Another New York City startup is planting roots in the Triangle.
AlgiKnit, creator of an eco-conscious and renewable yarn made from kelp, will open a 15,000 square-foot headquarters location in Morrisville, Aleks Gosiewski, the company’s COO and co-founder, told WRAL TechWire this week.
The company has now closed a $13 million Series A fundraising round, the spokesperson said, following an initial seed round of $2.1 million and a bridge round valued at $2.4 million.
“North Carolina, and the Research Triangle area in particular, has become a vibrant center for tech and life sciences companies,” said Gosiewski, in an interview with WRAL TechWire. “We are thrilled to become a part of this rapidly expanding ecosystem, and to tap into the diverse pool of talent in the area to build out our team.”
The new facility will be based along Aviation Parkway, beside Lake Crabtree, and will primarily be used to scale the production of the company’s materials, Gosiewski said.
“There is hundreds of years of culture, knowledge, and expertise rooted in the local area,” said Gosiewski, calling the region one with an incredible history and relationship with yarn and textiles.
“We are now officially headquartered in North Carolina,” said Gosiewski. “With our expansion, we are actively hiring across the company for roles ranging from business development to polymer science.”
According to the company’s website, it is on a mission to change textile production. The company describes itself as a “biomaterials company built by designers and backed by science to create new methods of textile production.”
Gosiewski called kelp “one of the most renewable organisms on the planet.”
Products are created from kelp, the firm notes, and by using kelp to produce durable and degradable yarns, “AlgiKnit is providing a scalable and sustainable alternative for designers, manufacturers and consumers by utilizing materials with a significantly lower environmental footprint than conventional textiles.”
The big vision for the company, according to co-founder Aaron Nesser, is to make “a dent in the materials ecosystem.” Nesser’s remarks appear alongside remarks from Gosiewski and Tessa Callaghan, the company’s CEO and the third co-founder, on the firm’s website.
Expanding to the Triangle
The rationale for opening the new Triangle facility is to increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities “to meet growing demand,” the spokesperson noted.
And the company is hiring for at least eight positions, including seven full-time roles, for the new facility. That includes a lab manager, chemist, polymer fabric scientist, and an office manager.
Those new employees would work from the company’s new headquarters facility in Morrisville.
“The Research Triangle area is a teeming hub for technological development, and this was a big pull factor for us,” said Gosiewski.
The spokesperson for the company told WRAL TechWire that the firm selected a Raleigh-based contractor, Patel and Milewski Construction, to complete the facility space, which was constructed and furnished “in large part by second-hand items and upcycled materials.”
North Carolina State University recently opened a new Plant Sciences Building, and the region has a history of textile manufacturing and materials science. North Carolina Central University has recently received $3.3 million to boost research in the field of advanced materials science.
Original Article Source: WRAL Techwire