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Kebony

Late Stage Startup





Tagline

Kebony is the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood.

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Elevator Pitch

Kebony is a Norwegian company which aims to be the leading producer of sustainably sourced, durable timber that can be used as a replacement for tropical hardwood or toxic-treated wood. The Kebony technology enhances the properties of sustainable softwood to permanently modify the wood so that it adopts premium, hardwood properties, including durability and dimensional stability.

Kebony has been used in a range of global projects and paves the way for a future in which wood is an integral and, most importantly, sustainable part of the construction industry. With environmental concerns continuing to pervade the news agenda, companies and individuals will increasingly make sustainable choices and, as consumer awareness about the cost efficiency of products such as Kebony is propagated, the future looks bright for Kebony.

Product

Kebony is a highly durable, sustainable wood with the aesthetics and performance of the best tropical hardwoods, requiring minimum maintenance and with low life cycle costs.

Kebony comes in two grades – character and clear. The clear grade is sourced from a variety of softwoods, such as Radiata Pine, and has a regular appearance making it perfect for cladding and decking projects that require uniformity of colour and style. Kebony character is sourced from Scots Pine and includes knots giving a distinctive Scandinavian aesthetic to cladding and decking.

The clear grade wood is equivalent in price to tropical hardwood and Kebony character is lower in price. However, the product becomes very cost effective over its life cycle and it is estimated that the cheaper alternatives are almost three times more expensive in a 40 year life cycle as, with Kebony, there is no need for costly paint or oil treatments.


Why we are ecofriendly

A third of the world’s rainforests have disappeared in the last 50 years, a loss of around 6 million hectares a year, and the equivalent of 8.5 million football pitches. One of the reasons tropical forests are being cut down so rapidly is high demand for hardwoods, such as teak, for use in design and construction materials. This global demand for tropical hardwood is a major environmental issue; the Amazon alone provides 20% of the world’s fresh water and oxygen and, despite increasing regulation, deforestation is still happening on a vast scale and is responsible for 20% of global CO2 emissions.

Kebony offers a solution to this issue, allowing wood to become a major part of sustainable construction projects. Its technology, which has taken years of research to develop, permanently transforms sustainable softwoods so that they adopt the strength and durability of tropical wood without causing environmental degradation.

Kebony’s environmental credentials have been proven by environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co, which demonstrated that Kebony has a substantially lower carbon footprint than its tropical hardwood equivalents. The results of this study show that the carbon footprint for Brazilian Ipê is in the range of 7,500–15,000 kilograms per cubic metre; whilst the carbon footprint of modified Kebony is approximately 459 kilograms per cubic meter (both figures include treatment and transportation to Northern Europe).

Kebony is FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council), which incentivises forest owners and managers to uphold FSC principles to ensure forest management and environmental benefits. All Kebony woods also carry the Swan environmental label certifying its sourcing from sustainable forests. Kebony’s environmentally friendly patented technology is fully compliant with EU Timber Legislation and, as such, its use diverts demand from endangered tropical forests.

Finally, Kebony’s durability and resistance to wear and weathering circumvents the need for expensive and environmentally-damaging chemical treatments or indeed replacement.

Latest News

Second European Factory: Kebony has recently raised 177.5 million NOK (€19.05 million) to fund a second European factory. Finance has been secured via the issue of 140 million NOK of new shares and a subordinated loan of 37.5 million NOK. PMV and Investinor lead the new investment round, which was open to both new and existing investors.

Kebony projects: Recently completed projects which Kebony has contributed to include; Villa Circuitus – Sweden’s first circular passive house which uses Kebony cladding, At the Water’s Edge – a bespoke luxury treehouse with Kebony decking and Fordypningsrommet - the world’s most northern artists’ retreat.

Achievements: Kebony was named for the fifth time in the 2015 Global Cleantech 100, a comprehensive list of private companies that are at the forefront of driving forward innovative and market altering ideas in cleantech. In addition, Kebony has now officially been recommended as a window wood by the Verband Fenster und Fassade (German Association of Windows and Facades, VFF).

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Version History

2016-04-04 13:12:27 - changed tagline to 'Kebony is the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood.'

2016-04-04 13:05:43 - changed awards to 'Kebony has received a many awards in recognition of its innovative technology, it was has been named as one of the...'

2016-04-04 13:05:33 - changed social-impact to 'As part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme, Kebony has chosen to support and participate in...'

