UNCAGED Innovations closes seed investment for grain-based leather alternative

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2024-07-04 12:53:04 – USA

UNCAGED Innovations, the pioneering biomaterial company creating sustainable leather from grains, has raised an $5.6 million seed investment round. The funding was co-led by Green Circle Foodtech Ventures and Fall Line Capital, with participation from Ponderosa Ventures, Golden Seeds, and existing investor InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

Based in New York, UNCAGED Innovations utilizes its proprietary BioFuze technology and roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques to produce biomaterial mimicking traditional leather's texture and performance. With the leather industry under scrutiny for its environmental impact, UNCAGED's approach offers a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and energy consumption. Unlike synthetic leathers made from plastic, UNCAGED’s product is bio-based and plastic-free, created by fusing structural proteins from grains with other bio-based elements to replace animal collagen.

This investment will support UNCAGED’s commercial launch, scale production, and expand its team. The company previously announced a $2 million pre-seed round last year, with investors including VegInvest and InMotion Ventures. CEO and Co-Founder Stephanie Downs emphasized the alignment of Green Circle and Fall Line with UNCAGED’s mission, noting the importance of sustainable materials.

Stu Strumwasser of Green Circle Capital highlighted the breakthrough nature of UNCAGED’s grain-based technology, while Eric O’Brien of Fall Line Capital praised the use of structural proteins to mimic collagen, viewing it as a transformational approach that adds value to agricultural production and strengthens farm systems.

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