17 December 2018 | News
To achieve these results, Zymergen uses artificial intelligence algorithms and robotic genomic “factories” to search the microbial genome, running tens of thousands of experiments to spot subtle signals of improvement
Molecular manufacturing technology company, Zymergen has announced that it has raised over $400 million in Series C funding led by returning investor SoftBank Vision Fund.
The round welcomes new investors Goldman Sachs and Hanwha Asset Management, as well as returning investors, DCVC (Data Collective), True Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, DFJ and Innovation Endeavors.
Zymergen’s Series C funding validates the company’s progress and the significant market opportunity for molecular technology, the new technological field pioneered by the company. The infusion of capital will accelerate Zymergen’s growth, enabling the company to double the capacity of its platform to meet the needs of its growing global client roster.
The company will also invest in enhancing its platform, increasing the speed and predictability with which it can program and optimize biology for specific traits. Finally, Zymergen will begin commercializing products from its proprietary portfolio, including several with transformative impacts on global quality of life and population health. This combination of commercial success and continued platform innovation will catalyze industrial progress across agriculture, chemicals and materials, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Joshua Hoffman, Zymergen co-founder and CEO said, “We believe biology will allow us to reinvent all kinds of material products we use in our everyday lives. With the Vision Fund’s continued investment, and the support and validation from top financial institutions, we will lead the discovery, development and engineering of new molecular products and usher in a wave of industrial innovation built on biology. Zymergen enables its globally leading customers to deliver new and existing products faster, more profitably, at higher quality, with a dramatically reduced environmental footprint, all on a repeatable basis.”
Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said, “The secular trend of synthetic biology, enabled by the genomics revolution and computational biology, is creating new opportunities across multiple industrial sectors,” said. “We believe the company’s differentiated combination of AI and genomics creates a platform that makes it economically viable to engineer biology and build better, novel, and sustainable products. We are excited to support the Zymergen team in unlocking this potential to advance industries past their dependency on conventional hydrocarbon processing.”
“By marrying innovations in technology and science, Zymergen treats biology like a search space, much like Google treated indexing the web,” said the Executive Vice President at Hanwha Asset Management who drove the company’s investment in Zymergen. “And furthermore, they are doing this at scale, discovering new applications for biology ready to deploy to their industrial partners. From improving time to market, to performance and productivity, the impact Zymergen has on its partners’ bottom line presents unmatched potential for invigorating industrial manufacturing.”
To achieve these results, Zymergen uses artificial intelligence algorithms and robotic genomic “factories” to search the microbial genome, running tens of thousands of experiments to spot subtle signals of improvement. The platform then analyzes these signals to identify paths that no human scientist could ever discover, enabling Zymergen to optimize molecules for specific traits. Zymergen’s platform routinely accomplishes inside a year, in a single building, with a few hundred people, what would take thousands of scientists and specialists a decade, in square miles of facilities, and billions of dollars of spend.