French biotechnology startup PiLi lands $15.8 million in a Series A funding round

Toulouse-based PILI has raised $15.8 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to further support the startup’s goal of decarbonising the color industry.

The round was led by Bpifrance through the fund Ecotechnologies 2, with Famille C Participations and existing investors including the PSL Innovation Fund of  Elaia Partners, SOSV and participating.

Through the use of local renewable raw materials, namely straw, oil, and molasses, PILI is aiming to significantly reduce the color industry’s CO2 production on a global scale as well as cut back on the use of fossil fuels used in the process. Likewise, PILI is striving to reduce the dependence on several Asian imports needed for the production of colours, thus recreating a European supply.

PILI’s unique proprietary fermentation and chemical processes enable the production of an ecological and financially competitive alternative to petrochemical dyes and pigments, and according to company representatives, they’re aiming to take on the well-established petro-based indigo industry.

Pili CEO Jérémie Blache comments, “Decarbonising the colour industry is challenging as it relies on cheap fossil-based resources. With more than 30 million euros invested since its creation, PILI is building up the necessary capacity to revolutionize colour production globally and do without oil as the main raw material.”