The corporate-backed synthetic silk producer increased its valuation to over $1.2bn in a round led by Carlyle Japan Partners.

Spiber, a Japan-based synthetic biomaterial developer backed by corporates Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Toyoshima, Ebara, Toyota Boshuko and Dai-Chi Life, raked in ¥34.4bn ($312m) in funding today.

Private equity firm Carlyle led the round through its Carlyle Japan Partners fund and was joined by investment and financial services group Fidelity, Cool Japan Fund and Baillie Gifford. The round valued the company at over $1.2bn post-money.

Founded in 2007, Spiber produces synthetic silk and other materials using synthetic proteins with no need for the spiders and silkworms usually required.

The company is looking to capitalise on a growing market for sustainable textiles and will put the proceeds of the round into accelerating its expansion and commercialisation plans.

The round follows several injections of corporate cash over the past few years, the most recent of which was involved food processor and commodities trader ADM in October 2020 with an investment of undisclosed size, building on a similarly undisclosed amount in December 2019.

Textile trading company Toyoshima also invested an undisclosed amount in Spiber, in May 2020, through a joint research agreement. It had quickly followed industrial machine manufacturer Ebara’s $9.5m injection two months earlier.

Automotive component manufacturer Toyota Boshuko and insurance firm Dai-Chi Life had previously put up $14.1m in seed capital for the company in 2017.