PARIS — Sustainable fiber company Werewool has raised $3.7 million in seed funding to advance its work developing biodegradable performance textiles with protein-based colors.
Paris-based venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners co-led the round. The 2.5 billion euro fund is specialized in life sciences and sustainability.
Venture firm Material Impact, a Boston-based $200 million fund that focuses on materials innovation, were also co-leaders of the round.
Werewool’s engineered microbes brew designer proteins that give performance and color to textile fibers without plastics and water pollution.
The tech eliminates the need for petroleum-based raw materials, harmful synthetic dyes and toxic finishes. The process is co-patented between the Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia University.
Werewool engineers high-performance, protein-based textile fibers for the fashion industry. Werewool’s fibers offer a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic fibers with vibrant structural color, strength, stretch, and moisture management.
The funding round will be used to advance the company’s first product and scale manufacturing capabilities.
“Our team looks at the textile industry holistically considering the end of life at the beginning of life — our goal is for our fibers to decompose into nutrients for a healthier ecosystem. We are excited to be growing and are looking to fill key leadership roles in the company with people who can contribute to our team’s vision for a truly circular textile economy,” said Werewool cofounder and chief executive officer Chui-Lian Lee.
“We believe that biology will play an increasingly important role in the future of clothing and are excited to partner with Werewool in their mission to bring sustainable and biodegradable fibers to market,” said Michael Krel, partner at Sofinnova Partners.
“At Material Impact, we seek out deep tech innovation that has the capacity to solve enduring, large-scale, real-world problems,” said Corinna Chen, partner at Material Impact.
Material Impact sees the investment in Werewool as core to its thesis of leveraging the power of material science to usher the fashion industry into the next generation of bio-manufacturing.
“Werewool’s revolutionary fiber development platform offers the textile industry a breakthrough approach to sustainable and functional textiles,” she added.