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Biomaterials start-up Gozen secures 3.3 million US dollars in funding

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Gozen founders Credits: Gozen

Gozen, the biomaterials start-up looking to disrupt the fashion, automotive and home furnishings industries with its lab-grown leather alternative that is plastic and animal-free, has raised 3.3 million US dollars in seed funding.

The funding was secured from lead investor Happiness Capital, with participation from Accelr8, Astor Management, and SOSV. The start-up now plans to use the investment to accelerate research, development, and scaling efforts for its breakthrough biomaterial ‘Lunaform,’ as well as fuel the creation of new materials.

Ece Gozen, founder and chief executive of Gozen, said in a statement: “At Gozen, we produce advanced biomaterials with the potential to unlock circular design. With this investment, we've shown that we have a path to delivering on that potential at scale.”

Balenciaga 'Lunaform' Maxi Bathrobe Coat Credits: Gozen/Balenciaga

Gozen to scale up production of ‘Lunaform’ leather alternative

The start-up’s flagship biomaterial is ‘Lunaform,’ a vegan and plastic-free material that is produced by microorganisms during a fermentation process. The innovative material was unveiled earlier this month during Paris Fashion Week in partnership with Balenciaga as part of its spring/summer 2024 collection. The two companies worked together to create a maxi bathrobe coat.

Unlike composite plant-based leathers that are assembled in layers, ‘Lunaform’ is a singular, fully formed material, giving it a remarkable tensile strength and natural flexibility. It is available in 13-square-foot sheets with customisable thickness and texture, and its manufacturing method is entirely vegan, non-GMO and avoids the use of harsh synthetic chemicals.

Gozen adds that its material production process takes just 10 days and bypasses the need for tanning. The start-up plans to open a new facility in Turkey, aiming for an annual production capacity of over 1 million square feet.

Po Bronson, managing director of SOSV’s IndieBio, which was Gozen’s first investor, added: "There is a lot of competition now in animal free leather. But I believed that Gozen’s approach could surpass all others in both performance and economics, and we’ve already demonstrated this by launching our first commercial product – at fashion week, no less. We’ve accomplished in months what it’s taken others years to do.”

Lunaform raw material Credits: Gozen
Happiness Capital
leather alternative