Bolt Threads, Emeryville, Calif.-based developer of artificial silk thread, has announced it has received $50 million in Series C funding, and also has entered a partnership with outdoor-clothing brand Patagonia.
According to a report by Fortune, the new investment group is led by Formation 8, along with Innovation Endeavors and Nan Fung and existing investors Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Alafi Capital and East West Capital. The new money puts the company’s total funding at $90 million.
Founded in 2009, Bolt Threads’ mission is to create a man-made silk from the protein fibers in the webs spun by spiders. The silk is five times stronger than steel.
At a scientific level, Fortune notes, Bolt examines the DNA of spiders and then replicates those genetic sequences in other ingredients to create a similar silk fiber. Bolt’s silk is made primarily of sugar, water, salts, and yeast that, when combined, forms a liquid silk protein. Through a process called wet spinning, this liquid is spun into fiber, similar to the way fibers like acrylic and rayon are made.
Patagonia has not announced its plans for using the threads.