Mycocycle Raises $2.2M in Seed Funding


Mycocycle, a Chicago, IL-based nature-inspired biotechnology startup operating in the waste-to-value space, raised $2.2M in Seed funding.

The round, which brought the total amount to $3.7M, was led by Anthropocene Ventures, with participation from the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Alumni Ventures, and Telescopic Ventures, among others.

The company intends to use the funds to expand its team with five new roles, including vice president of research and innovation and vice president of operations and product development, establish a model pilot facility, develop its decentralized treatment container, and validate reuse of its biobased byproduct. 

Led by Joanne Rodriguez, founder and CEO, Mycocycle is a biotechnology startup that leverages fungi to transform industrial waste into reusable materials. Founded in 2018, the company works to drive circularity in the construction supply chain and divert waste from landfills with its innovative solution. It blends lab-cultivated fungi with debris at the point of waste generation to detoxify hard-to-recycle building materials and turn them into new raw materials.

Through their patent-pending technology, Mycocycle optimizes the natural functions of fungi to detoxify and transform waste within the built environment like asphalt shingles, insulation board, crumb rubber, gypsum drywall, fibers, and other hard-to-recycle building materials. The trash the company treats contain petroleum-derived chemicals like heavy hydrocarbons or plasticizers which may leave a legacy of environmental contamination when burned or buried. The process neutralizes toxicity while transforming materials into a renewable, low-carbon, mycelium-based raw material. Its process drives circularity in the construction supply chain, diverts waste from landfills, and lessens the need to extract new virgin materials from nature. 

Since launching, Mycocycle has treated 12,000 pounds of material via paid pilots with customers across the waste management, recycling, and manufacturing sectors, as well as with building owners and contractors like META and Lendlease who are focused on reduction of Scope 3 emissions and innovations within their industries.