Technological watch

Landmark investment positions GOZEN to amplify its influence in next-gen materials

GOZEN, the revolutionary biomaterials startup that is set to disrupt the fashion, automotive and home furnishings industries, has just announced $3.3 million in a seed funding round.

The funding comes from forward-thinking investors including Happiness Capital (lead investor), Accelr8, Astor Management, and SOSV who recognized GOZEN’s unique potential to transform the world of materials through biology. This investment will enable GOZEN to accelerate research, development, and scaling efforts for its breakthrough biomaterial, LUNAFORM™, and fuel the creation of new materials.

GOZEN is on a mission to replace traditional materials in the fashion and automotive industries by producing a range of high-performing vegan and plastic-free materials. In line with the rising ESG imperative, there is growing demand for sustainable alternatives.

LUNAFORM™ the company’s flagship biomaterial, is produced by microorganisms during a fermentation process and is distinctively free from both plastic and animal components. This innovative material was unveiled earlier this month during Paris Fashion Week at the Balenciaga Summer 24 show Paris Fashion Week. The partnership with Balenciaga culminated in the Balenciaga LUNAFORM™ Maxi Bathrobe Coat and marked the inaugural use of LUNAFORM™ in the fashion industry.

Balenciaga LUNAFORM™ Maxi Bathrobe CoatUnlike composite plant-based leathers that are assembled in layers, LUNAFORM™ is a singular, fully formed material, giving it a remarkable tensile strength and natural flexibility. Available in 13-square-foot sheets with customizable thickness and texture, LUNAFORMT™sets a new standard in design adaptability. Its manufacturing method is entirely vegan, non-GMO and avoids the use of harsh synthetic chemicals.

LUNAFORM™’s formation requires a nutrient-rich environment where microorganisms craft intricate, ultra-crystalline patterns. Following the introduction of natural agents, a three dimensional-material begins to form. Unlike composite plant-based leathers that are assembled in layers, LUNAFORM™ emerges as a singular, fully formed material, giving it a remarkable tensile strength and natural flexibility.

GOZEN’s material production process takes just 10 days and bypasses the need for tanning. With the recent investment, the startup is progressing with its plans to open a new facility in Turkey, aiming for an annual production capacity of over 1 million square feet.

“At GOZEN, we produce advanced biomaterials with the potential to unlock circular design. With this investment, we’ve shown that we have a path to delivering on that potential at scale” – Ece Gozen, founder and CEO of GOZEN.

Po Bronson, Managing Director of SOSV’s IndieBio, was Gozen’s first investor. “There is a lot of competition now in animal free leather. But I believed that Gozen’s approach could surpass all others in both performance and economics, and we’ve already demonstrated this by launching our first commercial product – at Fashion Week, no less. We’ve accomplished in months what it’s taken others years to do.”

GOZEN promises to usher in a realm of fresh opportunities for consumers and businesses seeking to align their choices with environmental responsibility while still indulging in top-tier design aesthetics and quality. With the growing embrace of LUNAFORM™, there is a palpable anticipation that this trend will serve as a catalyst, encouraging other brands to adopt eco-conscious materials and practices. This ripple effect holds the potential to nurture a more sustainable and eco-friendly trajectory for the fashion industry at large as well as other industries.

About GOZENGOZEN is a biocreation startup founded by Ece Gozen. GOZEN’s mission is to reshape how we interact with the world around us, advocating for natural connection and a balance between creative expression and the sanctity of our planet. GOZEN’s process combines the harnessing of naturally occurring processes with cutting-edge technology. This transforms organic elements into applied innovation – like their debut material, LUNAFORMTM. GOZEN is backed by Happiness Capital, Accelr8, Astor Management and SOSV.

Publication date: 29/11/2023

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.