Idaho-based Hempitecture, Inc. raised $5.7 million in seed funding from 1,729 investors through crowdfunding platform Wefunder, the company announced. Photo courtesy of Hempitecture, Inc.

By Jean Lotus

Ketchum, ID-based Hempitecture, Inc., manufacturer and distributor of hemp batt insulation products, will close on a seed round of investment for $5.7 million this week from more than 1,700 investors, using online crowdfunding platform Wefunder, company founders said.

The public benefit company, founded by Mattie Mead and Tommy Gibbons, filed the company’s Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission after completing the required financial audit. The company reported revenue of $627,000 last year, according to federal filings. 

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The company has imported hemp batt insulation, sold under the brand name HempWool, from Quebec-based Nature Fibre, and is now building a Jerome, ID insulation manufacturing plant near I-84 to manufacture the  bio-based hemp insulation. Hempitecture will import textile nonwoven manufacturing machinery from an original equipment manufacturer in Europe, the company said. The company plans to move into the facility in April. 

“The fibers used in HempWool insulation are sourced from farmers in the US and Canada,” co-founder and CEO Mattie Mead said. “We’re supporting rural agriculture, which in turn captures carbon dioxide.” 

ONX Homes, a Carrollton, TX-based modular homebuilding company was announced as a lead investor, with $1.5 million committed to the seed round. The company is building modular homes in planned communities in Texas and Florida.

The company’s crowdfunding effort got off to a roaring start in June, 2021, raising more than $1 million in its first two days.

Carbon-storing insulation

Hempitecture’s batt insulation provides a carbon-sequestering, non-toxic alternative to the $5 billion fiberglass insulation market. 

Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation contribute more than 30 percent of the stratospheric ozone depletion, the worst environmental culprit, in the  “pre-construction phase” of single-family homes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are on a mission to turn building materials into carbon storage devices,” founder Mead said. 

Last year, Hempitecture partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Research Integration Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to develop and commercialize new hemp-based building products. 

The company also sells lime binder for hempcrete and will import hempcrete blocks this year from Belgium’s IsoHemp block company.

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The company also received grant funding from the Southern Idaho Economic Development, Region IV Development, and Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, including a $206,624 grant to the University of Idaho to fund research around Hempitecture’s HempWool and hempcrete products.

“By producing these materials in the United States, we believe we can provide lower costs, shorter lead times, and smaller carbon footprints,” Mead said in an email. “This makes hemp building products more affordable, and therefore, more equitable,” he added. 

Hempitecture, Inc. co-founders Mattie Mead (L) and Tommy Gibbons (R). Photo courtesy of Mattie Mead.

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Originally published February 21, 2022 on Hemp Building Mag