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MycoWorks raises 125 million dollars in Series C funding

By FashionUnited

13 Jan 2022

Business

Image: BPCM

MycoWorks has raised 125 million dollars in Series C funding round led by Prime Movers Lab, with participation from new investors SK Networks and Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, in addition to other new and existing investors. The Series C funding round will be used to launch the first full-scale Fine Mycelium production plant to meet the growing demand for the company’s materials, including MycoWorks’ flagship product, Reishi.

MycoWorks’ patented Fine Mycelium process produces natural material with the performance of fine animal leathers and lower environmental impact. It is a proprietary biotechnology platform that engineers mycelium to grow the only made-to-order, made-to-specification luxury material. Recognized globally as a breakthrough in materials science, Fine Mycelium materials offer superior hand feel, durability, and aesthetics. The process also unlocks new design possibilities for fashion and luxury brands, while its predictable, scalable tray-based process offers much-needed relief to supply chain constraints.

Based in Union County, South Carolina, the new facility is modeled after the company’s semi-automated Emeryville pilot plant that successfully demonstrates the scalability of the Fine Mycelium process. In operation for one year, the pilot plant demonstrates high production yields, meeting target costs, and bringing MycoWorks through its latest production milestone of 10,000 trays processed. The new facility, slated to be operational in a year, will enable initial mass-production volumes of several million square feet of Fine Mycelium materials per year. The financing will also support the expansion of the company’s fast-growing team as well as continued research, development, and innovation to advance the Fine Mycelium platform.

“We are thrilled to partner with new and returning investors who have deep experience in manufacturing scale-up. MycoWorks’ Fine Mycelium platform produces the world’s highest-quality, leather-like material via a proprietary process that we own and operate,” said Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks, in a statement. “As the only vertically-integrated biomaterials company in the new materials space, we will use this capital to continue growing our leadership position.”

“What MycoWorks has achieved with its Fine Mycelium platform is not just a breakthrough, it is a revolution for industries that are ripe for change,” said David Siminoff, general partner at Prime Movers Lab, in a statement. “This opportunity is massive, and we believe that unrivaled product quality combined with a proprietary, scalable manufacturing process has MycoWorks poised to serve as the backbone of the new materials revolution.”

“MycoWorks makes the only product that we have found that resembles animal leather’s quality, and they are producing it on a highly scalable platform,” said Ho Jeong Lee, executive vice president of SK Networks, in a statement. “We are excited to partner to manufacture Fine Mycelium materials on a global scale.”

Refined over the course of two decades of research and development, Fine Mycelium offers brands’ the ability to select and customize the thickness, weight, hand, and drape of its materials. Using its highly controlled, tray-based system, Fine Mycelium engineers mycelium as it grows to exact specifications to create perfectly uniform, high-quality sheets at scale. Vertically integrated, Fine Mycelium can also transform brands’ supply chains with increased traceability, minimized waste and post-processing, and a greatly enhanced sustainability profile.

MycoWorks announced its first partnership with Hermès in the spring of 2021 and has contracts in place with a range of major global luxury brands. MycoWorks is progressing towards entering the market at a range of price points as it moves into mass-scale production.