Synthetic biology start-up Colorifix raises $3m Series A round to scale its revolutionary textile dyeing solution

  • Posted on 17 December, 2018

Colorifix, a company that has developed the first commercial biological dyeing process, has raised a Series A round of $3 million from impact and strategic investors with strong links to the fashion industry. The round was led by Challenger 88, with participation from Cambridge Enterprise, H&M CO:LAB (part of H&M Group) and Primera Impact. The funds will support the expansion of the company’s Norwich-based facility and the team build-out as Colorifix launches a number of pilots with several leading players in the international fashion industry.

Dr Orr Yarkoni, CEO of Colorifix commented: “It took us a while to find the right investors but I really don’t think we could have built a more strategic and impactful partnership moving forwards than the one we have now. Our investors are passionate about our mission towards the environment and will certainly help us on the long road to changing a global industry”. Wolfgang Hafenmayer, Managing Partner of Challenger 88 said “The more time we have spent with the Colorifix team, the more excited we have become about their novel approach to dyeing which has the potential to radically improve one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet.”

Instead of using toxic and non-renewable petrochemicals, Colorifix uses synthetic biology methods to create a range of colours produced naturally by organisms such as microbes, plants, animals and insects. By engineering microorganisms to produce naturally-occurring pigments, Colorifix converts agricultural by-products such as sugar molasses into colorants suitable for textile dyeing. Importantly, the microorganisms also transfer the colour onto a fabric or garment, resulting in additional water and energy savings. By providing a solution that uses ten times less water than traditional dyeing processes and zero heavy metals, organic solvents or acids, while still achieving excellent results in independently certified quality tests, Colorifix is catching the attention of influential forces across the textile industry.