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Amsterdam’s Renewaball gets €3M to make tennis and padel balls circular; here’s how | Silicon Canals


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Amsterdam-based Renewaball, the company behind the world’s first circular tennis and padel balls, announced on Thursday that it has secured over €3M in a fresh round of funding led by Rubio Impact Ventures.

The company will use the funds to accelerate its mission of substantially reducing the environmental impact of tennis and padel balls across Europe. 

Renewaball: The birth

Each year, Dutch tennis players consume over 5.5 million balls. 97 per cent end up in the incinerator, in a dog’s mouth, on a tow bar, or disappear into nature, where the plastic and rubber slowly crumble. 

What if you could reuse all those old/used balls to make new tennis and padel balls? This question inspired the founders Günther van de Rijt, Hélène Hoogeboom, and Marc Rouffaer. 

Thus born Renewaball.

Hoogeboom says, “Every year, more than 350 million tennis balls are used worldwide, not even counting padel balls. With each stroke, countless microplastic particles are released, which we breathe in or end up in the ground when playing outdoors.” 

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“Now that we’ve secured the backing of impact investor Rubio alongside our existing supporters, it’s a clear validation of trust in our company. With this groundwork laid, we’re eager to expand further, ensuring that everyone in Europe can enjoy tennis and/or padel with confidence in a greener game,” he adds. 

Renewaball: What does it consist of?

Renewaballs are high-performance circular tennis and padel balls made from organic felt and recycled rubber. 

Its felt layer is made of wool and a small amount of cotton, while traditional balls use wool, nylon, and polyester. 

According to the company, 25 per cent of Renewaball is made from old balls, and its composition is determined by proprietary technology. 

Renewaballs are pressurised and manufactured in Europe using old or used tennis and padel balls collected from clubs throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and soon, the rest of Europe. 

By using old balls as the raw material, Renewaball aims to contribute to a sustainable future while producing high-quality sports equipment.

“They are competitively priced and play great,” says the company. 

They are packaged with either 3 (padel, tennis) or 4 (tennis) balls in a 100% recyclable pressurised tube. 

The investor

Rubio Impact Ventures is an impact venture fund based in the Netherlands with €150M AUM. 

The VC invests in world-changing entrepreneurs who unite powerful positive impact with a scalable commercial business; the future-proof approach to a successful business. 

Besides investment, the VC also offers expertise and network access to help them accelerate to the next level.

Helmer Schukken, managing partner at Rubio, indicates that through their investment in Renewaball, they are significantly reducing the ecological footprint of tennis and padel balls in Europe. Schukken: “Hélène and her partners Marc Rouffaer and Gunther van de Rijt have impressed us with their dedication to driving positive change in the industry. We believe that by supporting Renewaball, we can contribute to a mindset shift towards sustainability in tennis and padel.”

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