South Korean biomaterials company Mycel raises $10M in funding

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-08-18 19:02:00 – South Korea

South Korean biomaterials company, Mycel, has announced that it has secured $10 million (13 billion WON) in pre-Series A investment.

Co-founder and CEO of Mycel Sungjin Sah, said that Mycel employs mycelium, a mushroom structure like a root, to create leather replacements that may be used in automobile seats, high-end cosmetics, and fashion items like shoes, garments, and bags. Mycel is in discussions with major cosmetic companies to jointly produce leather items made from mycelium as well as cosmetics components, the company plans to begin selling its mushroom leather in 2023.

The Seoul-headquartered startup would utilize this fresh capital to quadruple its workforce to 42 individuals and establish a production facility in South Korea for expanding the production of its fungal-based biomaterials. Sah, Sungwon Kim (COO), and Yunggon Park, three former Hyundai Motor workers, created the spin-off business from the company's internal startup program in 2020. (CSO).

Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Stone Bridge, We Ventures, Spring Camp, Hyundai Motor's Zero 1 Fund, also known as ZER0 1NE 2 Fund, and Industrial Bank of Korea are among the investors in Mycel's most recent fundraising round. Sah estimates the pre-money worth to be at $40 million (50 billion WON).

In order to replace leather, silk, down, wool, fur, and exotic skins with plant-based, microbe-derived, mycelium-derived, recycled, and other sustainable materials, the worldwide wholesale market for next-generation textiles is expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2026.

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