MacRebur was on of the most pioneering start-ups to participate in last year’s Virgin Voom start-up funding competition, winning the top spot and the backing of Sir Richard Branson to get off the ground.
Now the Scottish start-up is turning to equity crowdfunding on Seedrs to go global.
MacRebur was set up last year by three friends, Toby McCartney, an entrepreneur; civil engineer Gordon Reid; and waste and recycling expert Nick Burnett. The idea was born following a trip to India where McCartney witnessed raw waste plastic being dumped in potholes and melted down. They worked on a similar method that involves a blend of resilient plastics in pellet form.
The three founders are seeking a £590,000 equity raise to grow and develop their business, which is gaining international popularity, with demand from various African, European and South American countries.
Independent and accredited lab testing has proven their “MR6” bitumen replacement product results in roads that are 60 per cent stronger and ten times longer lasting than standard asphalt mixes. It meets British standards and offers a new use for waste plastics, diverting them from landfill.
They have already laid roads in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire, as well as a runway at Carlisle Airport and a lorry park at Exelby Services, and are in talks with councils and contractors around the UK and Australia about more opportunities.
The founders say they are at the forefront of a ‘revolution’ to improve all roads, sort out potholes and create a new arm of recycling.
“MacRebur is on a mission to disrupt the roads construction industry worldwide. It’s stuck in a rut and, as all drivers know, there are serious issues with crumbling and cracked roads and potholes,” CEO Toby McCartney said.
Already on board is investor Richard Price, director of Capital For Business: “As a very frequent investor in early stage companies it is very rare to find a business that helps solve a huge environmental issue, namely waste plastic, and has an extremely cost effective product. Add to this the infectious enthusiasm of the founders and we have the potential for a hugely successful business. I am very excited to be investing,” he said.
In the UK, 20 million tonnes of asphalt are produced each year; 435 million tonnes are produced annually in Europe, and 1.6 billion tonnes worldwide. By year five of the company, MacRebur aim to have a 0.25 per cent global market share.
“Our product, MR6, can make things better as it’s stronger and longer lasting than standard asphalt mixes,” MacRebur’s McCartney added. “Plus, it’s eco-friendly and an affordable solution. With 40 million kilometres of roads around the world, MR6 could make a massive economic and environmental difference.”