Kering enables biotech startup Sqim (Mogu) to raise 11 billion euros

Kering Ventures, a venture capital firm linked to the luxury goods group Kering, has contributed to the €11 million Series A funding of Sqim (Mogu), which specializes in the manufacture of eco-responsible products based on mycelium (mushroom root) as an alternative to leather. This sum will enable the company to launch a pilot production plant, as well as strengthen its teams and research.


Italian startup Mogu has just raised 11 million euros (nearly $12 million) in Series A funding, according to a press release issued on January 9 by Kering, a fervent supporter of the startup through its venture capital company Kering Ventures.


The supported company specializes in the manufacture of eco-responsible products using mycelium (mushroom root).


The money raised will enable the startup to open a pilot production plant. It will also be used to increase the size of its workforce and step up its R&D efforts.


An investment in the Group’s sustainability


Mogu Srl is an innovative materials company that transforms low-value materials and agro-industrial residues into functional products with high added value.


Mogu Srl, hitherto known as Sqim, will take the opportunity to change its name “in the weeks following completion of this financing round”.

Sqim has developed an exclusive fermentation process capable of growing raw mycelium. This mycelium comes from the vegetative part of the mushroom, made up of filaments – hyphae – that enable it to grow.

The future Mogu Srl will bring together two brands with distinct positioning: Mogu will target the interior design and architecture sector, while Ephea will focus on the fashion and automotive worlds.


“This successful fundraising is a validation of the potential of our revolutionary technologies, materials and next-generation products,” emphasizes Maurizio Montalti, Sqim’s mycelium manager and co-founder.


The financing round was led by CDP Venture Capital and co-led by ECBF‘s VC, with the participation of Kering Ventures – the financial arm of the eponymous luxury group known for taking minority stakes in innovative solutions – and current shareholder Progress Tech Transfer.


Growing demand from the luxury goods industry for alternatives to leather


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Featured Photo:  © Mogu/Sqim (Mogu Srl)

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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