Bio-dye maker Huue raises $14.6M, with HSBC backing
Huue, a San Francisco-based startup that is piloting a bio-based dye, raised $14.6 million in Series A funding, the company tells Axios.
Why it matters: Natural dyes have grown in popularity in recent years but remain an expensive alternative to widely available petrochemical-based dyes, leaving the door open for experimental approaches to coloring food and clothes.
Details: Material Impact led the all-equity round, and partner Corinna Chen is taking a board seat as part of the deal. Huue declined to disclose its valuation.
- HSBC Asset Management’s Climate Tech VC joined as a new investor, and existing investors SOSV’s IndieBio, CRISPR inventor Jennifer Doudna, and Jamie Cate participated in the round.
How it works: Huue's technology was developed in a research capacity at UC Berkeley. It identifies which enzymes in a plant or animal creates color and then codes microbes to reproduce the specific enzyme.
- Huue is currently working on a pilot for indigo production, which is commonly used in denim manufacturing.
Between the lines: Huue is still operating at an early enough stage that it is unclear how cost-competitive its dyes could be at a larger scale.