Materials innovators Checkerspot have announced a major step in their growth, in closing its Series B financing of $36 million. The Californian based company, with a focus on designing performance materials at a molecular level have evolved steadily since their launch in 2016 and is now commercialising three materials: a light-weight urethane-based composite (Algal Core) and a cast urethane (Algal Wall), both initially through the brand WNDR Alpine, as well as algal oil formulated into MiDori BioWick which is sold in partnership with Beyond Surface Technologies to clothing brands worldwide.
This financing provides a foundation for Checkerspot to meet the demand for the materials it is commercializing today, as well as the demand for an innovation platform that is capable of creating new materials and products across multiple industry segments, more sustainably than legacy businesses reliant on petroleum and commodity-scale vegetable oils like palm and soy.
Using advanced genomics, biotechnology and biomanufacturing processes, Checkerspot’s innovation platform looks to nature’s vast array of unexplored molecular building blocks, like fatty acids and triglycerides. The challenge of supplying these at scale has been scaled by the Checkerspot (@Checkerspot_) team through chemistry and materials science, which rapidly iterates through specific applications to develop materials with targeted features and performance attributes – making outdoor recreation a great first market to end.
“We look forward to announcing additional commercial progress, including more strategic partnerships to complement our existing co-development portfolio with W.L. Gore, DIC Corporation and Beyond Surface Technologies. This financing milestone reflects what Checkerspot has accomplished to date, and the whole team is excited about this next phase and this opportunity to deepen our partnership with Viking,” said Charles Dimmler (@cdimmler), CEO and co-founder of Checkerspot.
“We are focused on driving both scale and performance in our materials production to meet demand. Our approach to developing new materials always starts with the performance problem we are trying to solve,” said Scott Franklin, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder.
“Understanding the genomics of microalgae allows us to connect the world of biotechnology to bespoke materials and high-performance consumer products. Through rapid formulation, fabrication and prototyping, we are able to dial in material performance in products in as little as 72 hours. These materials we are focusing on have wide application potential in a range of industries, and this new funding will allow us to grow our platform and expand our reach into those markets” continued Franklin.
The primary use of these proceeds will be directed towards commercial development and the expansion of the company’s product and innovation platform. The financing was led by Viking Global Investors, with participation from other existing investors including Builders VC and Breakout Ventures. Wilbur Ellis’s Cavallo Ventures, a new strategic investor in Checkerspot, also participated. Including the Series B, Checkerspot has raised more than $50 million.
Charles Dimmler is a presenter on WBM Connect #8 – The next generation of sustainable and biobased materials and textiles on October 14th and will be attending World Bio Markets in November where Checkerspot are a bronze sponsor.
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