Founded in 2008, AMSilk is a German industrial company that produces and distributes high-quality silk biopolymers made from plant-based raw material via bacterial fermentation. Biopolymers are natural polymers produced by the cells of living organisms.
With the mission to lead change by using better and more sustainable products like biomaterials, the business has developed 100% fully recyclable, biodegradable, biocompatible silk biopolymers that can be applied to a variety of industries.
For example, AMSilk has created fabrics for apparel, footwear, and automotive interiors with its Biosteel product, a biotech vegan silk-based fiber. In addition, the silk proteins created by the company can be applied to medical devices such as implants or surgical mesh; it can also be used in gel or spray form for wound and skin care. The business claims its technology has been tested in vitro, in vivo, and in human medical studies.
While AMSilk specializes in fabrics and medical applications, the company has been involved in other industries as well. In 2018, the business partnered with Airbus to develop composite fibers for lightweight, high-performance planes.
Furthermore, AMSilk stated it sold its cosmetics unit to Givaudan in 2019 for an undisclosed amount. Last year, AMSilk claims its silk coating was successfully tested in Polytech silicone breast implants in an international clinical study of silk-coated medical implants. Polytech is a silicone implant manufacturer.
Series C Investment
AMSilk announced it raised €29 million (about $35.3 million) in a Series C financing round led by Novo Growth, a growth equity arm of Novo Holdings. New investors such as Cargill and E.R. Capital Holdings also participated in this round alongside other existing investors. A valuation for the business was not disclosed.
Kartik Dharmadhikari, Partner at Novo Growth, said in a statement, “AMSilk’s technology has the potential to revolutionize a number of industries and be part of the decarbonization push needed to overcome the biggest environmental challenges of our time. The company has made immense progress in enhancing its high-performance bio-based materials and we are delighted to lead this financing which will enable them to expand the business globally…”
The new capital will help accelerate the ongoing scale-up of industrial projects worldwide. In addition, the business will drive further into the internationalization of its commercial activities by exploring new customers in new international markets. AMSilk did not disclose what those new markets are. Moreover, Dharmadhikari, Anders Bendsen Spohr, senior partner at Novo Holdings, and Melissa Simon from ATHOS KG, will join the Supervisory Board for the company.
Many companies around the world currently produce different biomaterials like metal, ceramics, composite materials, and more for a variety of different industries. The global biomaterials market size was worth $106.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 16% from 2020 to 2027.
Bolt Threads and Spiber Inc. are just a couple of competitors to AMSilk in the silk biomaterial space.
While the business name may not be instantly recognizable, the company has made a huge impact on the tech industry as it is used across many huge digital platforms and services. The startup has had a ton of growth since its inception, and with the funding from companies like Microsoft, the business has tremendous expectations for even further growth and popularity.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.