MADRID and IRAPUATO, Mexico/ZURICH — March 15, 2022 — Polybion, the company growing next-generation materials designed with nature and manufactured with biology, today announced its bacterial cellulose facility is scaling up production, and the successful closing of a $4.4 million (4 million euros) Series A financing round led by Blue Horizon.
At maximum capacity, Polybion’s solar-powered, industrial-scale bacterial cellulose manufacturing facility will produce 1.1 million square feet per year of the company’s proprietary biotextile Celium®. Polybion is using the new funds 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.”
Polybion was founded in 2015 by Mexican brothers Axel and Alexis Gómez-Ortigoza and Bárbara González Rolón. Together, they developed the tools and technology to grow high-performance bio-assembled materials by upcycling agro-industrial food waste and harnessing living organisms such as bacteria. Leveraging waste as raw material and designing, producing, and finishing products under the same roof are the north stars in Polybion’s long-term strategy.
Celium® is the first in a series of new biomaterials Polybion plans to create. Produced from the most abundant and versatile material on Earth – cellulose – Celium is an animal-free leather substitute with unique, high-performance characteristics that will ensure it becomes a new gold standard material 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.”
Posted: March 15, 2022