Former winner of green startup competition receives investment of 100 million dollars

News overview

Ecovative offers globally successful sustainable solutions through innovative use of mushroom mycelium

Amsterdam, 16 April 2021 - Ecovative, the pioneer of mycelium materials, raised more than 100 million dollars this month from various investors in order to further expand its production. Ecovative’s founder Eben Bayer was 23 years old when Ecovative was named the first winner in 2008 of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, one of the world's largest annual competitions in sustainable business plans. Ecovative was selected from 235 entries and awarded 500,000 euros. Ecovative's mycelium materials are now being used for the textile, food and packaging industries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Ecovative was founded in 2007 by two students, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre. They won the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge in 2008 with their revolutionary product. In addition to a financial contribution of 500,000 euros in order to further develop their product, Stichting DOEN, the Postcode Lotery's investment fund, assisted the company's further development in the subsequent years with investment capital from the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge Fund. The ‘mushroom materials’ packaging is now an alternative for tens of thousands of styrofoam packaging components.

From mushrooms to packaging material
Ecovative is a company from Green Island, New York that grows high-performance, low-environmental impact products from mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. Ecovative’s first product was a green packaging material used to protect items such as computers, auto parts and bottles of wine during the shipping process. The product has also proved to be a success as insulation material in construction. For its packaging materials, Ecovative combines agricultural waste such as hemp with mycelium, the branched mould filaments of mushrooms. By growing the combination material in moulds, it can take on any desired shape. The result is a 100 percent natural material that can be crumbled and added to the compost pile after use.

New funding will support textile and food applications
Ecovative announced at the end of March that it raised an amount of 60 million dollars in a Series D financing round led by Viking Global Investors. Part of the investment will be used to scale up the production facility. Another part will be used to develop Ecovative’s latest product offerings, including mycelium-based textiles that can perform similarly to animal leather and plant-based meat, starting with bacon. Yesterday, Ecovative’s spinout food company, AtLast Food Co., announced that it raised raised 40 million dollars in a series A investment round led by Viking Global investors, with participation from founders and leaders of Applegate, Stonyfield and Whole Foods. This investment will enable the company to further develop its products and offer them worldwide via partners and directly to consumers via its MyEats brand. Together, Ecovative and Atlast have raised100 million dollars in the past month.

Eben Bayer: "Since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2008, Ecovative has grown into the leading producer of mycelium materials worldwide," said Eben Bayer, CEO and co-founder at Ecovative. "We are in vendor conversations with many companies throughout the Netherlands, and will use this latest round of funding to extend our partner and distribution networks throughout Europe."

Sigrid van Aken, Chairperson of Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge: “It is great to see that winning the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, along with the subsequent investments from the Green Challenge fund, can really act as a catalyst. Ecovative required startup time, but it is now an enormously successful business. The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge has been able to help several sustainable startups each year since 2008. We hope that these companies become just as successful as Ecovative”.