Pyran Inc., a Madison-based renewable chemicals startup, is all set to establish its first commercial plant after successfully raising $1.5 million in a recent funding round and demonstrating commercial-scale production. Pyran produces an eco-friendly, plant-based chemical as an alternative to petroleum-based chemicals used in paints and coatings found in everyday products. The company claims that its chemical is cost-effective and contributes less to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Having manufactured several initial tons of its product at a contract manufacturing plant in Crosby, Texas, Pyran has already begun selling the product to early customers for use in items such as nail polish, appliances, and car interiors, according to co-founder and CTO Kevin Barnett.
With the demonstration of its technology’s scalability, Pyran is now focusing on the final commercial design and location for its commercial plant. In late February, the company closed the second half of its Series A equity funding round, raising $1.5 million. The investors included New York-based Arosa Ventures and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
Pyran aims to choose a site for its commercial plant by the end of the year and expects the facility to be operational by early 2026. The ideal location would provide easy access to the biomaterial used in its product, which is currently not produced in Wisconsin. While Pyran is considering locations in other states and even internationally for its commercial plant, the company plans to maintain its headquarters in Madison for research and development purposes.
Currently employing a team of around 10 people, Pyran has raised approximately $7.5 million in grants, loans, and equity capital since its inception in 2018. The company’s previous investors include Green Bay’s Tundra Angels, Wisconsin River Business Angels in Plover, and gANGELS, an angel investing group associated with the startup accelerator gener8tor.
Barnett believes that Pyran has been successful in raising capital amidst challenging times for the venture capital industry and economic uncertainty due to its strong business case. As more global companies are looking to switch to renewable paints and coatings to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Pyran’s solutions present a long-term need that remains relatively unaffected by economic fluctuations.