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Hip hop billionaire Jay-Z is investing in a B.C. company

Hip hop billionaire Jay-Z is investing in a Kelowna company called Pela, the maker of the world's first compostable phone case.

Hip hop billionaire Jay-Z is investing in a Kelowna company.

Pela, maker of world's first compostable phone case, today announced it has closed a $5M round of funding. Marcy Venture Partners, the consumer focused VC fund co-founded by JAY-Z, Jay Brown, and Larry Marcus led the round with Toronto-based Kensington Capital.

 Photo: Beyonce and Jay Z / ShutterstockPhoto: Beyonce and Jay Z / Shutterstock

The capital is being used to fuel rapid expansion of the company's leading products in phone protection and drive towards a more sustainable future.

"Pela has incredible values and offers incredible value in its products," said Larry Marcus, Co-Founder and Managing Director of MVP, "Matt Bertulli and the team are tapped into the tuned-in, conscious and discerning consumer that cares about what they buy. Their products offer a powerful combination of utility, design and sustainability."

"Part of what excited us about partnering with Marcy Venture Partners is their experience in identifying and amplifying cultural trends," said CEO of Pela, Matt Bertulli. "To us, there's nothing more important than continuing to be a leader in a large global movement toward sustainable consumerism and we're very excited to have the support of MVP."

Global consumer trends are showing that sustainability is no longer a niche market. According to a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, 81 per cent of global consumers say it's extremely important that companies implement programs to help improve the environment.

"The mobile phone industry is a great example of where quite a bit can be done to create better, more environmentally friendly products," said Bertulli. "Put simply, as a consumer you can protect your phone and the planet. There doesn't need to be a compromise."

Pela says it is excited to be part of the change to see consumers making smart choices when it comes to choosing which products to support.

Pela was founded in 2011 by environmental consultant, Jeremy Lang after a family vacation to Hawaii. Lang says, "I was shocked to see the level of plastic pollution that was washed up on the shores and decided to come up with a solution." After much research, trial and error, Lang created a material called Flaxstic™, a unique blend of plant-based biopolymer mixed with flax shive, an annually renewable waste byproduct of the flax oilseed harvest in Canada.