG emissions.” said Sakari Saarela, Partner at UB FIGG.

“This investment enables us to build our next scale industrial production plant, which is a huge milestone for our mission to have a measurable positive impact on the environment”, commented Dr. Anne Lamp, CEO and co-founder of traceless. “We are glad to have brought new investors on board with deep knowledge in our technology and with high commitment to support our mission.”

“Investing in brick-and-mortar is still not something many investors are comfortable with. Therefore, it is all the more important for us to see that UB FIGG sees and understands the need to finance our hardware scale up to make our contribution to solve global plastic pollution.” concluded Johanna Baare, COO and co-founder of traceless.

Investment in Woodio Oy

UB FIGG signed and closed an Investment Agreement with Woodio Oy (“Woodio”), a developer of waterproof solid wood composite products designed to replace ceramic and stone materials in bathroom furniture. European Innovation Council (EIC) is acting as a co-investor in the €16.3m funding round led by UB FIGG.

The invested capital will be used to make a significant investment in scaling Woodio’s business in Finland along with accelerating international expansion.

”We are excited to announce UB FIGG’s investment into a Finland-based company, which has developed high value-add, award winning design products from a forest industry side stream. Moreover, we believe Woodio products will make a significant impact by reducing up to 80% of CO2 emissions in comparison to current typical products.” comments Matti Lehtipuu, Managing Partner of UB FIGG.

"We have now reached a new growth phase and strongly aim for a significant investment in scaling our business in Finland and our international expansion.” says Terja Koskenoja, who was appointed as Woodio's CEO in May.

"Woodio has created something completely new and unique for a traditional industry, which is hundreds of times the added value of the wood chips. This new significant growth funding creates a great foundation to take Woodio’s biomaterial innovation towards industrial success on a global scale." summarises Woodio's Chairperson of the Board Eerik Paasikivi.

“The EIC Fund has established itself as a strong force in EU deep-tech investments. This unique form of financing via EIC – combining grants and equity – is proving itself highly attractive to Europe's most promising start-ups. Our investment will provide Woodio with the means to scale their business in Europe and reduce ceramic industry’s CO2 emissions.” said Hermann Hauser, member of the EIC Fund Board.


UB FIGG is a private equity fund investing in companies focused on plastic and other fossil based material replacements, higher value and more efficient use of wood and agricultural raw material side streams and greater use of these raw materials across a wide range of intermediate and end uses. Through its investments, the Fund will help the forest and bio-based industries to create solutions to mitigate climate change. UB FIGG is a signatory of Operating Principles for Impact Management and reports on the environmental and climate impact of its investments.

About traceless

The bioeconomy start-up traceless materials GmbH was founded in 2020 by Anne Lamp and Johanna Baare in Hamburg. The mission: to contribute to a regenerative, climate-friendly economy and a future free of plastic pollution. With their innovative technology, the company turns agricultural industry plant leftovers into natural biomaterials that are bio-based, home compostable, plastic-free and have a minimal ecological footprint. To realize the ecological potential, the technology is being scaled up from pilot scale to industrial scale.

About Woodio

Founded in 2016, Woodio is a Finnish design company and the first in the world to manufacture ecological, water-resistant wood composite products for bathrooms. Woodio's products combine both unique design and ecology. Woodio has been awarded the prestigious Fennia Prize design award and numerous other industry awards both in Finland and internationally.

About EIC Fund

The European Innovation Council Fund from the European Commission is an agnostic Fund: it invests across all technologies and verticals, and all EU countries and countries associated to Horizon Europe. It provides the investment component of the EIC Accelerator blended finance. The EIC Fund aims to fill a critical financing gap and its main purpose is to support companies in the development and commercialisation of disruptive technologies, bridging with and crowding in market players, and further sharing risk by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow-on funding. The Fund pays particular attention to the empowerment and support of female founders as well as the ambition to reduce the innovation divide among EU countries.


For further information:

Matti Lehtipuu, Managing Partner, UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund

Email: matti.lehtipuu@unitedbankers.com

Tel.: +358 40 525 5103


Sakari Saarela, Partner, UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund

Email: sakari.saarela@unitedbankers.com

Tel.: +358 40 767 4350


Anne Lamp, Co-founder & CEO, traceless materials GmbH

Email: anne@traceless.eu

Tel.: +49 176 44257717


Johanna Baare, Co-founder & COO, traceless materials GmbH

Email: johanna@traceless.eu

Tel.: +45 31 63 62 82


Terja Koskenoja, CEO, Woodio Oy

Email: terja.koskenoja@woodio.fi

Tel.: +358 40 582 8106


United Bankers in brief:

United Bankers Plc is a Finnish expert on wealth management and investment markets, established in 1986. United Bankers Group’s business segments include wealth management and capital markets services. In asset management, the Group specialises in real asset investments. United Bankers Plc is majority-owned by its key personnel and the Group employs 148 employees (FTE) and 32 agents (31 December 2022). In 2022, the United Bankers Group’s revenue totalled EUR 48.6 million and its adjusted operating profit amounted to EUR 16.6 million. The Group’s assets under management amount to approximately EUR 4.4 billion (31 December 2022). United Bankers Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. The Group companies are subject to the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority’s supervision. For further information on United Bankers Group, please visit www.unitedbankers.com.             



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