NEW YORK – AlgiKnit, a biomaterials company which is developing yarn spun from kelp, has announced a US$2.2m Series Seed round of financing led by Horizons Ventures. The funding aims to help push the start-up through the next steps of development, towards manufacturing and commercialisation of its bio-derived yarn. Kelp is a large brown seaweed that typically has a long, tough stalk.
AlgiKnit spins yarn from a combination of algae and plant biopolymers, primarily including kelp, one of the fastest growing organisms on earth. This seaweed is said to absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at a rate up to five times faster than land-based plants and improves marine habitats. By using a non-toxic wet-spinning process, the company aims to transform these biopolymers into a strong, hypoallergenic and compostable yarn. In theory, when products made from AlgiKnit’s yarn are worn out, they can be bio-recycled and reclaimed for the next generation of products.
“Our goal at AlgiKnit is to make fashion synonymous with sustainability,” said Aaron Nesser, co-founder and CEO of AlgiKnit. “AlgiKnit Yarn sidesteps the harmful impacts of conventional fibres, the result is a material with exceptional sustainability performance, which does not contribute to microfibre or micro-plastic pollution. We’re exceptionally pleased to be working with such visionary partners.”
Bart Swanson, Advisor to Horizons Ventures added: “Climate change affects everyone. We are excited that Algiknit’s biomaterials will give a sustainable option to the textile and fibre industry.”
Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Mr. Li Ka-shing, is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies including Facebook, Waze, Spotify, Siri, Improbable, and Impossible Foods.
AlgiKnit Inc. was founded in 2017 with a mission to transform the fashion industry, utilising science and design to create new, sustainable materials that fit into a circular economy.