Pili raises $15.8M to accelerate development of biobased dyes & pigments

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-02-28 15:28:06 – France

French biotech and green chemistry company, PILI, a pioneer in decarbonizing the color industry, has raised $15.8 million in Series A funding to accelerate its industrialization by producing the first tons of high-performance bio-based indigo.

The first tons of high-performance bio-based indigo will be produced by PILI, a leader in the decarbonization of the color sector, as part of a $15.8 million Series A fundraising round that will hasten the company's industrialization. This financing was led by Bpifrance through the Ecotechnologies 2 fund, with Famille C Participations and previous investors like Elaia Partners also taking part.

The goal of PILI, which was founded in 2015, has been to create and manufacture biobased dyes and pigments in order to lessen the color industry's environmental impact. The company provides a competitive and environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemical dyes and pigments because of its hybrid technology, which combines industrial fermentation and green chemistry. By switching to a high-performance bio-based indigo instead of petro-based indigo, PILI hopes to significantly reduce its reliance on oil and reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from its production by more than 50%.

Jérémie Blache, CEO at PILI, said that the color sector relies on inexpensive fossil fuels, making decarbonization difficult. Since its founding, PILI has committed more than 30 million euros in establishing the capacity required to transform color production worldwide and eliminate oil as the primary raw material.

Preorders for biobased pigments and dyes worth several million euros have already been placed with the company in the paint, ink, and textile industries. Currently, it is concentrating on putting up a production facility and providing products to its initial customers. The industrial pilot, which has been operating since 2022, will be supplemented by this demonstration unit.

Guillaume Boissonnat-Wu, Scientific and Industrial Director at PILI, said that their first ton-scale manufacturing of aromatic intermediates had been made possible by the creation of a new biotechnological technique. Their microorganisms are capable of producing a high purity, low-carbon molecule that can be transformed into dyes and pigments through a quick and effective procedure.

The fund Ecotechnologies 2, which is run by Bpifrance on behalf of the French government as part of the France 2030 initiative, is one of the investors in this investment round.

Together with current partners PSL Innovation Fund of Elaia Partners, SOSV, and the German business angel network Startupangels.de, PILI also welcomes new investors, the investment holding Famille C Participations and an Italian privately owned company.

Jérémie Blache added that the PILI team is excited to have such a wide range of knowledgeable investors on board. They are prepared to provide the company with long-term support and share its objective of producing environmentally friendly and high-performance colors while using the fewest resources possible to lessen the strain on biodiversity.

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