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Sapro-Tech: Pioneering Mycelium Textile Company Achieves Commercial Milestone in Aotearoa

Sapro-Tech, a pioneering company based in New Zealand specializing in the production of advanced materials utilizing mycelium, has achieved a significant milestone by forging strategic partnerships with four leading fashion companies in the country - SABEN, taylor, Velvet Heartbeat, and YY NATION.

The introduction of Sapro-Tech's innovative partners program earlier in 2024 marked a strategic initiative aimed at establishing collaborative ties with prominent entities in the fashion, interior design, and automotive sectors. The primary objective of these alliances is to explore novel methodologies for product development while confronting the fashion industry's environmental footprint. Among the inaugural partners, taylor, SABEN, Velvet Heartbeat, and YY NATION have committed to pursuing more sustainable practices in material sourcing and manufacturing processes.

Dr. Keith Hudson, the Founder of Sapro-Tech, expressed his satisfaction at achieving this significant milestone, emphasizing the pivotal role of customer adoption in driving tangible change. "We are encouraged by the potential of mycelium-based materials, and witnessing the interest and commitment of our pioneering partners is truly gratifying," stated Dr. Hudson.

Roanne Jacobson, founder of SABEN, echoed Dr. Hudson's sentiments, emphasizing their shared commitment to innovation and sustainability within the fashion industry. Jacobson remarked, "By collaborating with Sapro-Tech, we are at the forefront of exploring alternative materials like mycelium textiles, offering transformative potential to mitigate environmental impact." Similarly, Jeremy Bank, founder of YY NATION, emphasized the alignment of values and objectives between YY NATION and Sapro-Tech, both striving to make positive environmental contributions through the adoption of innovative natural materials in fashion production.

Founded in Auckland's Outset Ventures, Sapro-Tech emerged from the Sprout Accelerator program and secured investment from Sprout and global tech investor Our Crowd in 2023. The company's founders and stakeholders perceive micro-organisms as a significant avenue for enhancing planetary efficiency. Leveraging a unique cultivation method, Sapro-Tech is positioned to facilitate large-scale production of its materials to meet market demands.

The burgeoning next-gen materials market has garnered substantial investment, exceeding US$3 billion over the past decade, with nearly US$0.5 billion in 2023 alone amidst a downturn in venture funding markets. Projections indicate a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.4% for the next decade, with mycelium-based materials currently constituting only 8% of the market share.

According to the brand, 67% of customers consider the environmental impact and sustainability of their fashion products when making a purchasing decision. 2/3 of customers have actively changed their lifestyles, including shopping habits, to become more sustainable, and the sustainable fashion market is expected to grow to $9.81 billion in 2025.

In pursuit of continued innovation and expansion, Sapro-Tech is presently seeking pre-seed investment and plans to raise a subsequent seed funding round in 2025 to support the establishment of a pilot plant dedicated to the global distribution of mycelium-based materials.


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