MycoWorks, a company that makes leather from fungus, has raised $125 million to expand manufacturing – Bestgamingpro

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MycoWorks, a business that makes a fungal-based biomaterial that can replace the leather, has raised $125 million in Series C investment to build a manufacturing facility and scale up production of its flagship product Reishi.

CEO Matt Scullin describes his company’s Fine Mycelium technique as “a biotechnology platform that develops mycelium to produce the only made-to-order, made-to-specification premium material,” claiming that it is distinct from its rivals.

“There’s a lot going on in this space,” he continued. “Mycelium is a tunable material, and a lot of people are getting into it because they see a market for it.” However, their major strategy is to embed fibres in plastic, resulting in a low-quality substance known as ‘pleather.’”

Indeed, the California-based firm, which was started in 2013 by Philip Ross and Sophia Wang, is part of a growing trend of fashion companies using fungus and other plant-based materials to create textiles. We referred to firms like Bolt Threads (mushrooms), Ananas Anam (pineapple fibres), and Desserto (cactus leather) doing similar things when we highlighted MycoWorks in 2020 for its $45 million round.

Other firms are finding success using fungi-based technologies in addition to employing plant-based materials for fashion. Fy, a vegan protein that can be utilised as a solid, liquid, or powder to manufacture sustainable meals like meat and cheese, was invented by Nature’s Fynd, which secured $350 million in a Series C financing in 2021. Atlast Food is generating meat substitutes from gourmet mushroom mycelium in a similar way. Meanwhile, in 2020, MycoTechnology, which uses a fermentation technique to create, among other things, a mushroom extract that inhibits the tastes of other meals, closed on a $120 million Series D investment.

Similarly, Prime Movers Lab led the Series C round, which included new investors such as SK Capital Partners and Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact and Innovation Fund, as well as a collection of other new and current investors. The firm has raised a total of $187 million to far.

MycoWorks signed its first deal with Hermès in early 2021, and it now has agreements with a number of other important global luxury brands. Scullin told me that if you’ve heard of a luxury brand, it’s likely that the firm is collaborating with them.

With its beginnings in the luxury sector, MycoWorks aspires to develop toward mass-scale manufacturing, allowing items to be produced at a variety of price ranges. According to Scullin, the money will allow the firm to do so.

The business plans to build a new manufacturing factory in Union, South Carolina, after the success of a pilot plant in Emeryville, California. When MycoWorks reached a production milestone of 10,000 trays processed, it was able to verify their tray-based process and show scalability of the Fine Mycelium method. Scullin anticipates that the factory will be operating in the next 12 months and will be capable of producing several million square feet of Fine Mycelium per year at first.

Scullin also intends to use the funds to grow the team, R&D, and technological development in order to fulfil customer demand for sustainable products. Thousands of brands applied to be the first to employ Fine Mycelium, and the firm got thousands of responses.

He believes that $150 billion worth of leather items are sold each year, indicating a significant possibility, particularly because the consumer tailwind remains “one of the most strong factors in the economy right now,” he noted.

Scullin said he chose Prime Movers Lab and others to participate in the round because they all had a same expertise in biotechnology and manufacturing scale-up, which the firm required right now.

In a written statement, David Siminoff, general partner at Prime Movers Lab, stated, “What MycoWorks has done with its Fine Mycelium platform is not just a breakthrough, it is a revolution for sectors that are ripe for transformation.” “We think MycoWorks is set to serve as the backbone of the new materials revolution due to unequalled product quality paired with a revolutionary scalable production technology.”

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