Danish startup Beyond Leather Materials, a company that produces plant-based and eco-friendly alternatives to animal leather, raised €1.1 million seed investment with Rockstart and Vækstfonden, led by Angel Investor Steen Ulf Jensen via Jensengroup Investment Fund to further advance their production facilities.
Mikael Eydt, CEO of Beyond Leather Materials, says: “We believe that we can deliver high value and sustainable leather alternatives that are based on fruit waste. We have been developing our animal-free product for 3 years, and with this funding, we are now able to set up our production line and enter the market this year.”
The company is planning to enter the €70 billion leather supplier market this year and will start to provide it’s material to the fashion industry. With this funding, the company is planning to open a new production facility in the Copenhagen area and expand its team.
Mark Durno, the Managing Partner of the Rockstart AgriFood, said: “At the core of Rockstart we aim to help reduce food loss and waste; Beyond Leather, Materials fits perfectly into this mission by upcycling food process by-product into high-end sustainable fashion textiles. It was excellent to see the team progress so far during the accelerator, and ultimately access and build the investor consortium during the program. This is a perfect example of how we like to collaborate with startups, investors, mentors, and partners.”
Based out of Copenhagen, Beyond Leather Materials supplies sustainable alternative textile based on apple pulp, the byproduct from juice and cider production. The product is fully biodegradable, animal-free, and much more sustainable than animal-derived or synthetic leather.
Lead investor Steen Ulf Jensen said: “Hannah and Mikael are an exceptionally talented founder team. They have invented a unique patent-pending solution that solves a huge environmental problem caused by the production processes involved in producing animal leather. The massive inbound interest in Beyond Leather Materials’ first product proves to me they are creating real value for both the fashion industry and increasingly conscious consumers”
Launched in 2011 in Amsterdam, Rockstart is an international accelerator that supports and empowers the best startups on their way to success across four domains: Energy, Health, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies. The accelerator provides startups with access to capital, market, community, and expertise by connecting them to partners, investors, mentors, and the wider Rockstart network.
Main image credits: Rockstart