Debut, a synthetic biology company that working to develop a new generation of bio-identical and novel fragrance molecules using advanced biomanufacturing approaches, completed a $40 million Series B funding led by BOLD, the venture capital fund of L’Oréal.
The funding will be used to leverage Debut’s biomanufacturing platform to advance into the fragrance category and establish its biotech fragrance model.
“Having successfully scaled biotechnology with 100 percent success in skincare and leading that category, we are now addressing the urgent challenges facing the fragrance industry,” said Debut Founder and CEO Joshua Britton, “Only Debut’s proprietary advanced biomanufacturing processes can reconcile two diametrically opposing needs: the innate consumer drive for naturalness, and the unsustainable pressure on the planet’s dwindling natural resources”.
Debut said its biotechnology can replicate the scent signature and precise characteristics of natural ingredients, including those that are structurally complex, difficult to source, and only exist in trace amounts in nature. Debut will also develop novel fragrance molecules, opening new creative possibilities for the fragrance industry.
“Debut’s ability to manufacture natural, safe, and sustainable fragrance molecules at the highest standards of purity will safeguard the perfumer’s palette and halt the extraction of ingredients from the planet,” said Britton. “We are already being approached by companies to create bio-identical molecules for existing fragrances and innovate novel fragrance molecules that will confer olfactive uniqueness to brands.”
Climate change is wreaking havoc with ingredient sourcing, quality, and price. High temperatures, drought and unpredictable seasons are impacting crop and flower yields with devastating regularity. Even floral scent emission is compromised by global warming. Groundbreaking research from the Hebrew University at Jerusalem has shown that there is a correlation between rising temperatures and decreased scent emission of flowers. In the European Union, natural ingredients are also at risk of regulation, threatening the industry at large.
Debut’s said its proprietary advanced biomanufacturing can solve these intractable problems by making natural ingredients that are not possible with fermentation or chemical synthesis.
“Advanced biomanufacturing is the game-changer that will protect and elevate perfumery. It creates a huge intellectual property moat that will redefine the art of perfumery in the coming decade,” said Britton.
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