In the Netherlands, startup Qorium has raised €2.6 million ($3.1 million) to advance its cell culture and tissue engineering process for producing collagen for slaughter-free leather.
The funding was led by Brightlands Venture Partners. Funds will be used to scale up R&D at the company’s campus at Maastricht University.
“Qorium is a game-changing technology that will bring sustainable natural leather to the market, independent of meat production and animal friendly,” Mary McCarthy, partner at Brightlands Venture says.
Founded in 2014, Qorium aims to initially focus on the luxury goods, automotive, and premium leather footwear markets.
“It is exciting to combine cell culture and tissue engineering to produce very large structured collagen tissues ready to be tanned and finished into full-thickness beautiful leather that can be cut to make high-end products, says Mark Post, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder at Qorium. “At the same time, we will transition this originally proven medical technology to one that produces collagen at large scale and is cost-effective and sustainable.”
Compared to conventional leather Qorium’s product uses 99% less water and 66% less energy.