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Fibres/​Yarns/​Fabrics

MycoWorks secures $125 million in funding

New commercial plant will be operational in Union County, South Carolina, within a year.

13th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Union County, SC, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

MycoWorks, based in Emeryville, California, has raised $125 million in a Series C funding round which will be used to launch the first full-scale Fine Mycelium production plant to meet the growing demand for the company’s materials.

The MycoWorks patented Fine Mycelium process produces a natural material with the performance of the finest animal leathers with a lower environmental impact. It is a proprietary biotechnology platform that engineers mycelium to grow made-to-order and made-to-specification luxury material. Fine Mycelium materials offer superior hand feel, durability, and aesthetics and unlock new design possibilities for fashion and luxury brands. The predictable and scalable tray-based process meanwhile offers freedom from supply chain constraints.

Based in Union County, South Carolina, the new facility is modelled after the company’s semi-automated Emeryville pilot plant which has successfully demonstrated the scalability of the process. In operation for one year, the pilot plant has achieved high production yields, meeting target costs, and bringing MycoWorks to its latest production milestone of 10,000 processed trays. The new facility, slated to be operational in a year, will enable initial mass-production volumes of several million square feet of Fine Mycelium materials per year. The financing will also support the expansion of the company’s fast-growing team as well as continued research, development, and innovation to advance the Fine Mycelium platform.

What MycoWorks has achieved with its Fine Mycelium platform is not just a breakthrough, but a revolution for industries that are ripe for change

The new financing has been led by  Prime Movers Lab, with participation from new investors SK Networks and Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact and Innovation Fund, in addition to other new and existing investors.

Scale-up

“We are thrilled to partner with new and returning investors who have deep experience in manufacturing scale-up,” said Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks. “Our Fine Mycelium platform produces the world’s highest-quality, leather-like material via a proprietary process that we own and operate. As the only vertically-integrated biomaterials company in the new materials space, we will use this capital to continue growing our leadership position.”

the company’s semi-automated Emeryville pilot plant recently reached its latest production milestone of 10,000 processed trays.

“What MycoWorks has achieved with its Fine Mycelium platform is not just a breakthrough, but a revolution for industries that are ripe for change,” said David Siminoff, general partner at Prime Movers Lab. “This opportunity is massive, and we believe that unrivalled product quality combined with a proprietary, scalable manufacturing process has MycoWorks poised to serve as the backbone of the new materials revolution.”

“MycoWorks makes the only product that we have found that resembles animal leather’s quality, and they are producing it on a highly scalable platform,” said added Ho Jeong Lee, executive vice president of SK Networks.

Refined over the course of two decades of research and development, Fine Mycelium offers the creative teams at brands with unprecedented levels of input and design at the material level. They can select and customise the thickness, weight, hand, and drape of Fine Mycelium materials. Using its highly controlled, tray-based system, Fine Mycelium engineers mycelium as it grows to exact specifications to create perfectly uniform, high-quality sheets at scale. It can also provide supply chains with increased traceability, minimized waste and post processing, and a greatly enhanced sustainability profile.

MycoWorks announced its first partnership with Hermès in Spring of 2021 and has contracts in place with a range of major global luxury brands. It is progressing towards entering the market at a range of price points as it moves into mass scale production.

www.mycoworks.com

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