New York-based mycelium innovation company Ecovative receives $ 60 million in funding
The mycelium market (mushroom market) is heating up with New York on the radar for innovations that have grown in America.
On Tuesday, materials innovation company Ecovative announced $ 60 million in Series D funding, bringing the total funding to $ 100 million. Investors include Viking Global Investors supported by Senator Investment Group, AiiM Partners and Trousdale Ventures, among others.
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Ecovative is one of the first companies to pioneer modern mycelial innovations. It builds on more than a decade of experience with partners in North America, Europe and Asia. Both Dell and Ikea are among its customers as Ecovative’s mycelium solutions range from packaging to textiles to custom solutions.
“As pioneering one of the core technologies for manufacturing mycelial materials, we are building on our original innovations and productivity gains to take mycelium to the next level of development – mass consumer access,” said Eben Bayer, co-founder and CEO of Ecovative.
As of 2010, Ecovative has been on a commercial scale through construction and licensing work, including large aerial mycelium farms worldwide.
MycoFlex is Ecovative’s 100 percent bio-based alternative to petroleum-based foams. The exchange is possible in glove lining, backpack straps, shoes and more. According to research by the company, it is more heat-resistant than plastic and has better insulating properties.
The funding will be used to build Ecovative’s Mycelium Foundry, a 35,000-square-foot facility in upstate Green Island, NY, that will serve as a playground for research and development as well as production.
According to Bayer, the region has talent from “a variety of industries and a long history of engineering excellence,” including General Electric Research and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
“While our headquarters are here, we will end up building farms alongside tanning / finishing / manufacturing facilities around the world. The technology is developed and perfected in New York to be used all over the world, ”said Bayer, describing the foundry as the first“ high throughput mycelial research facility in the world ”for the use of technologies only available from Ecovative.
The story goes on
Through the AirMycelium manufacturing platform, Ecovative refines properties such as porosity, texture, strength, resilience and fiber orientation with a production capacity of 100,000 pounds per year.
The capital is also used to increase the scale of production tenfold, which is urgently needed for many bio-based textile innovations. Brands want in too.
“The demand for new biomaterials in the fashion industry like mycelium far exceeds current supply,” said Katrin Ley, executive director of Fashion For Good, in a statement. In 2018, Ecovative was part of Fashion For Good’s innovation platform, which also included Natural Fiber Welding, Inc., an Illinois-based company in which sustainable footwear company Allbirds recently invested $ 2 million to develop Plant Leather .
With natural materials, competition is fierce and there are many nuances. Biotech startups like MycoWorks with its leather innovation Reishi recently partnered with Hermès, while Mylo from Bolt Threads is a repeat material of choice for Stella McCartney and Adidas. As with competitors, Ecovative’s mycelial material is biodegradable over time – the mycelial raw materials are compostable in the soil at home.
For more information, see:
MycoWorks Completes Series B Refill Capacity for Reishi Leather for $ 45M
Why Allbirds is investing $ 2 million in natural fiber welding
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