Investments & Acquisitions

Australia’s ALT.Leather Closes Oversubscribed $1.1M Round for Biodegradable Leather Alternative

Female-led Australian startup ALT.Leather has raised $1.1 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round after developing a plastic-free, bio-based leather alternative.

Investors in the round included Startmate, The Austin Group, Wollemi Capital Group, The Alice Anderson Fund, and various angel investors. ALT.Leather will use the funding for further research and the production of samples for interested brands; the startup is also filing for a patent.

ALT.Leather’s material is made from agricultural waste and regeneratively grown plants, with no animal products or petroleum-derived plastics. It is suitable for fashion, furniture, the automotive industry, and more.

The leather alternative is “designed for end-of-life”, and is being tested to ensure it can be recycled or biodegrade without harming the environment.

ALT.Leather bio-based leather alternative
© ALT.Leather

Bio-based vegan leather

ALT.Leather was founded by Tina Funder, who previously launched the vegan handbag and accessory brand Life on Mars. Funder used materials such as apple and cactus leather for the products, but became frustrated that these leather alternatives still contained polyurethane as a binder. This inspired her to develop a truly plastic-free material.

ALT.Leather claims to be the first Australian company to create a fully bio-based vegan leather alternative, though there are other producers worldwide with a similar mission. These include the US’ Natural Fiber Welding, which has developed a plastic-free material called MIRUM made from ingredients such as natural rubber, natural fibers, and vegetable oils. In the UK, Really Clever is developing biodegradable leather alternatives made from mushrooms and algae.

“The ALT.Leather team is excited to have closed a successful $1.1 million capital raise,” said the startup on LinkedIn. “We are fortunate to have the support of strategic investors with expertise covering all aspects of our business from fashion and manufacturing to finance and government. We have the best in the business to call upon when required.”

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