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Bolt Threads

Bolt Threads

Bolt Threads is a biotechnology company that makes high performance fabrics and materials using biology.

Bolt Threads is based out of Emeryville, California and was founded in August, 2009 by Dan Windmaier, David Breslauer, and Ethan Mirsky.

Bolt Threads makes a synthetic silk using biotechnology that mimics properties of spider silk. There are many different kinds of silks a spider extrude for different purposes. The synthetic silk made by Bolt Threads mimics dragline silk — a very strong and flexible form of silk that spiders make when rappelling down to something. Engineers at Bolt Threads figured out a way to design yeast that produce protein that can be made into a fiber sharing similair properties with dragline spider silk. The proteins made by yeast through almost the same process used to brew beer (yeast fermentation). The proteins from the yeast brewing process are then isolated, purified and squeezed into long thin fibers using a die. From here the fibers are used to make products such as clothing

Products

Limited edition synthetic spider silk tie

Bolt Threads announced on March 10th, 2017 they will be making a limited addition knit synthetic Spider silk tie that will sell for $314. The tie was only available in blue and the company only made 50 ties.

Limited edition "Cap of Courage"

The "Cap of Courage" is a limited edition winter hat made by Best Made Co (a company owned by Bolt Threads) that was released to the public on December 7th, 2017. The hat is made with Bolt Threads synthetic Microsilk and Rambouillet wool. There were only 100 "Caps of Courage" made that sold for $198 each.

Synthetic Microsilk dress by Stella McCarthy

Bolt Threads worked with Stella McCarthy, a British fashion designer, to make a dress out of Bolt Threads synthetic Microsilk for an art exhibition called "Items: Is Fashion Modern" held at the Museum of Modern Art. The dress was on display at the exhibition between October 1st, 2017 and January 28th, 2018.

Funding

Government Grants

During the early years of Bolt Threads, they received funding from the National Science foundation and the US military to evaluate their synthetic silks potential to be used in ballistics, and for evaluation of the material for use in surgical sutures and the US military to evaluate their synthetic silks potential to be used in ballistics, and for evaluation of the material for use in surgical sutures.

Series A

On November 22nd, 2014 Bolt Threads concluded their series A funding round, bring in $7,700,000 in funding. Investors include: Zygote Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Mission Bay Capital, and Foundation Capital, Mission Bay Capital, and Foundation Capital.

Series B

On June 4th, 2015 Bolt Threads closed their series B funding round, raising a total of $32,300,000 in funding. Investors include: Zygote Ventures, LeFrak, Mission Bay Capital, Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Formation 8, East West Capital Limited, and Alafi Capital, Foundation Capital, Formation 8, East West Capital Limited, and Alafi Capital, East West Capital Limited, and Alafi Capital.

Series C

On May 11th, 2016 Bolt Threads closed their series C funding round with $50,000,000 raised in capital. Investors include: Formation 8, Alafi Capital, East West Capital, Foundation Capital, Nan Fung, and Innovation Endeavours.

Series D

On January 3rd, 2018 Bolt Threads closed their series D funding round, raising $123,000,000 in funding. Investors include: Baillie Gifford, Formation 8, Founders Fund, Fidelity Management, Research Company, Temasek, Allen & Company, and Steve Vassallo.

Partnerships

Patagonia

In May 2016, after Bolt Threads concluded their series C funding round, the company announced it will be partnering with Patagonia — an outdoor clothing company renowned for their high quality gear and commitment to sustainability. The financial terms of the partnership is undisclosed by both companies .

Acquisitions/mergers

Best Made Company

On July 27th, 2017 Bolt Threads acquired the Best Made Company — a New York City based outdoor apparel company — for an undisclosed price. The partnership is designed for Bolt Threads to focus on making materials (I.e Microsilk), and for Best Made Company to focus on making products out of materials made by Bolt Threads. Best Company will act as a retailer for future Bolt Threads products.

Patents

Description
Status
Link
Date

Apparatus and Method for Forming Fibers

Pending

6/6/2006

Cellular Reprogramming for Product Optimization

Abandoned

10/22/2012

Improved silk fibers

Pending

3/16/2015

Long uniform recombinant protein fibers

Pending

9/14/2016

Methods and Compositions for Synthesizing Improved Silk Fibers

Pending

9/17/2013

Recombinant protein fiber yarns with improved properties

Pending

6/11/2015

Recombinant protein fiber yarns with improved properties

Pending

6/10/2016

Timeline

Mylo announced

Bolt Threads announced its next product, Mylo, which is a material made out of mycelium.

