altM, a biomaterials startup, announced that it had raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Omnivore. Other investors included Theia Ventures, Thai Wah Ventures, Maninder Gulati, the chief strategy officer of Oyo, Mirik Gogri, the corporate strategy head of Aarti Industries, and Paula Mariwala, the founding partner of Aureolis Ventures.
altM is Omnivore’s first investment from its third fund, which had its first close in June at $150 million. It is the company’s fourth investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, established in 2021 to back early-stage agrifood life science startups.
The Bengaluru-based startup wants to develop scalable biomaterials to help large enterprises reduce their carbon footprints across their supply chains. It produces advanced materials as an alternative to existing, non-sustainable materials using lignocellulosic agricultural residues as its raw material.
According to the company, lignocellulosic biomass offers a unique technological appeal to form a family of materials due to its potential for sustainability and functional qualities.
Apoorv Garg and Yugal Raj Jain, who met while working at Tesla in the US, founded the company in 2022.
“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,” Mark Kahn, managing partner at Omnivore, said.
Garg, an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Delhi College of Engineering, held supply chain and engineering leadership positions at Prometheus Fuels, Tesla, and Maruti Suzuki.
Before this, Jain held engineering leadership positions at Tesla and directed the launch of several factories and products. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology.
Harshad Velankar, who has more than 20 years of academic and professional experience across India, the US, and South Africa, is also a team member. Before leading bioprocess research at Hindustan Petroleum, Velankar worked for Praj Industries and Reliance Life Sciences.
“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 endeavors we see in the world of biomaterials today,” cofounder and CEO Garg said.