Eben Bayer is man who is passionate about mushrooms. And over the decade he has devoted his time to proving that the not so humble fungi can be deployed in all manner of ways, from food (yes fake meat was on the list) through to fashion (he worked with Bold Threads who you can read about here) furniture and even a tiny house.
But so far the big hit has been packaging where it has been perfecting replacements for styrofoam packaging.
Now Eben and his team at mycelium technology company Ecovative, have another $60M in their account to see where else their mushroom odyssey might go. It brings the total of money raised by the company to $100M, with this round led by Viking Global Investors, with support from Senator Investment Group, AiiM Partners, Trousdale Ventures and other investors.
The company says that the funding will power its next-generation Mycelium Foundry and support another 10x boost in production.
Mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, has a unique biology that the company believes can be leveraged to grow materials that self-assemble into complex, fully-formed structures. Utilising proprietary bioreactors and workflows, Ecovative produces high-performance, low-environmental impact products for the textile, food and packaging industries.
“Mycelium is a unique material that outperforms other sustainable alternatives in industries as diverse as fashion and food,” said Evan Lodes, Partner at Senator Investment Group and Ecovative board member. “Ecovative pioneered the field of mycelium materials, and has invested in the research and development necessary to deliver it at the scale and cost required to make a significant impact.” Senator Investment Group also participated in a 2019 raise for Ecovative.
“The demand for new biomaterials in the fashion industry, such as mycelium, far outstrips the current supply. Ecovative is tackling this challenge head-on, committing to building a next-generation platform capable of producing mycelium at scale,” said Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion For Good.
“Ecovative’s deep experience in mushrooms has enabled a high throughput discovery platform that is yielding solutions that are scaling through new biomanufacturing technology,” said Shally Shanker, Founder and Managing Partner of AiiM Partners. “This will play a key role in solving (or accelerating solutions to) substantive problems like climate emissions and toxic material waste.”
“Today’s investment in our next-generation Mycelium Foundry will produce immediate results for our business and the planet,” said Eben Bayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecovative. “We have a track record of scaling and shipping mycelium-based products. This growth will accelerate our deployment of these important solutions at greater scale and across more industries.”