Aropha, a US startup that uses AI for laboratory-focused biodegradable material testing, has successfully raised $1m in a seed funding round.  

Led by Comeback Capital, the funding was backed by other investors, including Lightbank and Right Side Capital Management.

Aropha will use the proceeds from the funding to expand its existing laboratory operations and raise industry awareness. 

The funding will also support the development of its AI-driven biodegradation prediction model, ArophaAI. 

According to the company, the demand for affordable and effective biodegradation testing has grown in recent times.

It also noted that a new law requires all packaging in the US state of California to be recyclable or compostable by 2032. 

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As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, short biodegradation studies may cost more than $10,000. 

Aropha co-founder, COO, and CRO Travis Johnston said: “The timing could not be better for the innovation. What we are seeing is the convergence of adequate predictive testing becoming technologically feasible for the first time and the environmental importance of biodegradation being recognised through increasing legislation.” 

The company has been collaborating with companies to offer quick material degradability testing and integrate their product development processes with AI screening. 

So far, Aropha has reportedly assisted more than 80 customers with their testing needs, achieving a 190% growth in booked revenue year-over-year at the end of the fourth quarter of 2023.

Recently, the company released a free version of its predictive model, ArophaAI-2.