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Bolt Threads Raises $50 Million, Forms New Partnership to Further its Mission to Deliver Sustainable, High Performance Fabrics

  • Formation 8 led Series C round; new investors Nan Fung and Innovation Endeavors validate the potential of Bolt Threads technology to transform sustainable fashion
  • Partnership with Patagonia to advance non-toxic processes for textile manufacturing

Emeryville, Calif. – May 11, 2016 – Bolt Threads, an American-based biotechnology company creating the next generation of high performance fabrics, today announced it has raised $50 million in Series C financing. Existing investor Formation 8 led the round, along with new investors including Nan Fung, a business conglomerate based in Hong Kong, and Innovation Endeavors. Other existing investors, including Alafi Capital, East West Capital, Foundation Capital and Founders Fund also participated.

Since launching out of stealth last year, Bolt Threads has attracted the interest of both new investors and partners, including Patagonia. The company is now producing its Engineered Silk™ protein at large scale, and is moving into yarn manufacturing this summer.

“The $1.5 trillion textiles industry hasn’t achieved a major step forward since the 1930s, with the development of nylon,” said Jim Kim, founder and managing partner of Formation 8.   “Bolt Threads’ engineered and elegant silks represent an opportunity to fundamentally impact and enable properties in clothing we never dreamed would be possible. Dan and the team at Bolt Threads are visionaries who have applied new age proprietary techniques to a non-traditional technology opportunity in a big, old-world sector. We look forward to the fashion and function trends that Bolt Threads will lead in textiles.”

Bolt Threads was co-founded in 2009 by CEO Dan Widmaier, Chief Scientific Officer David Breslauer, and Vice President of Operations Ethan Mirsky. The three were fascinated with natural silk, its properties and the process of its production in nature. This curiosity led them to develop technology to produce  Engineered Silk™ made wholly of natural proteins, creating a sustainable and durable new material. Together with partners like Patagonia, Bolt Threads is pioneering more sustainable and non-toxic processes for textile manufacturing.

“Manmade fabrics like nylon and polyester have transformed the fashion industry, for better and for worse,” said Widmaier. “The use of hydrocarbon polymers in these textiles has created a lingering toxic problem for the environment. At Bolt Threads, we’re re-thinking textile manufacturing, producing high performance materials that are also not nearly as harmful to the environment as existing options. It’s an incredibly important and challenging problem to solve and we’re excited to collaborate with Patagonia and other partners to make cleaner textile production a reality.”


The material world is about to get a whole new material. Bolt Threads is creating the next generation of performance fibers and fabrics using proprietary breakthroughs in industrial biotechnology. Working at the molecular level, Bolt Threads will transform the textiles market, turning renewable raw materials into products with outstanding properties that meet specific consumer needs.

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