2 min read

Daily Markup #334: MYCL mushroom leather reduces carbon footprint & toxic waste; Get audience insights for startups from Vishal Harnal; 500 Southeast Asia’s investing journey since 2014

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: MYCL

A trend-setter

  • 500-backed mushroom startup MYCL has been recognized at a Singaporean innovation awards. One of the factors considered is the startup’s impact on society.
  • What started off as a sustainable construction company, co-founders Adi Nugroho and Ronaldiaz Hartantyo soon realized that the sturdy and malleable mycelium (root matter of the mushroom) can also be worn.
  • They then created mycelium leather, patented as Mylea, which has been used by fashion brands globally. Japanese street-wear label Doublet, launched an entire collection using Mylea instead of animal leather. MYCL is now piloting the use of the mushroom material with a United States luxury furniture brand.
  • According to the startup, its technology has the potential to reduce 68% of the global carbon footprint, 70% of the water used, and 90% of the toxic waste produced in making leather from animal hides.
  • Read the full features on Vogue and The Straits Times.

Credit: Infobip

Hear from the experts

  • Mark your calendars for September 15 – Managing Partner of 500 Southeast Asia, Vishal Harnal, will be speaking at a webinar titled ‘Bringing Next-Gen Customer Engagement to Startups’.
  • The event will address how entrepreneurs must engage their target audiences and address growing demands for ‘anytime, anywhere’ engagement. Attendees will also discover the latest trends in startups and customer demand.
  • Other speakers include Michael Kim, Head of Startups at Google APAC, and Richard Ker, VP of Global Partnerships, Aerodyne Group, a 500-backed startup.
  • Register for the webinar here.

Credit: Leon on Unsplash 

New beginnings

  • What has 500 Southeast Asia’s journey been like? TechSauce discovers.
  • Launched in February 2014 as 500 Durians, the fund was aimed at supporting businesses in the Southeast Asia region. Within that same year, the firm invested in its first 28 companies, including Grab, Carousell, Prenetics, and Bukalapak.
  • Just one year later, Grab became the firm’s first unicorn. By 2016, the fund has invested in over 100 companies. In the following year, Bukalapak becomes the firm’s second unicorn.
  • According to the article, 500 Southeast Asia has invested in over 250 companies to date, including 4 unicorns. The fund brings together investors from 18 nations, bridging global capital into the region.
  • Read the original article in Thai here.

Ching Yee Ho