Rubi Laboratories Raises $4.5M in Seed Funding to Supply Major Fashion Brands with Carbon Negative Textiles | News

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 16, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Today, Rubi Laboratories – the pioneer in carbon negative cellulosic textiles – announces that it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Talis Capital and Necessary Ventures, with participation from Climactic, Collaborative Fund, Plug and Play, Incite Ventures, Darco Capital, Cayuse Partners, Axial VC, Climate Capital Collective and CapitalX. A number of industry leaders have joined as angel investors, including James ReinhartCEO and Founder of thredUP; Manny MashoufCEO and Founder of Baby Stores; Nicolaj Reffstrup, founder of GANNI; Alexander Lorestanti, CEO and co-founder of Geltor; and Rei Wang, co-founder of The Grand and former CEO of Dorm Room Fund. The tour also includes a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The funding will enable Rubi’s R&D and marketing to meet the textile needs of major fashion brands.

Founded in 2020 by Neeka and Leila Mashouf, Rubi Laboratories is pioneering the creation of carbon-negative cellulosic textiles through its patent-pending cell-free biocatalytic process, starting with viscose. To accomplish this, Rubi captures CO2 from manufacturing facility waste streams using its proprietary enzyme system that can capture and convert CO2 from an incoming gas at any concentration. The CO2 is then converted into cellulose, which can then be used to create viscose-based yarn. By using enzymes as a catalyst, Rubi is able to transform 100% of the CO2 introduced into the final product without any waste.

Rubi offers a negative carbon, zero water and zero land alternative to $15 billion the viscose industry, which generally relies on pulp derived from wood. Around 35% of major fashion brand SKUs are made from viscose, a statistic that is expected to increase by 8% every year through 2025. Viscose is the world’s third most widely used textile, with key uses outside fashion in the automotive industry for items like tires. While Rubi will initially focus on the fashion market, the company’s longer-term plans include applying the same technology to other industries such as food, packaging and building materials. .

The company has raised funds at a critical time for the fashion industry as major brands set ambitious goals of zero carbon or reduced carbon emissions by 2030. Overall, the fashion industry is the third most CO2 polluting supply chain in the world. world, with the majority of emissions coming from the textile supply chain. Even though today’s viscose and cotton textiles are derived from plants, their processing and manufacturing generates more than 10 kg of CO2 per kg of textile. Rubi’s technology allows its textiles to be net carbon negative per kg of textile. There is immense market pressure on fashion businesses to become more sustainable: at least 60% of fashion customers are demanding sustainable choices, meaning the industry could see a $52 billion reduced profits by 2030 if no action is taken. The most common problem for these brands is sourcing carbon-free materials that can be suitable for production, and at price parity: 200 major fashion retailers are already paying a premium for organic cotton.

The founders’ vision to innovate a zero-carbon fashion industry was formed in their unique experience in both technology and fashion. CEO Neeka published her first paper on artificial photosynthesis at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab at age 15, earned concurrent degrees in materials engineering and business at UC Berkeley, then went on to manage products at Lyft and Autodesk before founding Rubi. CTO Leila has a background in bioengineering and research in novel cancer immunotherapies, working on nanobiopolymer drug delivery platforms, oncolytic viruses, cell therapies presenting artificial antigens, and protein conjugates modified since the beginning. age of 15, although more recently as a graduate researcher at Stanford University Department of Neurosurgery and Bioengineering. She earned her BSc in Computational Neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate in medicine in the course of Harvard Medical School. The sisters also bring a lifetime of exposure to fashion retail after growing up in space with their family business. Baby Storesfounded by their uncle Manny Mashoufwhich has grown into a multi-billion dollar fashion empire.

Rubi’s first textile samples should be available in March 2022. Rubi has validated its technology by creating a successful prototype and currently has agreed test plans with many leading global retail and fashion brands. Rubi is also in talks with various multinational energy and manufacturing companies to supply CO2 to increase production.

