London-based cleantech startup Arda Biomaterials has raised £1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round aimed at fueling the company’s continued development of transforming waste feedstocks into biomaterials to be used in the fashion home goods, and automotive industries.
The company’s first outing, aptly dubbed “New Grain” uses waste barley grain from the beer brewing industry, and via a series of chemical and materials science processes, outputs to a leather alternative that’s entirely plastic and animal free.
“The production of leather is particularly resource intensive and the current alternatives are riddled with plastic,” explains Arda CTO Edward TJ Mitchell. “The chemical composition in waste grain is uniquely suited to be transformed into a material that can resemble many of the properties of leather and more.”
Arda’s £1.1 million pre-seed round was led by Clean Growth Fund and saw the participation of Plug and Play, Serpentine Ventures, Satgana, and a group of angel investors active in the alternative protein, fashion, and climate tech ecosystems.
Arda’s New Grain product is expected to soon complete its biodegradability testing, and the company says that they’ll have a commercial offer, albeit in limited quantities, ready to be sold to brands for the consumer market within the next 12 months.
“I am thrilled that we can skip the cow to create a truly novel product that to date has been 100% animal and plastic-free. Now we can drink our beer and wear it too,” concluded Arda CEO Brett Cotten.