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Bolt Threads Raises $40M to Bring Engineered Silk Technology to Market

Bolt Threads, a new company developing the next generation of high-performance textiles, collected $32.3 million in Series B funding for a total of $40 million in money raised to fuel research and commercialization for its Engineered Silk technology.

The American-based company uses proprietary technologies to create Engineered Silk fibers based on proteins found in nature. Bolt Threads describes these programmable fibers, which can be adjusted to provide superior comfort and performance, as “the most significant innovation the textile industry has seen for decades.”

“We started Bolt Threads based on our fascination with the properties of spider silk, particularly how to use the elegant solutions found in nature to create something even better,” said Dan Widmaier, Bolt Threads co-founder and CEO who runs the company with chief scientific officer David Breslauer and vice president of operations, Ethan Mirsky. “Our technology combines biology and computational methods to create performance fibers with carefully crafted properties. We’re very excited to sustainably develop the next generation of performance fabrics that will transform what we wear and how we live.”

The Series B funding, which was co-lead by Formation 8 and Foundation Capital with participation from Founders Fund, will be used to increase the production of better, smarter and more sustainable fibers and expand Bolt’s team of technology and apparel experts.

Bolt Threads, which was founded in 2009, conducts research at its headquarters in Emeryville, California and uses feedstock grown in the Midwest for production and is working with textile manufacturers in North Carolina to scale production commercially.

“While it’s one of the oldest industries in existence, I believe textiles is still ripe for innovation,” Steve Vassallo, general partner at Foundation Capital, said. “Bolt Threads is uniquely positioned to commercialize technology that people have dreamt about for decades. They have developed a way to make Engineered Silk fibers at a commercial scale, at a cost that makes it viable for widespread use in consumer products—something no one else has done. I had been looking into the industry for years before I began working with the founding team in 2010, and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential for Bolt Threads’ Engineered Silk to transform the textile industry.”