Neeka MashoufCEO and Co-Founder of Rubi Laboratories, said, “We are at a pivotal moment where mature modern technologies and advances in biotechnology can meet to build a world where human prosperity and economic growth are positive for the planet. . and government pressure to solve fashion’s dependence on carbon-intensive textiles, innovation in textiles can have a huge impact on reducing fashion’s carbon emissions. In return, we’re seeing brands demonstrate their willingness to pay a premium for these materials – so long as there is a tangible line of sight to eventually achieve price parity with traditional materials – both because they know it will lower costs in the long run , but also because it helps them achieve their sustainability goals. , Necessary Ventures and influential funds and angels in this space to bring Rubi’s vision to commercialization!”

Cecilia Manduca, Partner at Talis Capital, said: “Contrary to great corporate stories of the past decade, we believe the next trillion-dollar companies in this space will not create new markets like Airbnb and Uber l have done, but rather will replace existing trillion dollar markets with better, cheaper and cleaner sustainable alternatives.We strongly believe that Neeka and Leila’s unique combined experience in science academia, product and retail will allow Rubi to become a winner in this space. We’re excited to see how this capital can boost the next phase of their journey and we’re excited to be a part of it!”

Neil DevaniManaging Director of Necessary Ventures, said, “Neeka and Leila are building something the world really needs. More sustainable, affordable and logistically flexible supply chains are a priority in many sectors. This is something we experienced with Solugen in the chemical industry. With Rubi and textiles, there is also a palpable response from consumers getting in on the fight against climate change, which is generating excitement in the fashion and apparel industry. Even the videos the team released on TikTok are generating strong engagement within just a few weeks of testing. They have already started attracting great talent and sparking interest, and I am proud to support them in this important mission.

Matthew ClaxtonGlobal Director of Sustainability at Plug and Play Tech Center, said, “Plug and Play is very excited to be part of Rubi Laboratories’ journey. Their ability to target two large markets and significant environmental challenges is something we are proud to support. Neeka and Leila are knowledgeable and driven: we are confident that their innovative company will bring a new and game-changing product to many industries looking to meet their carbon commitments.”

Press contacts:

Ellie Crocker

ellie@taliscapital.com

+447799463008

About Rubi Laboratories

Rubi manufactures carbon negative textiles for the fashion industry with synthetic biology. Founded in 2020, the company manufactures the same high-quality, natural textiles used in industry today entirely from carbon emissions, bypassing current agriculture and manufacturing to create a carbon-neutral, neutral product. for water and land and naturally biodegradable.

Rubi was founded by two twin sisters, Neeka Mashouf and Leila Mashoufwho grew up in the fashion industry with a global family fashion brand, Baby Stores. Neeka and Leila went on to study to become materials and biology scientists, and eventually teamed up to reinvent fashion supply chains with proprietary bio-manufacturing technology that is inherently positive for the planet. Rubi represents hard science, fashion, climate justice, and Gen-Zs securing our own planetary future. To learn more, visit http://www.rubi.earth.

About Talis Capital

Founded in 2009, Talis is a Londonbased venture capital firm, backing visionary seed and Series A founders in the US and Europe. Investing on behalf of an interdisciplinary community of entrepreneurs who have built billion-dollar companies, Talis is uniquely positioned to add value across the entire entrepreneurial journey, supporting founders who see the future differently. at every stage of their business life cycle. Darktrace (LSE), Onfido, Ynsect, Garten, Luminance, iwoca, Plum Guide and Pirate.com are part of Talis’ portfolio of over 55 companies. For more information, see http://www.taliscapital.com.

About the companies needed

Necessary Ventures invests in what the world needs, with a focus on early-stage companies tackling health, education, financial services and climate challenges. We help founders use mission-driven stories to drive tangible business results and reach scale faster. To learn more, visit http://www.necessary.vc.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capitalists, universities and government agencies. Based in Silicon Valley, we are present in more than 35 locations on five continents. We deliver enterprise innovation programs and support our partner companies at every stage of their innovation journey, from training to execution. We also run startup accelerator programs and have built an internal VC to drive innovation in several industries where we have invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/.

Media Contact

Ellie Crocker, Rubi Laboratories+447799463008, ellie@taliscapital.com

SOURCE Rubi Laboratories

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