Checkerspot, maker of algae materials used in skis, raises $36 million

August 24, 2020 |

In California, algae-based materials startup Checkerspot has raised $36 million in a Series B round. The company says it will use the proceeds for commercial development and to expands its product platform.  The Series B brings the company’s total funding to more than $50 million.

Founded in 2016, Checkerspot uses advanced genomics, biotechnology, and biomanufacturing to produce compounds from algae-based molecular building blocks, such as fatty acids and triglycerides. The company’s products include a light-weight urethane-based composite (Algal Core) and a cast urethane (Algal Wall), both of which launched in a backcountry ski application through the outdoor recreation brand WNDR Alpine. Algal Core is a composite of vertically laminated materials using a biobased urethane foam with a carbon content of greater than 40%. The Algal Wall cast polyurethane sidewalls are made using Checkerspot’s proprietary biobased polyurethane and has a biobased carbon content of 60%. Checkerspot is also commercializing an algal oil in partnership with Beyond Surface Technologies.

The financing was led by Viking Global Investors, with participation from other existing investors including Builders VC and Breakout Ventures. Wilbur Ellis’s Cavallo Ventures, a new strategic investor in Checkerspot, also participated.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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