US start-up, MycoWorks, announced a $125 million Series C funding round headed by Prime Movers Lab, with new investors SK Networks and Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, as well as other new and existing investors, participating.
The Series C funding round will be used to address the growing demand for the company's materials, notably MycoWorks' flagship product, Reishi™, and launch the first full-scale Fine Mycelium™ production plant.
MycoWorks' patented Fine Mycelium process creates natural material that performs like the best animal leathers while having a lesser environmental impact. It's a proprietary biotechnological platform that uses mycelium to create the world's first and only made-to-order, made-to-spec luxury material.
Fine Mycelium materials are a breakthrough in materials science that provides exceptional hand feel, durability, and beauty. The technology also opens up new design options for fashion and premium businesses, as well as providing much-needed supply chain relief with its predictable, scalable tray-based approach.
The new facility, which is located in Union County, South Carolina, is based on the company's semi-automated Emeryville pilot plant, which has successfully demonstrated the scalability of the Fine Mycelium process. The pilot plant, which has been in operation for a year, has demonstrated strong production yields, met goal prices and helped MycoWorks reach its current production milestone of 10,000 trays processed.
The new factory, which is expected to open in a year, will be able to mass-produce several million square feet of Fine Mycelium materials each year at first. The funds will also be used to expand the company's rapidly expanding personnel, as well as to fund continuing research, development, and innovation to advance the Fine Mycelium platform.
Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks, said that they're excited to work with new and returning investors who have extensive manufacturing scale-up experience. Through a proprietary process that they control and operate, MycoWorks' Fine Mycelium platform generates the world's highest-quality, leather-like material. They’ll use this new funding to continue strengthening their leadership position in the new materials industry as the only vertically-integrated biomaterials company.
David Siminoff, General Partner at Prime Movers Lab, said that what MycoWorks has accomplished with its Fine Mycelium platform is more than a breakthrough; it is a revolution for sectors ripe for transformation. They believe MycoWorks is set to serve as the backbone of the new materials revolution due to unequaled product quality combined with proprietary, scalable manufacturing technology.
Ho Jeong Lee, Executive Vice President of SK Networks, added that MycoWorks produces the only product that comes close to the quality of animal leather, and they do so on a very scalable platform. They're thrilled to collaborate on a worldwide scale to produce Fine Mycelium materials.
Fine Mycelium, which has been refined over the course of two decades of research and development, provides creative teams with new levels of input and design at the material level. Fine Mycelium materials can be customized in terms of thickness, weight, hand, and drape. Fine Mycelium engineers mycelium as it grows to exact specifications using their tray-based technology, resulting in flawlessly uniform, high-quality sheets at scale. Fine Mycelium's vertical integration may also revolutionize companies' supply chains, resulting in higher traceability, reduced waste and post-processing, and a much-improved sustainability profile.
In the spring of 2021, MycoWorks announced its first relationship with Hermès, and it currently has contracts with a number of large worldwide luxury companies. As it goes into full-scale production, MycoWorks is getting closer to joining the market at a variety of price points.
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