UK-based biomaterials startup Modern Synthesis has raised $4.1 million in seed funding. The funds will be used to speed up the development of the company's patented microbial textile platform, as well as to construct a prototype plant in South London.
The fund will assist Modern Synthesis in achieving its long-term aim of substituting many traditional animal and petrochemical-derived fabrics, therefore lowering emissions and plastic pollution from the fashion sector.
Investors in the round include Collaborative Fund, AgFunder, and former Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis, Acequia Capital, Petri Bio, Ponderosa Ventures, Possible Ventures, IMO Ventures, Taihill Venture, Parley for the Oceans, and Climate Capital Collective.
Modern Synthesis’ platform uses microbes to grow high-performance nonwoven materials. The method, which took nearly 10 years to develop, is based on bacteria's capacity to convert sugar from agricultural waste to nanocellulose.
Microbes are increasingly being used to generate revolutionary new fabrics. Polybion stated in March that it will be scaling up what it says is the world's first bacterial cellulose plant, while Nanollose and von Holzhausen recently inked a partnership agreement to work on leather replacements created using microbial cellulose. According to recent research, next-generation material investments will nearly treble to $980 million in 2021, with microbe-derived materials becoming more ubiquitous.
Jen Keane, CEO and co-founder of Modern Synthesis, said that the response they've received from the fashion community so far has genuinely humbled them. With this additional investment, they are happy to be joining a group of investors that share their optimism for a better material future and offer a lot of experience to their team from both the biotech and fashion industries.
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