ROM Utrecht Region invests in NEFFA: Elevating Sustainable 3D Manufacturing for the Fashion and Interior Industry to New Heights
ROM Utrecht Region proudly invests in Dutch biotech innovator NEFFA (New Fashion Factory), signalling a significant milestone in its mission to revolutionize the fashion and interior industries through the use of innovative automated, seamless 3D manufacturing technology powered by circular lab-grown materials, including the revolutionary mushroom-based MYCOTEX.
Founded by Aniela Hoitink, NEFFA has attracted a prestigious consortium of investors, each bringing not only essential funding but also a wealth of industry expertise and influential connections, having extensive experience in biotechnology and fashion. This achievement also reaffirms the trust of NEFFA’s current investors, who share the vision of a brighter future for sustainable technology and materials.
The seed funding round was spearheaded by spearheaded by the Dutch Industrial Biotech Seed Fund, managed by the Cleantech Team of Capricorn Partners, an experienced investment firm in Cleantech and Technology. Collaborating alongside are two of NEFFA’s existing institutional investors: the DOEN Foundation and ROM Utrecht Region. The final partner in this stellar consortium is PDS Venture, a fashion-centric fund committed to fostering a sustainable value chain within the fashion industry.
“Our goal is to enable local, on-demand production with customization options and a robust end-of-life system” – Nicoline van Enter, Co-founder of NEFFA
Nicoline van Enter, Co-founder of NEFFA, underscores the alignment between the company’s mission and its investors: “NEFFA offers a holistic solution to the sustainability challenges faced by the fashion and interior industries. These sectors grapple not only with material concerns but also supply chain complexities. Our goal is to enable local, on-demand production with customization options and a robust end-of-life system. Having spent considerable time in the fashion industry ourselves, Aniela and I appreciate the multifaceted nature of these issues. Hence, our approach encompasses a full spectrum, from a digital 3D design system to lab-grown natural materials that can be home-composted, and a zero-waste robotic production line.”
NEFFA’s commitment to translating vision into action is evident through its partnership with German machine producer DESMA. Together, they have already conducted successful tests on a pioneering robotic production cell, leveraging technologies commonly found in current manufacturing processes. This strategic move ensures that NEFFA’s innovative system is primed for scalability. The newly secured capital will drive the development of this production line to pilot scale, while simultaneously enhancing the quality and versatility of NEFFA’s materials.
Aniela Hoitink highlights one of NEFFA’s unique advantages: “Distinguishing us from most competitors, we employ liquid biomass, enabling us to construct products layer by layer in 3D. In the past year, our biochemistry lab has unearthed several promising material compositions previously unexplored, endowing our materials with unparalleled versatility and tactile qualities. The infusion of new funding will allow us to further refine and patent these groundbreaking innovations.”
Following its initial investment in 2021, ROM Utrecht Region is continuing its support to NEFFA by means of its participation in this new investment round. Juri van Dolderen, Senior Investment Manager at ROM Utrecht Region: “The highly innovative and sustainable supply chain solution by NEFFA has the potential to transform the fashion and interior industry. Our continued commitment shows our appreciation of the considerable development NEFFA has demonstrated since our investment in 2021.”
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Willem-Jan Stegeman, Alderman of Amersfoort for Economic Affairs and Finance: “NEFFA serves as a prime example of the innovative prowess within our region. Their technologies possess the potential to revolutionize the fashion industry. By investing in innovation, the ROM contributes to finding sustainable solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues. Encouraging the development and the growth of groundbreaking companies like NEFFA, has been a key motivation behind the establishment of the ROM Utrecht Region in 2020.”
NEFFA’s successful seed funding round not only marks a significant step forward for the company but also reaffirms the growing momentum of sustainable solutions within the fashion and interior industries. As NEFFA continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible, the global community can look forward to a more sustainable, customizable, and environmentally conscious future.
About ROM Utrecht Region
ROM Utrecht Region is a social investor that increases access to capital for innovative companies in the region. The ROM invests in the major transition sectors that are important for tomorrow’s economy: digital, health and sustainability. To realize the financing for these companies, the ROM works together with many partners within and outside the region. The ROM has three funds: the Vroege Fase Financiering (VFF) Fund, Healthy Urban Living Proof of Concept Fund (POC) and the Participation Fund. The POC Fund and Participation Fund was made possible in part by co-financing from the Province of Utrecht, Gemeente Amersfoort, Gemeente Hilversum, Gemeente Utrecht, UMC Utrecht, Universiteit Utrecht, Ministerie van Economische zaken en Klimaat and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The investment in NEFFA is done out of the Participation Fund and POC Fund.