SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SK networks has joined an investment on an innovative eco-friendly materials company in pursuit of sustainability and ESG value and also to set the eco-friendly material business as one of the company’s new growth engine.
SK networks (President: Sang Kyu Park) announced on January 14 that it has decided to invest 20 million USD on the Series C funding round of MycoWorks (located in the Silicon Valley, U.S.), the eco-friendly alternative leather company, aimed to raise 125 million USD for technology development and commercialization. 20 million USD is the second largest amount and the largest strategic investment in this round
In addition to the investment agreement, SK networks and MycoWorks have also made an agreement in relation to their collaboration for future business opportunities such as establishment of manufacturing JV, building a sales and distribution network, developing new materials using mycelium.
MycoWorks is a leader in alternative leather market with mycelium-based leather manufacturing technology. Mycelium leather is an eco-friendly product that dramatically reduces environmental pollution and carbon emission. According to UNIDO, mycelium leather can reduce carbon emission and water usage by more than 90% compared to animal leather. In addition, mycelium leather is superior to other leather alternatives for its advantages in terms of quality and manufacturing lead time. As of now, only two companies in the world including MycoWorks own commercial-level mycelium leather technology. MycoWorks secures its competitiveness with its superior leather quality and number of IPs in relation to the manufacturing process. MycoWorks is now widening its customer pool starting from industry leading brands such as Hermes, Chanel, Balenciaga and Nike.
SK networks has been studying the relevant field and participated in US bio startup fund in 2020. On that process, SK networks valued MycoWorks’ on its business competitiveness and sustainability. The investment decision has been made after extensive industry analysis and due diligence with SK group. This investment is also aligned with the SK group’s four key areas; advanced materials, bio, green and digital.
Ho Jeong Lee, Executive Vice President of SK Networks said, “Based on our previous experiences and capabilities on fashion business, we approached to this investment case in the view of lifestyle consumer goods. We have come to a final investment decision on MycoWorks considering alternative leather market value and sustainability.”
Starting with this investment, SK networks will identify investment opportunities in eco-friendly material field with the aiming to develop them as future growth engines and reinforce company’s network to the industry leaders. The company also plans to seek growth engines associated with future technology and customer trend and to expand relevant partnerships. SK networks will continue global seeding investment in accordance with company’s future strategy to enhance its search for a new growth engine.
SOURCE SK networks