March 1, 2023

Tandem Repeat Raises $3M to Produce Natural Fibers from Plants

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Squitex is a breakthrough protein-based fiber made from plant molecular farming, revolutionizing the fabric industry by offering unparalleled strength, durability, and sustainability. With Squitex, you can now experience superior comfort and performance with fabrics that are by far the most ecological choice available.


Tandem Repeat, produces Squitex fibers, announced today that it raised $3 million funding led by Climate Capital, Prithvi Ventures, Foodhack, New Canaan Impact Capital, and federal grants. The company was founded in 2018 by Dr. Gozde Senel-Ayaz (CEO), Prof. Dr. Melik Demirel (co-founder), and Dr. Benjamin Allen (CTO). Tandem aims to eliminate plastic pollution and minimize the dependence on animal-based products with all-natural performance fibers.


“With our customizable bio-engineered materials, we plan to sell products for the textile, markets,” said co-founder and CEO Dr. Gozde Senel-Ayaz. She added that “self-healing materials that improve the properties of sustainable products will revolutionize the chemical industry.”


Tandem Repeat also won the Microfiber Innovation challenge for developing a sustainable fiber material called Squitex. “Plastics break down into microfibers that are found in everything,” said Dr. Melik Demirel, co-founder and Huck Endowed Chair Professor in Biomimetic Materials at Penn State. But, he added, “Squitex can minimize microfiber pollution if we can scale up the technology.”


Tandem Repeat, also recently received project funding from BioMADE, to scale the upstream and downstream processes for producing Squitex. This sustainable, high-performance fiber yields superior mechanical, chemical, durability, and recyclability benefits when blended with natural fibers. “We aim to improve biomass yield during the upstream bioprocess, and improve extraction, recovery, yield, and purity for the downstream process,” noted CTO Dr. Benjamin Allen. In addition, the funding will be used to create prototypes for assessing the performance, touch and feel, and longevity of future products and generate interest in clothing brands. Additionally, the team is now working towards producing Squitex plant-based molecular farming techniques, which should reduce costs and increase the overall volume of output.


Squitex technology is poised to transform the fashion industry with a sustainable, non-polluting replacement for petroleum and animal-based fibers.

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