Emeryville, Calif.-based specialty fabrics startup Bolt Threads has received $32.3 million in Series B funding to back its development of bacteria-based threads for the apparel industry. Investors include Foundation Capital, Founders Fund, Formation 8 and Alafi Capital. Added to a previously undisclosed infusion of $7.7 million, the company has drawn some $40 million in backing.
The so-called spider-milk silk is said to be stronger and softer to the touch than silk produced by spiders. It is a derivation of previous attempts to create an artificial silk product using milk from genetically engineered goats.
Bolt Threads will also create its own line of consumer products and will build relationships with other textile manufacturing operations, with a target of bringing its fabric to both the public and manufacturers by 2016.
“This notion of making silk that you can wash, is dyeable or is UV-resistant is pretty incredible,” Foundation Capital’s Steve Vassallo told online technology news site TechCrunch. “Bolt Threads is uniquely positioned to commercialize technology that people have dreamt about for decades.”