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Animal-free leather alternative raises US$45 million to scale production

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-11-19 13:47:28 – USA

MycoWorks, a US start-up has successfully raised over US$45 million in a Series B round of funding. The funding will be utilised to scale the production capacity of the company’s animal-free leather alternative by setting up manufacturing plants.  

The alternative leather is made from mycelium, which is a root-like structure grown by various types of fungi to absorb nutrients. This textile is gaining popularity in the industry as a viable solution with the company raising US$17m in its Series A funding round.  

The sum total of the funding received by the company this year accounts to about US$60 million this year. The funding will help the company make its mark by enabling the burgeoning start-up to make meaningful strides in the industry. 

Californian outfit DCVC Bio and Taiwanese firm WTT Investment led the funding round. MycoWorks has also received a considerable amount from Valor Equity Partners, Humboldt Fund and Gruss & Co. The company has also procured funding from unnamed brands and celebrities including the singer John Legend and the actor Natalie Portman. 

MycoWorks recently announced the launch of their latest plan from which the company will be able to increase its current capacity by ten folds. The mycelium-based leather alternative will now be available in bulk for retailers as well as other brands.

The business flagship product has been termed as Reishi and is created from a patented Fine Mycelium platform, that grows and intertwines mycelium cells into sheets. The sheets are then transferred to be finished by traditional leather tanneries using sustainable, chrome-free methods. 

The company stated that showcasing how MycoWorks brings technological innovation to the traditional craftsmanship was essential to various luxury fashion brands.

Having received heavy investments the company look forward to making considerable headway in mass-manufacturing it’s alternative 'leather’. Interest and capacity will no doubt grow hand-in-hand as the company sets up a number of new bases from which this promising solution can continue to grow.

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