Biomaterials company, AlgiKnit, which makes yarn from kelp seaweed, has announced that it has secured US$13 million in a Series A investment round and opening of its new manufacturing site in North Carolina.
The funding, led by Collaborative Fund, ushers in a new era of development and partnership for the US-based Algiknit, linking the application and size of its technology with venture capital.
H&M CO:Lab, the investment arm of the H&M Group, Starlight Ventures, Third Nature Ventures, and prior investors Horizons Ventures and SOSV have also joined the round.
Algiknit, a previous Fashion for Good Plug and Play Accelerator grantee, manufactures textile fibers extruded from kelp, a kind of seaweed. To reduce waste, the biopolymer mixture is extruded into kelp-based thread that may be knitted or 3D printed. The finished knitwear is biodegradable and may be colored in a closed-loop cycle with natural colors.
Algiknit is using this easily available raw material to produce yarns and fibers for usage in a variety of sectors including fashion, interiors and furnishings, and automobiles.
The company's new production plant in North Carolina's Research Triangle area, which opened this month, is stated to demonstrate the company's dedication to sustainability beyond its product. The firm attempted to reduce its building footprint by outfitting its 15,000 square foot expansion with repurposed materials and used furnishings.
Tessa Callaghan, co-founder and CEO of Algiknit, said that with the launch of our new facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle area, they are focusing on increasing our manufacturing capabilities, relationships, and team to handle worldwide demand more swiftly. This is a significant step forward in bringing this technology to scale and bringing about positive, meaningful change for the world. They’re thrilled to be collaborating with new and existing investors that share their vision for transforming the fashion ecosystem.
The completion of this round takes Algiknit's total financing amount to US$17.9 million, which is expected to strengthen the company's position in the burgeoning biomaterials market and accelerate the company's time to scale. Building on the momentum of its expansion, Algiknit claims it is set to disrupt the textile industry with a yarn designed to counteract ecologically hazardous yarn and fiber manufacturing cycles.
Sophie Bakalar, Partner at Collaborative Fund, said that the textile sector is responsible for up to 8% of global CO2 emissions, in addition to being extremely polluting and water-intensive. They're excited to be leading Algiknit's Series A round and investing in a technology that is propelling the globe toward a more sustainable future.
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