South Korean start-up creating mushroom-based biomaterials gets funding

Mycel is a South Korean start-up, focused on making fungal-based biomaterials that can replace leather and meat. Co-founder and CEO of Mycel Sungjin Sah has stated that the company uses mycelium, a root-like structure of mushroom, to make leather substitutes that can be used in car seats and luxury cosmetic products, and fashion products like shoes, clothes and bags.

Now, Mycel is in talks with global cosmetic brands to co-develop the mycelium-based leather products as well as cosmetics ingredients, Sah said, adding that it aims to commercialize its mushroom leather in 2023. Also, the company has raised $10 million in a pre-Series A round of funding.

The Seoul-headquartered firm will use this new funding to open a production plant in South Korea for scaling the manufacture of its fungal-based biomaterials and double its headcount to 42 employees, Sah said in an interview.


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