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April 27, 2022

Tomtex raises $1.7m to scale leather alternatives operation

Tomtex, a company developing plastic-free bio based material created from seafood shell waste or mushroom waste as a sustainable alternative to leather has raised US$1.7m in pre-seed funding to scale its operation.

By Hannah Abdulla

Tomtex confirmed the round was led by SOSV, joined by Nucleus Adventures Capital, C3 Ventures, CRCM Ventures, Gaingels, Portfolia Food and AgTech Fund, Chasing Rainbow Ventures and Angels.

The investment will be used to fuel research and the scaling up of its engineered chitosan biomaterial technology.

Stephen Chambers, partner and managing director of IndieBio New York, a part of SOSV, said: “At IndieBio, we look for companies that want to make a difference in the world and have the passion and skills to deliver on their dreams, and we found that in abundance with Tomtex.

“The company combines designer sensibility and material science to build a sustainable material with both the aesthetic and performance of natural leather.

“We are pleased to support Tomtex as they look to disrupt the fashion world by delivering sustainable alternatives to animal and plastic leathers. We will continue to leverage our extensive network of investors and industry professionals to strengthen the company’s ability to scale these sustainable materials and maximise their role in decarbonising the economy.”

Tomtex’s first market will be the luxury leather goods industry valued at $74bn in 2022.

“I started Tomtex based on my experience in textile pollution and leather manufacturing just a few blocks from my home in Vietnam,” said Uyen Tran, founder and CEO. “Look around us, materials are the starting point for everything. I believe that materials fundamentally have a great impact in our everyday lives and lifestyles. At Tomtex, we envision a world where people surround themselves with high-performing materials, sourced directly from waste, not from fossil fuels.”

The company’s patent pending technology uses 100% biobased inputs and produces high-performance, exceptionally green materials.

Dr. Ross McBee, co-founder and CSO, said: “We’re thrilled to continue to develop and scale our process to bring the next generation of biomaterials into the hands of consumers.”

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