Cork waste-to-energy start-up raises €900,000 in seed funding

MyGug has developed an anaerobic digester that turns food waste into renewable energy and fertiliser

Fiona Kelleher of MyGug at The Irish Times Innovation Awards 2023 final judging day. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography.

MyGug, the Cork-based food waste-to-energy start-up, has raised €900,000 in seed funding that it says will assist with its expansion into the UK and Europe.

The company, which has developed an egg-shaped anaerobic digester that turns food waste into renewable energy and fertiliser, has customers in food services and education settings in Ireland and is planning to grow its footprint abroad,

The latest funding round, which follows a pre-seed raise in February 2023, was led by BVP Investments with support from Enterprise Ireland. The State agency has identified MyGug as a “high potential start-up”.

Founded by husband and wife duo Kieran Coffey and Fiona Kelleher, MyGug has won a number of awards since coming to market with its product in 2022, including the sustainability category in the 2023 Irish Times Innovation Awards.


“We are delighted to have the support of BVP and Enterprise Ireland as we embark on this next chapter of growth for MyGug,” said the company’s chief executive Ms Kelleher.

“This investment will greatly support our efforts to deliver this innovative food waste solution to customers and create greater positive impact in the fight against climate change.”

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Stephen Burdock, executive director at BVP, said Ms Kelleher and Mr Coffey’s leadership impressed investors.

He also said their product was “simple to install and has been proven to work thereby providing a large unmet market opportunity for solving waste and energy challenges simultaneously for businesses across different sectors”.

The product was launched in 2022 following four years’ development and an investment of €250,000, largely funded by the founders with support from Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West.

MyGug’s digester was designed by Mr Coffey, who is a mechanical and environmental engineer, comes in various sizes and can be used to dispose of 99.9 per cent of food waste excluding bones and hard stones.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times