2016-04-04 13:05:21 - changed economic-impact to 'According to UN estimates the world’s urban population is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Only through using...'

2016-04-04 13:05:04 - changed environmental-impact to 'At the heart of Kebony’s vision is a desire to affirm the potential wood has as a sustainable construction material...'



Website


Revenues

2014:
€14300000
2015:
€19000000
2016:
€25500000

Fundraising

Kebony has seen sales increase by an average of 35% over the last seven years internationally, following many years of strong growth the demand for Kebony is about to exceed current production capacity at its facility in Vold, Norway. To alleviate, the company has recently raised 177.5 million NOK (€19.05 million), the proceeds of which will primarily be used to build a second factory in Belgium. Kebony required working capital to support the build of the factory and until the cash flow created by the second factory was positive. Securing new investment enables Kebony to increase capacity, accelerate growth in line with demand and open new market opportunities. This new factory will increase production capacity and is scheduled to be operational by 2017.



Employees

60

Investors

Kebony is financed through investors. The main owners is a group of long term institutional investors called Hoegh Consortium. Kebony benefits from the extensive network and relevant industry contacts of the Hoegh consortium. The consortium pooled their existing holdings and dedicated new capital to Kebony as part of the major commercialisation capitalisation round executed in the spring of 2007.

Additional investors in Kebony include; Environmental Technologies Fund, a £110m venture and growth capital investment fund that provides entrepreneurs with a top-quality venture capital group in Europe dedicated solely to Cleantech and Seventure Partners, which invests in innovative businesses and Munich Venture Partners.

In addition, Investinor an evergreen investment company funded by the Norwegian government and PMV, a Flemish investment company have helped to provide Kebony with the funds to open a second European factory in Belgium.

This funding received through investors makes a valuable contribution to the research projects, which are very demanding in terms of resources.

Customers

Kebony is used by specifiers, architects, designers and self-builders and can be used for cladding, decking, flooring, indoor and outdoor furniture, roofing, windows and more.

The number of projects using Kebony is consistently growing; its top customers include; Optimera, Maxbo, Weltholz, Grad lifetime decking and Pine River Group.

Additionally, Drew Wahlberg Rosskelly has designed a new line of tableware and cooking equipment for NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen, which brings together contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship to create items which capture the essence of culinary functionality.

Kebony has seen sales increase by an average of 37% over the last six years internationally and demand is such that a second European factory is now required.

Enviromental Impact

At the heart of Kebony’s vision is a desire to affirm the potential wood has as a sustainable construction material with beautifully aesthetic properties. This unique innovation has paved the way for a future in which wood is as an integral and, most importantly, sustainable part of the construction industry. Kebony wood has no harmful effects on the environment, it can be used as a direct replacement of any wood product; therefore providing an environmentally friendly opportunity, delivering sustainable wooden produce and structures for building projects.

All goods delivered by Kebony are Swan Eco-labelled. The Swan is the official Nordic Eco-label, introduced by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Swan Eco-label's vision is a sustainable society in which future generations can benefit from the same conditions and opportunities as we do today. An important step towards this vision is, with the help of eco-labelling, to help consumers choose the most environmentally friendly products. The Swan logo demonstrates that a product is a good environmental choice.

Economic Impact

According to UN estimates the world’s urban population is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Only through using technology and innovation will growing urban areas manage the challenges of urbanisation, pollution, diminishing resources and ensure that they achieve sustainable economic growth.

As such, sustainable alternatives such as that offered by Kebony are increasingly popular, representing a substantial and growing sector of the market; it offers a durable, sustainable alternative to tropical timbers, requires little maintenance and has a life cycle of 40 years.

Social Impact

As part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme, Kebony has chosen to support and participate in a number of initiatives. Kebony is part of the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative which aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between the parties in the network to promote a sustainable and inclusive global economy. This initiative is based on ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Awards

Kebony has received a many awards in recognition of its innovative technology, it was has been named as one of the world’s most promising clean technology companies in the Global Cleantech 100 five times; it was cited as one of the top 50 companies that could change our world in the Deloitte’s ‘Fast 50’ Award, alongside being recognised by CNBC as a top 25 creative European Company and named a Technology Pioneer in the 2014 World Economic Forum.


Country of Origin

Norway

Founded

1997

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Team

Christian Jebsen - Chief Executive Officer