Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains and other economically important systems, 2020 still managed to produce major tech breakthroughs, as well as thousands of startups. We analyzed 2.262 packaging startups, all of them developing innovative solutions spanning from robotic packaging and sustainable packaging materials to anti-counterfeiting and track & trace. In this report, you will discover 5 emerging packaging startups founded in 2020.
The 5 promising packaging startups you should watch in 2021 were hand-picked based on our data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. The 2.262 companies that were analyzed for this report are identified using the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally. When you are looking for up-to-date packaging solutions for your innovation units, R&D, or product development department, the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform gives you the most exhaustive collection and ensures you continuously discover new startups, scaleups, and technologies.
Global Startup Heat Map: 5 Packaging Startups to Watch in 2021
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 packaging startups, established in 2020, developing technology-driven solutions for the packaging industry.
Robo Home – Robotic Packaging
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit business-as-usual factory activities, packaging companies were looking into robotic solutions for the industry. Now more than ever, the potential of robotic packaging is being implemented with the automation of picking, placing, palletizing, moving, stacking, handling, and sorting tasks. Startups leverage the advancements in end of arm tooling (EOAT) options to build reliable robotic solutions for the packaging sector.
Indian startup Robo Home builds hardware-agnostic artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions for industrial robots. The startup’s solutions for food production and general manufacturing enable robots to perform various tasks including order picking, assembling, placing, handling, sorting, and packaging. Robo Home’s AI software teaches robots common abilities such as robust 3D perception, physical affordances of objects, few-shot learning, and real-time motion planning. This then allows robots to break down complex tasks into simple steps to complete them.
Bosetein – Reducing Packaging Waste
Every year, global numbers for the volume of packaging waste increases. Moreover, the volume of food and packaging waste that is sent to landfills also continues to increase. Reduction in packaging waste lowers costs for companies that otherwise simply dispose of, or burn the waste products to avoid brand counterfeiting. This drives innovation in the food sector, with startups aiming to develop solutions that minimize packaging waste and ensure food safety.
Bosetein is a German startup offering real-time bacterial inspection technology. The startup’s solution, ReBIS, enables food companies to measure the quality of their meat products in real-time in a non-invasive manner. ReBIS deploys sensors that utilize optical technology and AI to estimate the freshness of meat items based on the number of bacteria through the packaging in real-time. The solution allows packaging companies to measure the true shelf-life of products along the entire supply chain for better management of stock and to reduce food and packaging waste.
MyCoffee – Biodegradable Coffee Packaging
The rapid increase in digital advertising forces packaging design teams to constantly find ways to catch the attention of consumers. This results in multiple packages in a big box, with smaller boxes and information pamphlets highlighting the product features. Other emerging companies are deprioritizing elaborate packaging altogether to offer practical and environmentally-responsible alternatives.
Danish startup MyCoffee sells organic coffee in biodegradable capsules to eliminate the use of plastic in coffee packaging. Customers of the startup then dispose of the capsules with other household waste or add it to their compost. This solution helps reduce the quantity of waste that is sent to landfills from households every day.
KrossLinker – Biopharmaceuticals Packaging Material
One of the biggest challenges the biopharma industry faces involves the capacity of companies to realize their formulation in the market. Complex supply chain requirements, in addition to developing affordable and reliable drugs, further hinder pharma companies from successfully producing and maintaining biopharma products. Emerging packaging startups develop solutions that tackle supply chain challenges for the biopharma industry.
KrossLinker is a Singapore-based startup utilizing proprietary green formulation and advanced material chemistry to formulate robust, thin, lightweight, eco-friendly, and dustless silica aerogel composite boards. The startup’s aerogel boards provide an alternative for biopharma packaging with superior cryo and pyro thermal insulation properties. Further, KrossLinker’s fabrication technology produces aerogel boards considerably faster than traditional methods while consuming low levels of energy.
Vibrathon – Blockchain Traceability
Dealing with copycat products and counterfeit drugs is expensive for brands and pharma companies. However, implementing one type of monitoring solution may not provide insights into other aspects of leaky supply chains. Using QR codes, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, Bluetooth, near-field communication (NFC), holograms, and IoT sensors into product packaging enables companies to easily track and monitor their products. Blockchain technology is also increasingly seen as a viable option for implementing anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evident packaging solutions.
Indian startup Vibrathon integrates AI, IoT, and blockchain technologies to offer end-to-end traceability for food products and packaging. Vibrathon utilizes blockchain technology for secure handling and storing of product lifecycle data. The tamper-proof data storage is then available for anyone in the network to access. Blockchain traceability also generates valuable insights about products very quickly with the help of QR codes that are placed on the product or packaging.
What will 2021 bring for packaging companies?
To stay ahead of the technology curve, it is important that you know which technologies and industry trends will impact your company in 2021. To keep you up-to-date on the latest technology and emerging solutions, we provide you with actionable innovation intelligence – quickly and exhaustively.