Polybion announced that it will be scaling up production at its bacterial cellulose facility – the world’s first, thanks to the successful closing of a US$4.4 million (€4 million) Series A financing round led by Blue Horizon.
Polybion’s solar-powered, industrial-scale bacterial cellulose manufacturing facility will now have the capacity to produce 1.1 million square feet per year of Celium®, the company’s proprietary biotextile. The new funds will be used to expand the company’s carbon-neutral bio-manufacturing facility, increase research and development efforts, and deploy Celium into consumer goods.
“Scaling the production of Celium, a sustainable alternative to animal-based textiles and petroleum-derived synthetics, is a huge step on Polybion’s mission to bring performance and possibility to 21st-century designers and materials engineers,” said Axel Gómez-Ortigoza, co-founder and chief executive officer, Polybion. “We are excited to partner with Blue Horizon, as we share a common vision on accelerating sustainability and the circular economy. In addition, having Blue Horizon as a partner allows us to scale new initiatives to build our brand and network.”
Tanmay Annachhatre, Blue Horizon principal said, “We are happy to partner with Polybion and join Alexis, Axel, and the rest of this great team on their journey to create new and fully sustainable materials. Consumers, brands, and manufacturers are all seeking novel, sustainable materials. Few other companies have moved as quickly as Polybion to scale production of a completely circular material.”
Founded in 2015, Polybion focuses on the development of tools and technology to grow high-performance bio-assembled materials by upcycling agro-industrial food waste and harnessing living organisms such as bacteria. The company’s long-term strategy is to use waste as raw material and designing, producing, and finishing products under the same roof.
Celium is an animal-free leather substitute with unique, high-performance properties, ideal for fashion, sportswear, and automotive applications. Polybion expects to reach the maximum production capacity of Celium® per year by the third quarter of 2023 to fulfill the current demand from global brand collaborations.
“Polybion’s Celium® has resonated with forward-thinking, global consumer brands across multiple sectors,” said Alexis Gómez-Ortigoza, Polybion co-founder and chief financial officer. “With our expanded manufacturing capabilities, we are enhancing our ability to work with some of the world’s most iconic global consumer brands while reducing carbon emissions and displacing the animal-derived leather value chain. Our goal is to enhance these brands’ ability to accelerate the development of bioassembled products, increase sustainability, and accelerate the path toward the circular economy.