Published On: 17th Jun, 2024By Categories: Holiferm News, News3 min read

Holiferm announces search for new CEO to ready the business for international growth

  • Founder and CEO Ben Dolman to focus on technology development
  • New CEO to lead on business transformation and global scale up

Leading sustainable biosurfactant manufacturer Holiferm has today launched a search to find a new CEO to support the business through its next stage of growth.

Founded in 2018, Holiferm’s patented fermentation technique uses yeast or bacteria to convert vegetable oils and sugars into environmentally friendly biosurfactants that can be deployed in a variety of household cleaning and personal care products such as shampoo and handwash.

The company, which is a spin out from the University of Manchester, closed its Series B funding round in December last year, securing £18.5 million from Rhapsody Venture Partners and Clean Growth Fund.

The funds raised will allow Holiferm to both scale up international sales and production from its commercial plant in Wallasey to support full market launches by major multinational customers. The funding will also accelerate the works taking place at the company’s research and development facility in Manchester, allowing the business to progress  manufacturing methods for other biosurfactants with a view to pilot testing and commercial launch this year.

Ben Dolman, Founder and CEO of Holiferm said: “Holiferm was founded with a mission to make the manufacture of chemicals cleaner and greener through the elimination of petrochemicals and at a price that is affordable to everyone.

“We’re as ambitious as ever about that mission and I’m incredibly proud of the progress that we’ve made in the last 12-18 months since we opened our first commercial plant.

“We’re seeing huge interest from the market so, together with the Board, I’ve decided the time is right for me to focus my efforts on the development of our technology and hand the reins over to an experienced commercial leader to drive the business forward as we look to enter new markets in the US and Asia.”

Jonathan Tudor, Investment Partner at the Clean Growth Fund, said: “Holiferm’s work to replace fossil-fuels with biobased and biodegradable ingredients is a world-leading proposition, removing the need for petrochemicals and tropical oils that cause significant environmental damage, in the manufacture of everyday, mass-market consumer products.

“The team has already achieved so much but its future potential is even more significant. I have no doubt that this is the right decision for the business and is an exciting opportunity for an exceptional leader looking to make their mark in an organisation that is primed for significant international growth.”

Jason Whaley, General Partner at Rhapsody Venture Partners, said: “Holiferm has built a world-class bio-manufacturing site in Wallasey that is revolutionising the production of biosurfactants to deliver a future for chemicals that are not only cleaner and greener but also cost-competitive against their petroleum-based competitors. The team already have their sights set on further technology development and I have every confidence that the business will go from strength to strength.”

Ben Dolman will remain in his role as CEO until an appointment is made.

Notes to editors:

  • Holiferm is a leading biochemical manufacturer, headquartered in Manchester, UK.
  • Holiferm’s Wallasey plant in Merseyside opened in 2022 and has a current capacity of 1.1 KTA. Holiferm intends to increase capacity to 3.5 KTA around the end of 2024 with a view to further scaling up to 15kta capacity.
  • Holiferm currently supplies leading manufacturers such as Sasol, leading distributors such as Biesterfeld, and customers such as Mix Clean Green, An’Du and Hitas.


Andrew Hardwick: