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13th May 2016, Emeryville, CA

Bolt Threads raises US$ 50 million to deliver sustainable fabrics

Bolt Threads, an American-based biotechnology company creating the next generation of high performance fabrics, has raised US 50 million in Series C financing as part of its mission to deliver sustainable, high performance fabrics.

Existing investor Formation 8 led the round, along with new investors including Nan Fung, a business conglomerate based in Hong Kong, and Innovation Endeavors. Other existing investors, including Alafi Capital, East West Capital, Foundation Capital and Founders Fund also participated.

Bolt Threads, an American-based biotechnology company launched the commercial production last year. © Bolt Threads

Since launching last year, Bolt Threads has attracted the interest of both new investors and partners, including Patagonia. The company is now producing its Engineered Silk protein at large scale, and is moving into yarn manufacturing this summer.

Opportunity

“The US 1.5 trillion textiles industry hasn’t achieved a major step forward since the 1930s, with the development of nylon,” said Jim Kim, founder and managing partner of Formation 8.

Together with partners like Patagonia, Bolt Threads aims to pioneer more sustainable and non-toxic processes for textile manufacturing. © Bolt Threads

“Bolt Threads’ engineered and elegant silks represent an opportunity to fundamentally impact and enable properties in clothing we never dreamed would be possible. Dan and the team at Bolt Threads are visionaries who have applied new age proprietary techniques to a non-traditional technology opportunity in a big, old-world sector. We look forward to the fashion and function trends that Bolt Threads will lead in textiles.”

Sustainability

Bolt Threads was co-founded in 2009 by CEO Dan Widmaier, Chief Scientific Officer David Breslauer, and Vice President of Operations Ethan Mirsky.

The three were inspired by the properties of natural silk and the process of its production in nature. This led them to develop technology to produce Engineered Silk made wholly of natural proteins, creating a sustainable and durable new material. Together with partners like Patagonia, Bolt Threads aims to pioneer more sustainable and non-toxic processes for textile manufacturing.

Engineered Silk is made wholly of natural proteins, creating a sustainable and durable new material. © Bolt Threads

“Manmade fabrics like nylon and polyester have transformed the fashion industry, for better and for worse,” said Widmaier. “The use of hydrocarbon polymers in these textiles has created a lingering toxic problem for the environment. At Bolt Threads, we’re re-thinking textile manufacturing, producing high performance materials that are also not nearly as harmful to the environment as existing options. It’s an incredibly important and challenging problem to solve and we’re excited to collaborate with Patagonia and other partners to make cleaner textile production a reality.”

www.boltthreads.com

Read our exclusive interview with Jamie Bainbridge, Vice President of Product Development at Bolt Threads

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