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Targeting the denim industry, Huue creates clean indigo dyes made with microbial fermentation instead of traditional petrochemical synthesis. Source: Huue

In “Bio-dye maker Huue raises $14.6M, with HSBC backing”, Axios reports that Huue (IndieBio SF08 2019), a San Francisco startup developing bio-based dye, raised $14.6 million in a series A funding round led by Material Impact. Material Impact partner Corinna Chen will take a Huue board seat as part of the all-equity deal. 

Participating in the round were existing investors SOSV’s IndieBio, CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna, and Doudna’s partner Jamie Cate. HSBC Asset Management’s Climate Tech VC also took part as a new investor. 

Huue is pinpointing enzymes that create color in plants and animals and creating microbes to reproduce those specific enzymes, Axios explains. These bio-dyes are a natural and affordable alternative to conventional petrochemical-based dyes when coloring clothes and food. The Axios article notes that Huue’s pilot production of indigo dyes, commonly used in denim manufacturing, is underway.