Biomaterials startup altM has raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Omnivore. Other investors include Theia Ventures, Thai Wah Ventures, Sanjiv Rangrass, Neha Mudaliar, Maninder Gulati from OYO, Mirik Gogri from Spectrum Impact, and Paula Mariwala from Aureolis Ventures.
Bengaluru-based altM is Omnivore’s first investment from its third fund, which recently had a first close at $150 million. This is also the firm’s fourth investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which was set up in 2021 to back early-stage agrifood life science start-ups, Omnivore said in a statement.
altM aims to develop and manufacture scalable biomaterials to help large industries reduce their carbon footprints across their supply chains. The start-up uses lignocellulosic agricultural residues as their raw material to produce advanced materials as alternatives to unsustainable incumbents. Given its sustainability potential and functional properties, lignocellulosic biomass offers a unique technological appeal to form a family of materials.
altM was founded in 2022 by Apoorv Garg and Yugal Raj Jain, who met while working at Tesla in the US. Before altM, Apoorv served in supply chain and engineering leadership roles at Prometheus Fuels, Tesla, and Maruti Suzuki. He is an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley (M.Eng.) and Delhi College of Engineering (B.Tech.). Yugal earlier worked at Tesla in engineering leadership roles, managing several factory and product launches. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.Eng.) and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (B.E.). The team also includes Harshad Velankar with over 20 years of academic and industrial experience across India, the US, and South Africa. He previously led bioprocess research at HPCL, with prior stints at Praj Industries and Reliance Life Sciences.
Apoorv Garg, CEO and Co-Founder at altM, said, “The scale-up of a technology from a laboratory bench to commercial production is not a trivial undertaking. Production scale-up is often the death valley for biotech startups. Our focus on go-to-market strategy, execution, and production scale-up will be the differentiator to most endeavours we see in the world of biomaterials today.”
Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore, said, “With Apoorv and Yugal’s background in manufacturing excellence, altM’s entry into industrial alternative materials will hasten the global shift towards sustainability and circularity. Omnivore is very excited to be a part of their journey as we kick off our new fund.”