Apparel recycling startup Circ nabs $30M
Circ, an apparel recycling startup, raised $30 million in Series B funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Inditex, the parent company for clothing maker Zara.
Why it matters: Companies such as Inditex are taking a page out of the venture capital playbook by investing in mid- and early-stage climate-related startups, a trend that both puts them in competition with the investors and creates an added pool of capital to pull from if you're an entrepreneur seeking funding.
Details: Breakthrough Energy Ventures will get a board seat as part of the all-equity deal, which closed in June.
- Circ president Pete Majeranowski declined to disclose the round's valuation.
Flashback: Circ survived — though barely — the Cleantech 1.0 bust as a biofuels company before pivoting its hydrothermal extraction technology to apparel recycling.
How it works: Majeranowski says Circ is essentially a textile commodities provider.
- Circ's Virginia-based factory takes old garments, shreds the fabric, treats it, and then uses what he calls a "fancy pressure cooker" to depolymerize the fabric and separate it from any other materials such as cotton, which it can separately treat and re-spin into useable textiles.
- It sells the final textiles back to apparel makers like Patagonia.
The intrigue: Majeranowski said that there was no definitive customer agreement in the deal with Inditex, a nearly $73 billion market-cap business that, in addition to Zara, owns several other apparel makers.
- He said it's something Circ is planning for "down the road" and that a partnership in the future is "implied" as a result of the round.