GOZEN, a biomaterials startup set to disrupt the fashion, automotive and home furnishings industries has raised $3.3 million in a seed funding round led by Happiness Capital. The funding will enable GOZEN to accelerate research, development, and scaling efforts for its breakthrough biomaterial, LUNAFORM™, and fuel the creation of new materials.
LUNAFORM™ is a plastic-free and vegan biomaterial produced by microorganisms during a fermentation process. It was unveiled earlier in September during Paris Fashion Week at the Balenciaga Summer 24 show.
Unlike composite plant-based leathers, LUNAFORM™ is a singular, fully formed material, giving it remarkable tensile strength and natural flexibility. It is also available in 13-square-foot sheets with customizable thickness and texture, setting a new standard in design adaptability.
“At GOZEN, we produce advanced biomaterials with the potential to unlock circular design. With this investment, we’ve shown that we have a path to delivering on that potential at scale,” says Ece Gozen, founder and CEO of GOZEN.
Po Bronson, Managing Director of SOSV’s IndieBio, was GOZEN’s first investor. “There is a lot of competition now in animal free leather. But I believed that GOZEN’s approach could surpass all others in both performance and economics, and we’ve already demonstrated this by launching our first commercial product – at Fashion Week, no less. We’ve accomplished in months what it’s taken others years to do.”
GOZEN’s material production process takes just 10 days and bypasses the need for tanning. With the recent investment, the startup is progressing with its plans to open a new facility in Turkey, aiming for an annual production capacity of over 1 million square feet.
GOZEN’s LUNAFORM™ promises to usher in a realm of fresh opportunities for consumers and businesses seeking to align their choices with environmental responsibility while still indulging in top-tier design aesthetics and quality. The growing embrace of LUNAFORM™ has the potential to serve as a catalyst, encouraging other brands to adopt eco-conscious materials and practices, and nurturing a more sustainable and eco-friendly trajectory for the fashion industry at large as well as other industries.