Modern Meadow, based in Nutley, produces a leather alternative made of sustainable biofabricated materials. Its technology produces animal-free collagen, something naturally found in animal hides, through a fermentation process using yeast cells.
“Consumer demand for non-animal derived products is increasing rapidly,” said Lutz Stoeber, investment director for Evonik Venture Capital in North America in a statement. “With this investment Evonik is supporting Modern Meadow in developing a sustainable animal-friendly technology.”
Through the partnership, Evonik is supporting the development of a commercial scale process to produce collagen. The investment strengthens Evonik’s health care business line.
The biofabricated material more closely resembles leather than synthetic equivalents, according to Evonik. Zoa, Modern Meadow’s first branded line, will offer material in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colors, which can then go on to fulfill various applications such as automotive, footwear, furniture, garments and bags.
Collagen has pharmaceutical and medical applications as well, promoting the healing of wounds and tissue regeneration, which Evonik has research activity in.
The companies first partnered together in March 2018 to bring Modern Meadow’s collagen production to commercial scale while optimizing the process productivity.
“We look forward to accelerating our growth and scaling our technology with their support and expertise,” said Andras Forgacs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Modern Meadow in a statement.