Bucha Bio Accelerates Manufacturing Plans for Biobased Materials
Biomaterials science innovator Bucha Bio announced on 28 September an oversubscribed $1.1 million Seed Round. BUCHA BIO makes biobased materials using bacterial nanocellulose and other plant-based components that replace unsustainable conventional leathers and plastics. The new funding will accelerate the company's move to market by securing co-manufacturers to scale material production for market availability in 2023.
Several key hires will also join the growing team, including a new supply chain lead and technician roles. Additionally, funding will support the construction of the company's new Houston headquarters, housing a materials development laboratory, prototype manufacturing line, and offices.
Investors in the round include existing partners New Climate Ventures, Lifely VC, and Beni VC, accompanied by new partners Prithvi VC, Asymmetry VC, and investors from the Glasswall Syndicate, including Alwyn Capital, as well as Chris Zarou, CEO & Founder of Visionary Music Group and manager of multi-platinum Grammy-nominated rapper, Logic.
Zarou emphasized his excitement, saying, "I'm excited to back BUCHA BIO's amazing early market traction.
“Their next-gen biobased materials are game-changing, and their goals align with my personal vision for a more sustainable future within the entertainment industry and beyond."
BUCHA BIO now has two biobased materials in development – SHORAI™ and HIKARI™. SHORAI™can be used as an alternative to animal leather, plastic leather, or other types of synthetic materials. HIKARI™ is the newest offering, featuring a translucent aesthetic and unique processing capabilities to be formally introduced in November of this year.
Parallel to expanding their technical team, BUCHA BIO plans to continue to unlock new form factors for their technology, including biofibers, biopackaging, and hard biocomposites.
Applicable industries include fashion, automotive, home goods, electronics, and construction. BUCHA BIO's ultimate goal is to bring new material concepts from idea to finished product in-house via a library of biobased components, a prototype manufacturing line, and the company's core bacterial nanocellulose technology.
Next-gen materials, including biomaterials, have seen an increased level of interest from investors who have poured $2.3 billion into the sector since 2015, according to industry organization Material Innovation Initiative.
Eric Rubenstein, Founding Managing Partner at New Climate Ventures, also recognizes the increased interest, "The time for rapid growth for biomaterials is now. BUCHA BIO's team and technical development are advancing hand in hand with the demands of brand partnerships, and we are excited to support them as they capitalize on this global opportunity."
As brands and investors push for the scaling of biomaterials, climate science also supports adopting BUCHA BIO's technology. The goal of reaching net zero emissions in industries like fashion and automotive places biomaterials in a good position as they typically have lower emissions than existing conventional materials.
"Prithvi Ventures invested in Bucha Bio to help them achieve gigaton scale GHG emissions reduction, using a price parity roadmap." says our second biggest investor, Kunal Sethi of Prithvi Ventures.