Vegan leather maker raises $130 million, brings fashion veteran on as CEO

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In New Jersey, Modern Meadow, a startup developing biofabricated materials with properties similar to leather, has raised $130 million in a series C funding. 

Led by Key Partners Capital with participation from Astanor Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Cape Capital, the Series C “cements Modern Meadow as a leader in biofabrication,” according to a press release. 

The company also announced it has appointed Anna Bakst CEO. Bakst, who has served as chair of Modern Meadow’s board, previously served as Brand President and CEO of Kate Spade. From 2003-2016, she drove the launch and growth of Michael Kors Accessories and Footwear. She also led the Licensing, Accessories, and Footwear Divisions at Donna Karan International for over 12 years. 

“We’ve developed a technology platform with nature that can save nature,” said Bakst, “The heart of our company will always be research and innovation. We’ve now reached an inflection point where products built on our platform can beat industry standards on quality and value. I’m excited to work with our team and partners to bring those products to market.”

Bakst replaces Andras Forgacs, who has served as CEO of the company since founding the business and will remain with the company as board director.  “It has been a privilege to have led Modern Meadow from early development to the cusp of commercialization,” said Forgacs adds. “I am excited to welcome Anna as she builds upon our shared vision to leverage innovations in biology to create the next generation of sustainable materials.”