Unreasonable Impact announces new roster of ventures for Asia Pacific programme

  • Unreasonable Impact adds 12 ventures tackling climate and social issues to its Asia Pacific programme.
  • The initiative, run by Barclays and Unreasonable Group since 2016, helps scale growth-stage businesses through mentoring and a network of support.
  • The new 12 ventures have raised over $282 million in capital.

Singapore, Friday 24 May 2024: Unreasonable Impact, a strategic partnership between Unreasonable Group and Barclays, has announced the latest ventures to join its Asia Pacific programme.

This year’s ventures offer solutions ranging from early disease detection to sustainable battery technology to end-to-end waste management and have been carefully selected to join the prestigious programme. The 12 ventures include:

  • Craif: Harnessing the power of miRNA and machine learning, Craif provides early- stage cancer detection for seven types of cancer (pancreatic, ovarian, oesophageal, lung, breast, colorectal, and gastric). Their cutting-edge technology is currently being expanded from their home market of Japan into the US. Co-founder and CEO Ryuichi Onose’s passion for healthcare was recognised in 2021 when he was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Healthcare & Science.
  • GRST (Green, Renewable, Sustainable Technology): Pathing a cleaner way for battery manufacturing, GRST uses a water-soluble binding composite instead of toxic solvents to produce lithium-ion batteries. This allows for the economic recovery and reuse of lithium, cobalt, and nickel at the end of a battery’s life, reducing the need for further extraction. Co-Founder and CEO Justin Hung hopes to set new global standards for both the manufacturing and recycling of lithium-ion batteries to achieve a real circular economy in this field.
  • NEPRA: Leading India’s sustainable waste management, NEPRA is strengthening the recycling ecosystem and creating value chains for dry waste streams. Their network boasts India’s largest automated dry waste facility and five others across the country, processing approximately 365,000 MT annually. Sandeep Patel, Founder and CEO, is known for his pioneering work in waste management and the recycling sector in India.

33% of this year’s Asia Pacific cohort are female. Collectively they have raised more than $282 million to date and generated $50 million revenues in 2023.

During the programme, the fellows will work with specialists to break down barriers they have experienced. This includes a week in residence with industry deep dives, masterclasses, investor guidance, and mentorship. Post-programme, ventures will continue to receive access to specialist advice from over 1,700 investors and 1,000 mentors, many of whom are Barclays colleagues, through the Unreasonable community.

Scaling for change with world-class support

Barclays and Unreasonable share the belief that high-growth entrepreneurs – leveraging profit and advanced technologies – are well-placed to offer solutions to sustainability challenges while creating the jobs of tomorrow. That’s why they’ve collaboratively established Unreasonable Impact. After achieving their goal to support 250 ventures by the end of 2022, Barclays and Unreasonable will support an additional 200 entrepreneurs over five years through the Unreasonable Impact programme. Since it started in 2016, the programme has supported over 300 ventures, some of which are used in Barclays’ own operations today and/or have also been supported through Barclays’ Sustainable Impact Capital mandate.

The Unreasonable Impact ventures, having raised over US$11 billion since their inception, now employ more than 25,000 people. Over 60% of alumni report job growth within one year of joining the programme. Furthermore, these ventures have collectively reported preventing the release of 89 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions due to their products and services. Based on last year’s data, this year’s ventures can potentially divert three million metric tonnes of waste through prevention and reduction.

Daniel Epstein, CEO of Unreasonable Group, commented:

“In collaboration with Barclays, Unreasonable Impact is committed to the belief that collaboration is the key to addressing the world’s most complex challenges. This partnership allows us to support 12 innovative entrepreneurs who are driving positive change. We offer a robust support system consisting of essential resources, mentorship, and access to a global network, propelling these pioneers toward scaling their solutions, seeking to address urgent societal and environmental issues, and contributing to sustainable job creation.”

Lars Aagaard, Managing Director, Head of M&A, Asia Pacific & Head of Financial Sponsors, Asia Pacific commented:

“Through our partnership with Unreasonable Group, Barclays is providing expertise to groundbreaking growth-stage ventures that are tackling pressing social and environmental challenges, to help them unlock the next stage of their sustainable business growth. I am excited to see this upcoming inspiring cohort scale under the power of this partnership.”

Sandeep Patel, Founder and CEO of NEPRA commented:

“I’m looking forward to an exciting learning and networking experience at Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific. Our waste management and recycling solution works towards creating a positive impact at scale for people and the planet, aligning seamlessly with the program’s mission. We aim to empower the circular economy ecosystem amidst a changing climate, striving for a true circular economy and zero landfills. I’m inspired by the opportunity to connect with industry experts, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs.”

The 12 ventures joining the 2024 Unreasonable Impact Asia Pacific programme:

  • Craif – Craif develops accurate and accessible early cancer detection solutions using advanced miRNA technology.
  • Enpower Greentech – Enpower Greentech designs ultra-high-density batteries for electric vehicles, drones, and sustainable mobility solutions.
  • Fermenstation – Fermenstation utilises fermentation technology to upcycle food waste into valuable ingredients, fostering a closed-loop food system.
  • GRST – GRST (Green, Renewable, Sustainable Technology) pioneers a sustainable lithium-ion battery manufacturing process, reducing emissions and increasing recyclability.
  • Magorium – Magorium transforms unrecyclable plastics into sustainable construction materials, reducing landfill waste and offering greener building solutions.
  • NEPRA – NEPRA scales circular economy solutions across India, driving waste management innovation and creating value from discarded materials.
  • Provectus Algae – Provectus Algae develops a seaweed-based feed additive that significantly reduces methane emissions from livestock, addressing a major contributor to climate change.
  • Retykle – Retykle facilitates the resale of high-quality children’s goods, promoting circularity and extending the lifespan of products.
  • Roceso Technologies – Technologies supports neurorehabilitation with robotic devices and AI-driven therapy platforms for in-clinic and at-home use.
  • Sheru – Sheru builds a distributed battery network, utilising energy storage from swappable batteries and electric vehicles to optimise grid efficiency.
  • Umitron – Umitron introduces sustainable practices in aquaculture through data- driven insights and automated feeding systems that improve yields and reduce environmental impact.
  • WASSHA – WASSHA expands access to affordable renewable energy in sub- Saharan Africa with solar lighting solutions for off-grid communities.