GREEN ISLAND, NY — Ecovative, an Upstate NY company using mycelium technology to create sustainable packaging, has landed a $60 million Series D round to grow mycelium materials better and faster, in key markets, at industrial scale. Mycelium is a fungus that is the root structure of mushrooms.
Founded in 2007, Ecovative has mastered the science of mycelium to grow custom solutions for companies seeking to increase their sustainable profile across verticals and geographies. The round, which brings Ecovative’s total capital raised to $100 million, was led by Viking Global Investors, with support from Senator Investment Group, AiiM Partners, Trousdale Ventures and other investors.
Ecovative is building on more than a decade of experience producing mycelium materials for partners throughout North America, Europe and Asia. This 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 can be leveraged to grow materials that self-assemble into complex, fully-formed structures. Utilizing 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.
Across industries, brands are exploring the use of biomaterials to improve their sustainability profiles, but finding high-performance materials that can be produced at industrial scale remains a challenge. Ecovative developed its AirMycelium™ manufacturing platform to produce mycelium at industrial scale, and recently activated 100,000 pounds per year of new manufacturing capacity to support growing demand from partners, ranging from packaging suppliers to tanneries, for custom mycelium solutions.
“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.”