Series D Funding Round

On January 3rd, 2018 Bolt Threads closed their series D funding round, raising $123,000,000 in funding. Investors include: Baillie Gifford, Formation 8, Founders Fund, Fidelity Management, Research Company, Temasek, Allen & Company, and Steve Vassallo.

Limited Edition "Cap of Courage"

​The "Cap of Courage" is a limited edition winter hat made by Best Made Co (a company owned by Bolt Threads) that was released to the public on December 7th, 2017. The hat is made with Bolt Threads synthetic Microsilk and Rambouillet wool. There were only 100 "Caps of Courage" made that sold for $198 each.

Synthetic Microsilk Dress By Stella McCarthy

​Bolt Threads worked with Stella McCarthy, a British fashion designer, to make a dress out of Bolt Threads synthetic Microsilk for an art exhibition called "Items: Is Fashion Modern" held at the Museum of Modern Art. The dress was on display at the exhibition between October 1st, 2017 and January 28th, 2018.

Acquisition of Best Made Company

On July 27th, 2017 Bolt Threads acquired the Best Made Company — a New York City based outdoor apparel company — for an undisclosed price. The partnership is designed for Bolt Threads to focus on making materials (I.e Microsilk), and for Best Made Company to focus on making products out of materials made by Bolt Threads. Best Company will act as a retailer for future Bolt Threads products.

Limited Edition Synthetic Spider Silk Tie

Bolt Threads announced on March 10th, 2017 they will be making a limited addition knit synthetic Spider silk tie that will sell for $314. The tie was only available in blue and the company only made 50 ties.

Patagonia Partnership

​In May 2016, after Bolt Threads concluded their series C funding round, the company announced it will be partnering with Patagonia — an outdoor clothing company renowned for their high quality gear and commitment to sustainability. The financial terms of the partnership is undisclosed by both companies .

Series C Funding Round

On May 11th, 2016 Bolt Threads closed their series C funding round with $50,000,000 raised in capital. Investors include: Formation 8, Alafi Capital, East West Capital, Foundation Capital, Nan Fung, and Innovation Endeavours.

Series B Funding Round

On June 4th, 2015 Bolt Threads closed their series B funding round, raising a total of $32,300,000 in funding. Investors include: Zygote Ventures, LeFrak, Mission Bay Capital, Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Formation 8, East West Capital Limited, and Alafi Capital67.

Series A funding Round

On November 22nd, 2014 Bolt Threads concluded their series A funding round, bring in $7,700,000 in funding. Investors include: Zygote Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Mission Bay Capital, and Foundation Capital.

Government Grant Funding

​During the early years of Bolt Threads, they received funding from the National Science foundation and the US military to evaluate their synthetic silks potential to be used in ballistics, and for evaluation of the material for use in surgical sutures.

Founding of Bolt Threads

Bolt Threads is based out of Emeryville, California and was founded in August, 2009 by Dan Windmaier, David Breslauer, and Ethan Mirsky.

People

Name
Role
Related Golden topics

Dan Widmaler

CEO, Co-founder

David Breslauer

Chief Scientific Officer, Co-founder

Ethan Mirsky

Vice President of Operations, Co-founder

Jamie Bainbridge

Vice President of Product development

Jerry Fiddler

Board member

Peter Boling

Principal Systems Architect

Steve Vassallo

Board member

Sue Levin

Chief Marketing Officer

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type

Bolt Threads co-founder wants you to wear recyclable silk clothes made from artificial proteins

Seung Lee

Clothes From A Petri Dish: $700 Million Bolt Threads May Have Cracked The Code On Spider Silk

Amy Feldman

Startup Says It’s the First to Make Synthetic Spider Silk

Davey Alba

This Striped Beanie Shows the Promise of Synthetic Spider Silk

Elizabeth Stinson

This Very Realistic Fake Leather Is Made From Mushrooms, Not Cows

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Bolt Threads delivers a special tie

June 27, 2017

Bolt Threads is spinning the future of high performance fabrics

June 4, 2015

Fashion's Biotech Future

May 11, 2016

Stella McCartney and BOLT Threads | Creating vegan silk

October 19, 2017

Why Bolt Threads Is Scaling Up Spider Silk Production

June 16, 2015

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

References