Qorium raises € 2.6 million to expand R&D to scale up its cell cultured collagen based leather technology. Brightlands Venture Partners led the investment round and was joined by an undisclosed reputed international biotech investor.
Qorium is a biotechnology driven company aiming to provide the world with a premium, cell cultured collagen-based leather. Qorium was founded in 2014, by Rutger Ploem, Stef Kranendijk, Mark Post and Maastricht University, and recently realized a proof of concept of cultivated real leather, a true breakthrough. Compared to conventional leather Qorium’s cultivated leather is made by using 99% less water, 66% less energy, without the most polluting first two phases of the tanning process and, importantly, without any methane gas as emitted by the numerous cows responsible for the global 2 billion square meter/year conventional leather market. With the current funding large sheets of cultivated real leather, will be made from just a few living cells from a bovine skin.
Stef Kranendijk, co-CEO and co-founder at Qorium says: “Our aim is to develop an expected fast growing cultivatedleather market. We look forward to provide real high-quality leather made in a dramatically more sustainable way than conventional leather. This will be a game changing, revolutionary transformation of the current leather market.”
Rutger Ploem, co-CEO and co-founder at Qorium continues: “More and more users of leather, particularly the premium high-end brands in the leather fashion, footwear and automotive industry want all the properties of real leather without the tremendously high negative impact on the environment that comes with livestock rearing. Qorium provides exactly that. Qorium cultivated leather is also better because it comes with no imperfections, no defects and no waste: every square meter of grown Qorium leather can be fully used.”
Professor Mark Post, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder at Qorium says: “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. 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.”
According to Mary McCarthy, Partner at Brightlands Venture Partners: “We are very excited to invest in Qorium, this is game changing technology that will bring sustainable natural leather to the market, independent of meat production and animal friendly. This is our second investment from our Brightlands Venture Partners Fund IV, a fund that has been co-funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).”
Co-CEO & Founder
Co-CEO & Founder
Chief Scientific Officer & Founder
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Qorium will develop, manufacture, market, sell and distribute high-quality cultivated leather. Qorium will first focus on the premium leather using brands in the luxury leather goods industry, the automotive industry and the premium footwear industry, given their expressed urgent need to be able to use real leather without the huge negative impact on the environment that conventional leather has.
Qorium will set up its R&D activities at Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. Several players active in cell cultured technology development are located in the region and there is increasing activity in tissue engineering; this will allow Qorium to collaborate in and further support the Brightlands ecosystem.
Brightlands Venture Partners (BVP) is the fund manager of BVP Fund IV and is a so-called ecosystem investor. BVP invests in companies benefiting from and contributing to the Brightlands campuses in the south of the Netherlands. Other funds under management are Chemelot Ventures, Brightlands Agrifood Fund and Limburg Ventures. BVP Fund IV focuses on sustainability and health and is the successor fund of the 2014 vintage Chemelot Ventures; together the funds have made 42 investments. BVP Fund IV is co-funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
Further information: www.brightlandsventurepartners.com
Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus supervises the entire process involved in the development of innovations related to health and life sciences (valorisation) for scientists, researchers and students. Excellent facilities for imaging equipment contribute to the Campus position as the ideal location for building ecosystems involving imaging, regenerative medicine and innovative diagnostics. The Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus sets itself apart by offering the complete innovation chain: fundamental and applied research, equipment, the clinic and the cross-over possibilities with the other Brightlands campuses.