Japanese biotech company Spiber has raised 5 billion yen ($43.86 million) through a value securitization structure organized by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

The increase follows a the allocation to third parties of new shares which was announced in September. Together, the two initiatives raised a total of $565 million in funding.

Spiber uses precision fermentation to produce polymers that can be used to make spider silk, wool, cashmere, leather, fur and other animal-free materials. While many vegan fabrics are criticized for their reliance on plastic, Spiber’s products are crude oil free and fully biodegradable.

The site of the proposed US facility. © Spiber

Mass production

In September, Spiber announced that some of the new funding would go towards opening a mass production facility in Iowa, USA. This will be the company’s second international facility, after opening one in Thailand earlier this year. While the Thai plant can manufacture hundreds of tons of polymers in a year, the Iowa site will be able to produce thousands.

Products made with Spiber’s materials are already on the market – for example, the company has teamed up with sportswear brand Goldwin to launch a sweater containing vegan spider silk. But the next challenge will be to produce the materials on a larger scale.

“One of the greatest turning points in the history of our company”

“We now stand at one of the greatest turning points in our company’s history,” Spiber Representative Director Kazuhide Sekiyama told The Worldfolio. “Until now, our main focus has been on advancing R&D initiatives and in-house development. From this moment, we move to the second stage of our business plan, which is to establish mass production in order to achieve product profitability. We look forward to seeing our materials in the hands of consumers globally in the coming years. »