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TechCrunch
Dec 19, 2023
IndieBio’s Lingrove nets $10M for carbon-negative wood alternative
Lingrove’s ekoa material. Source: Lingrove

As industries from automative to fashion continue to seek more sustainable materials, IndieBio alum Lingrove has developed a carbon-negative wood veneer alternative out of flax fiber and plant-based resins.

The resulting material, “ekoa, ” is “very high stiffness, durable, and resistant,” i.e. to touch, temperature and other materials (like stains and spills). Lingrove, which launched inhouse manufacturing of ekoa surfaces in late 2023, has secured millions in ekoa pre-orders. Its eco-veneers are currently being used in wall and cabinetry applications, as well as advanced materials testing for the automotive sector. The $10M Series B round was led by Lewis & Clark Agrifood and Diamond Edge Ventures, with participation from Bunge Ventures and SOSV.

Per Devin Coldeway at TechCrunch, “The company contends that not only is its material better for the environment and as good or better in terms of strength and so on, but that it can positively affect air quality indoors. Recycled plastic and other repurposed materials are a popular use for things like cabinetry and trim, but they often lack the look, hardness or other qualities desirable for such surfaces, and in some cases can offgas considerable amounts (that’s your “new car smell”).”

“We have a healthy-air, low-carbon, high-performing and beautiful product,” CEO Joe Luttwak told TechCrunch. “Using post industrial feedstock can, in some cases, be positive for the environment; however many of those byproducts are still emitting VOCs [volatile organic compounds] which are detrimental for indoor air quality, and they are not able to be made into high-performing materials.”