Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) has generated $15M which is to be used mainly to meet the demand of Mirum and Clarus product lines. With these new funds, NFW will scale production to meet the needs of existing partnerships and move into new markets like the automotive industry that need a permanent, sustainable solution to replace synthetic materials.
The round was led by The Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA), with participation by BMW i Ventures, Prairie Crest Capital, Ethos, For Good Ventures, and Evolution VC Partners.
Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) has generated $15M which is to be used mainly to meet the demand of Mirum and Clarus product lines. With these new funds, NFW will scale production to meet the needs of existing partnerships and move into new markets like the automotive industry that need a permanent, sustainable solution to replace synthetic materials.#
According to a report, synthetic leather materials are estimated to be the largest segment of the automotive upholstery market. With its durability, quality, and tunability, the company’s patented material Mirum is well-suited to displace both animal leather and synthetic leather alternatives as plastic-free alternative with high-performance.
“With our new manufacturing capabilities, and the support of companies like CDVCA and BMW i Ventures, we are advancing NFW’s mission to eliminate the need for plastics in the shoes we walk in, the upholstery we sit on, and accessories that surround us in our everyday life,” said Dr. Luke Haverhals, CEO and founder of NFW. “The extensibility of our platform and the tunability of NFW materials means that we can serve many customers spanning multiple large, global markets. We are energised daily by the commitment of major brands and companies to partner with NFW as we work to leave the world better than we found it.”
Earlier this year, NFW announced 110,000 square feet of new manufacturing space dedicated to the production of Mirum, NFW’s high-performance, plant-based leather. NFW currently employs approximately 130 people at their Peoria headquarters.
“Right now is an important time to be investing in companies like NFW. Our investments focus on helping underserved communities through business growth, and ensuring people have access to good quality jobs,” said Kerwin Tesdell, president, CDVCA. “We are excited to make an investment that will help NFW succeed in this next chapter.”
Part of the investment was raised in connection with the Federal New Markets Tax Credit programme and the Illinois New Markets Development programme, economic development tools designed to bring more investment capital to distressed communities in Illinois, with the goal of job creation. With the expansion, NFW expects to add 240 new jobs to the Peoria area.
Leveraging the strength and diversity of virgin and recycled plant matter, such as coconut husk, rice hulls, and cork, Mirum requires no plastic binders or coating. The material is durable and luxurious, making it a well-suited leather alternative.
“Natural Fiber Welding has developed an innovative process of converting plants into all-natural, 100 per cent recyclable material that mimic all the properties of traditional leather, yarns and foams. Having a scalable, cost-competitive alternative to leather with premium qualities is key to further advancing the decarbonisation of the automotive industry,” said Kasper Sage, managing partner at BMW i Ventures.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)