Founded in 2007 by mechanical engineering students Eben Bayer and Gavin Mclntyre, Ecovative is one of several startups attempting to harness the magic of mycelium—the filament-like roots of mushrooms—to make more sustainable foods and materials. So, what progress has it made to date?

AgFunderNews (AFN) caught up with Bayer (EB) to get the latest on mycelium-based hides under the Forager brand and mycelium-based bacon from MyForest Foods Co (spun out from Ecovative in 2020) under the MyBacon brand.

"We have three farms now, our farm in New York, a partner farm in Europe, and a partner farm in Canada, all growing mycelium using our patented technology, so I think we can declare victory on this as a new industrial crop. But we still have a heck of a lot of work to do to get this fully deployed at scale."

"The first few years were all about invention, then it was all about building a team and getting production set up. Now it's about operating with excellence, quality, and reliability."

"Our goal was to build the assets we needed to be able to make these businesses stand on their own, and we did that, we've completed those assets. The next step is to operate those assets with sufficient scale and enough cash flow to get the business to a breakeven position. I think we'll need to raise money one more time sometime this year."