November 17, 2020

Novo Holdings participates in USD 45m Series B investment in MycoWorks, creator of Reishi Fine Mycelium™ for luxury fashion and footwear brands

  • Proprietary biotech platform developing natural, non-animal leather material using patented Fine Mycelium™ technology

  • - Funding coincides with opening of new Reishi™ production plant and will allow for further scaling of the business

  • Investment in line with Novo Holdings philosophy of investing in highly innovative, scalable companies in bioindustrials with a commitment to sustainability

Novo Growth, the growth equity arm of Novo Holdings, an investment and asset management company, today announced its renewed commitment to California based MycoWorks, creator of Reishi™, a leading natural, non-animal leather material, through its participation in a USD 45 million Series B financing alongside a strong syndicate of existing and new investors.

Founded in 2013, MycoWorks is dedicated to bringing new mycelium materials to the world.  Its first product, Reishi™, a new class of sustainable material that performs like cowhide leather, has been developed using MycoWorks’ patented Fine Mycelium™ biotechnology.  As such, it is a unique material that offers a sustainable solution for the fashion and footwear industries without compromising on performance, quality or aesthetics.  Novo Holdings first invested in the company’s Series A in 2019.

The announcement coincides with the company’s opening of a new Reishi™ production plant in Emeryville, California. This facility will be used to meet the demand for Reishi™ materials, introducing proprietary systems that will increase production capacity for the company by over 10x.  The new funding will allow for further scaling of the business paving the way for additional capacity increase.

Anders Bendsen Spohr, Senior Partner at Novo Holdings, commented: “At Novo Holdings we seek out innovative bioindustrial companies developing products that will have a long-term sustainable impact on society through novel technologies. With its exciting and unique manufacturing platform, MycoWorks meets this criterion perfectly, offering a unique product where we can add value towards the scaling and commercialisation of this technology. We are delighted to have reinvested in MycoWorks alongside a strong syndicate of new and existing high-profile investors equally committed to championing change within the fashion industry and potentially across other sectors as well.”

As a result of the financing, Anders Spohr will join the company’s board of directors.

“At MycoWorks, we’ve created a biotech platform for the fashion and luxury industries that delivers the highest quality, most versatile natural materials on Earth. Our vision is to grow the future of materials. We have found partners in these investors who see the long-term potential for MycoWorks to transform many industries with our patented Fine Mycelium™ technology,” said Matt Scullin, MycoWorks CEO. “Our customers — major global luxury and footwear brands — require the utmost quality and performance in their finished goods. They recognize that Fine Mycelium is the key to achieving this along with unmatched product sustainability and versatility.”

In addition to Novo Holdings, other investors include WTT Investment Ltd, Valor Equity Partners, Humboldt Fund, Gruss & Co., and existing investors DCVC Bio, 8VC, SOSV, AgFunder, Wireframe Ventures and Tony Faddell. Natalie Portman, John Legend, and several major fashion brands also participated in the investment round.

Consumers will see the first products made with Reishi™ in the coming months as MycoWorks announces its partnerships with global luxury fashion and footwear brands over that period. MycoWorks has seen accelerating demand for its products through 2020 despite the global downturn due to COVID-19.

The investment in MycoWorks marks Novo Holdings’ continued interest in bioindustrials following the recent investment in The Protein Brewery. Novo Holdings supports companies at the forefront of transformative technologies, fuelling transitions that will take companies to the next level of development — from proof-of-concept to large scale production.

About MycoWorks and Reishi™
In 2013, co-founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang formed MycoWorks, a company dedicated to bringing new mycelium materials to the world. Their first product, Reishi™, and the proprietary platform to make it, Fine Mycelium™, are a groundbreaking approach to biomaterials that delivers unparalleled versatility and unmatched performance in strength, durability and hand feel. The perfect intersection of art and science, Reishi™ is the only natural material that performs like cowhide leather and is engineered to meet the highest quality standards. MycoWorks believes that new luxury means complete control over performance, quality, and sustainability.