Biotech innovator MycoWorks — known in the fashion world for its “Reishi” material and collaborations with Hermès — announced $125 million in Series C funding on Thursday.
Investors include Prime Movers Lab, SK Capital Partners, Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact and Innovation Fund, in addition to other new and existing investors with biotechnology backgrounds. The funding will be used to scale the company’s production facility in Union, SC to meet growing demand for its coveted hardware alternatives.
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“What MycoWorks has achieved with its Fine Mycelium platform is not just a breakthrough, it’s a game-changer for industries that are ripe for change,” said David Siminoff, General Partner of Prime Movers Lab. “This opportunity is huge and we believe that unparalleled product quality combined with a proprietary scalable manufacturing process has enabled MycoWorks to serve as the backbone of the new materials revolution.”
MycoWorks Reishi is a non-plastic, non-animal leather alternative that is rapidly grown from mycelium (fungus cells) and agricultural by-products in a carbon negative process.
While MycoWorks pilot facilities (such as its Emeryville plant) today have a capacity of 10,000 trays, the new facility will enable initial mass production volumes of several million square feet of fine mycelium per year. . The SC plant is expected to open within a year and will create approximately 400 vacancies in production, operations and engineering.
Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks, spoke about the $150 billion biomaterials opportunity for WWD, describing a mission to provide the apparel industry with “the supply chain it needs for the next 30 years of growth”.
“I think we are at the forefront of a new materials revolution – and MycoWorks and our partners will lead the way,” he said. “I think brands are recognizing that the higher quality we’ve been able to achieve really means they can think in different ways in terms of structuring their supply chains and how they’re going to solve this huge sustainability issue that needs to be addressed. . »
He teased a “list of [the] who’s who in luxury” about to be “selected as first customers” for MycoWorks innovations, adding that existing relationships are only going to deepen.
Perhaps the best known is MycoWorks’ partnership with Hermès, which was announced in March 2021. Hermès touted its plant-based version of its Victoria bag, which will be rendered in its own material, dubbed “Sylvania”, in 2022. On top of that, former Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas joined the MycoWorks board of directors last year.
At Developments, Scullin expressed excitement about having products on shelves in 2022, adding that a range of luxury and mass-market players will enable Fine Mycelium technology at a “price range”. .
FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE:
An A-Z guide to next-gen materials Stepping up to sustainability
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