Biomaterials company Newlight Technologies announced that it has raised $125 million with proceeds aimed at growing its platform to utilize greenhouse gas to produce high-performance materials.

Founded in 2003, California-based Newlight produces AirCarbon, a biomaterial produced using naturally occurring microorganisms from the ocean that eat air and greenhouse gas and convert it inside of their cells. The process is carbon negative, resulting in a net reduction in CO2, and produces a material consisting of approximately 40% oxygen from air and 60% carbon from greenhouse gas. AirCarbon can be melted into a range of forms, from fiber and sheet to solid shapes.

The company is currently delivering AirCarbon products and materials to over 5,000 locations globally, for use in sectors including fashion, entertainment, foodservice, hotel, and automotive industries. In 2021, Newlight announced a partnership with Nike exploring the use of AirCarbon to create more sustainable products.

According to Newlight, the financing will enable the company to expand its manufacturing platform, with the goal to reach global scale for the use of greenhouse gas as a resource to produce decarbonized materials.

Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight, said:

“This capital round represents an inflection point for Newlight, where we have the opportunity to build on 20 years of research, development, and commercialization, and expand biological decarbonization at large scale. It is an important milestone for Newlight, and we are tremendously excited about the path ahead.”

The funding round was led by Temasek’s decarbonization solutions-focused investment platform GenZero, and included participation from Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), and specialty films producer Charter Next Generation (CNG).

Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, said:

”By using captured greenhouse gases such as methane to produce a high-quality material (AirCarbon) and replace fossil-based plastics, we can achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions. We are excited to support Newlight in their next phase of growth as they expand their commercial production to meet the increasing demand for zero-carbon materials and deliver decarbonization impact at scale.”

Newlight also announced that it has completed development agreements with CNG to commercialize specialty films utilizing AirCarbon, and with OLCV to use Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems to develop CO2 feedstock for AirCarbon production plants.

Derek Willis, Vice President, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, said:

“We are excited to work with innovative companies like Newlight who share our vision in decarbonizing a multitude of industries that can help accelerate the path to net zero. Direct Air Capture provides a unique opportunity to supply CO2 as a raw material to create low carbon products. We look forward to supporting Newlight as they work to unlock new value from CO2 while addressing climate change.”