Jan 26, 2022
by Carolina Sandeman
MycoWorks Raises $125 Million USD to Fund Mass Production of Mycelium-Based Materials
by Carolina Sandeman
Jan 26, 2022

If you’re keeping score, we’ve got another win for Mycelium-based materials. A couple of weeks ago, MycoWorks announced a profitable new funding round, totaling $125 million USD. The Series C funding counted on Prime Movers Lab as the primary investor, along with the contributions of new players SK Networks, Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, DCVC Bio and previous investor Novo Holdings.

This new financial injection will contribute towards the launch of the first full-scale Fine Mycelium™ production plant, in order to accompany the growing requests for MycoWork’s materials, including its flagship product, Reishi™.

“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. “As the only vertically-integrated biomaterials company in the new materials space, we will use this new capital to continue growing our leadership position.”

The Fine Mycelium patented process creates an end product of natural origin with equal performance to the finest animal leathers but with a significantly reduced environmental impact. The material is made using a proprietary biotechnology platform. It engineers mycelium to exclusively grow the only made-to-order, made-to-specification luxury material.

This technology is globally seen as a breakthrough in the science of materials. Fine Mycelium materials have an elevated hand feel, durability, and aesthetics. The new process also allows for new innovations when it comes to design for fashion and luxury brands, and its predictable and easily scalable tray-based system offers relief to the rising supply chain constraints.

Modeled after the company’s semi-automated Emeryville pilot plant, the new facility will be based in Union County, South Carolina. After being up and running for a year, the pilot plant reveals high production yields and attests to the scalability of the Fine Mycelium process. Having smoothly met target costs and brought MycoWorks through its most recent production goal of processing 10,000 trays.

The new facility is scheduled to be working in a year and will allow mass-production volumes of multiple million square feet of Fine Mycelium materials per year. The funding will also go towards the expansion of the company’s growing team, and to continue the research,development and innovation to advance the Fine Mycelium platform.

“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. “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.”

After twenty years of perfecting the research and development, Fine Mycelium gives brands’ creative teams the opportunity to provide input and design notes at the material level, an unprecedented move on the part of material companies. Brands have the freedom to choose and customize the thickness, weight, hand feel, and drape of the material it’s developing. This is possible due to the tray-based system used, a highly controlled process, Fine Mycelium engineers mycelium as it grows to the exact requested characteristics to produce perfectly uniform, high-quality sheets at scale. Since it is vertically integrated, it can also transform brands’ supply chain with better traceability, lowered waste and post processing, and an improved sustainability profile.

Back in the Spring of 2021, MycoWorks announced its first partnership with Hermès. It currently has contracts in place with a diverse array of leading global luxury brands. As it now moves into mass scale production the company is working towards entering the market at different price points.

With such promising results within the year of the pilot plant being open and the level of customization of the materials from its inception offered to brands, MycoWorks have announced itself as the one to watch. If it achieves its mass production goals, which by the look of it there aren’t any reasons to doubt it will, this might just be the solution to moving away from plastic-based leather. The only question left is what are the different price points it’ll be entering at and if it’ll have truly affordable options.