Dutch biotech innovator NEFFA (New Fashion Factory) proudly announces the successful closure of its seed funding round, signalling a significant milestone in its mission to revolutionize the fashion and interior industries through the use of innovative automated, seamless 3D manufacturing technology powered by circular lab-grown materials, including the revolutionary mushroom-based MYCOTEX.
Founded by Aniela Hoitink, NEFFA has attracted a prestigious consortium of investors, each bringing not only essential funding but also a wealth of industry expertise and influential connections, having extensive experience in biotechnology and fashion. This achievement also reaffirms the trust of NEFFA's current investors, who share the vision of a brighter future for sustainable technology and materials.
The seed funding round was spearheaded by the Dutch Industrial Biotech Seed Fund, managed by the Cleantech Team of Capricorn Partners, an experienced investment firm in Cleantech and Technology. Collaborating alongside are two of NEFFA's existing institutional investors: the DOEN Foundation and ROM Utrecht Region. The final partner in this stellar consortium is PDS Ventures, a fashion-centric fund committed to fostering a sustainable value chain within the fashion industry.
Nicoline van Enter, Co-founder of NEFFA, underscores the alignment between the company's mission and its investors: "NEFFA offers a holistic solution to the sustainability challenges faced by the fashion and interior industries. These sectors grapple not only with material concerns but also supply chain complexities. Our goal is to enable local, on-demand production with customization options and a robust end-of-life system. Having spent considerable time in the fashion industry ourselves, Aniela and I appreciate the multifaceted nature of these issues. Hence, our approach encompasses a full spectrum, from a digital 3D design system to lab-grown natural materials that can be home-composted, and a zero-waste robotic production line."
NEFFA's commitment to translating vision into action is evident through its partnership with German machine producer DESMA. Together, they have already conducted successful tests on a pioneering robotic production cell, leveraging technologies commonly found in current manufacturing processes. This strategic move ensures that NEFFA's innovative system is primed for scalability. The newly secured capital will drive the development of this production line to pilot scale, while simultaneously enhancing the quality and versatility of NEFFA's materials.
Aniela Hoitink highlights one of NEFFA's unique advantages: "Distinguishing us from most competitors, we employ liquid biomass, enabling us to construct products in 3D. In the past year, our biochemistry lab has unearthed several promising material compositions previously unexplored, endowing our materials with unparalleled versatility and tactile qualities. The infusion of new funding will allow us to further refine and patent these groundbreaking innovations."
The investment in NEFFA marks the first investment for the Dutch Industrial Biotech Seed Fund. As an early-stage Article 9 Fund, it invests in young ventures that use the power of industrial biotech to solve sustainability challenges. Damien van der Bijl, Investment Director at Capricorn Partners: “We truly believe in the holistic approach of NEFFA to tackle the big sustainability challenges of the fashion industry, by offering a fully sustainable material, as well as reductions in waste and water usage. On top of that, the NEFFA method offers designers a whole new universe of possibilities in shapes, textures, and functionality. We really look forward to the exciting products that designers and brands will create with NEFFA!”.
Following its initial investment in 2021, ROM Utrecht Region is continuing its support to NEFFA by means of its participation in this new investment round. Juri van Dolderen, Senior Investment Manager at ROM Utrecht Region: “The highly innovative and sustainable supply chain solution by NEFFA has the potential to transform the fashion and interior industry. Our continued commitment shows our appreciation of the considerable development NEFFA has demonstrated since our investment in 2021.”
The DOEN Foundation has been supporting NEFFA since 2020. Now its investment arm, DOEN Participaties, comes on board. Noortje van Heijst, Investment Associate at DOEN Participaties says: “DOEN Participaties supports pioneers that are on the forefront of the transition towards a regenerative economy. We are thrilled to continue being part of NEFFA’s journey and their ambition to transform the fashion and interior industries. With its innovation production process NEFFA enables the adoption of alternative, low-impact materials, zero-waste production and local supply chains.”
PDS Ventures Irene Maffini states: “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Aniela, Nicoline, the team, and DESMA. We are particularly excited about the potential for NEFFA as a platform for bio-materials, poised to revolutionize zero-waste, 3D seamless manufacturing across fashion, footwear, and interior applications. NEFFA stands as a catalyst for unlocking unprecedented possibilities at the convergence of materials, on-demand manufacturing, and robotics, marking a new era of innovation and sustainability”.
NEFFA's successful seed funding round not only marks a significant step forward for the company but also reaffirms the growing momentum of sustainable solutions within the fashion and interior industries. As NEFFA continues to push the boundaries of what's possible, the global community can look forward to a more sustainable, customizable, and environmentally conscious future.