Home » Funding & investments » News digest #254 – These 98 synthetic biology companies raised $3.8 billion in 2018

News digest #254 – These 98 synthetic biology companies raised $3.8 billion in 2018


SynBioBeta Digest

Your guide to what’s new in synthetic biology

Hi all,

Six months ago, we predicted $3 billion would be invested in the synthetic biology industry in 2018. With ten days left in the year, we’re up to $3.8 billion — including a $3 million Series A by Colorifix, who are using bacteria to dye clothes, $30 million from Mission Bio, who are making some cool hardware for single-cell analysis, and $30 million from Inscripta, who are developing a suite of gene-editing tools to enable true forward cell engineering. Check out SynBioBeta’s year-end investing wrap-up. 

Following Zymergen’s blockbuster $400 million announcement last week, we also talked with CEO Josh Hoffman about his plans to reshape the multi-billion-dollar industrial microbes business. 

Orr Yarkoni, CEO of Colorifix, at SynBioBeta SF 2017. Instead of using toxic and non-renewable petrochemicals, Colorifix uses synthetic biology methods to create a range of colors.

We can learn a lot about our bioeconomy just by looking at the new companies founded this year. Who are they, what are they doing, and where are they — and what do the answers to those questions have to tell us, if anything, about the synthetic biology forecast? Here are four synthetic biology companies to watch in 2019. 

Sebastian Palluk (left) and Daniel Arlow of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), co-founders of Ansa Biotechnologies, have pioneered a new way to synthesize DNA sequences. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

With 2018 coming to a close, we took a look at the SynBioBeta stories readers enjoyed most in 2018. The year’s top articles fell into a few key categories: fundraising, investing, education and training, and space. The result? A diverse list of articles that not only serve as a reminder of what a great year it was for synthetic biology, but also reveal what our community is most excited about for the future. 

“The Synbio Stack” by Will Canine of Opentrons was one of the most popular articles of the year.

Finally, we’re looking for great speakers for SynBioBeta 2019. If you want to make a splash, launch a product, or think you’ll have an announcement, apply here to speak by December 31.

Have a great week!

Latest news

The radical possibilities of man-made DNA | Floyd E. Romesberg

Read more →

Go-ahead for first in-body CRISPR medicine testing

Read more →

The CRISPR shocker: How genome-editing scientist He Jiankui rose from obscurity to stun the world

Read more →

How international regulation collides with the open use of genetic sequence data

Read more →

Stella McCartney is on a quest to save you from the fashion industry

Read more →

Inside the race to build life from scratch

Read more →

More reads

More reads

BiomX enters collaboration with Johnson & Johnson innovation for discovery of microbiome-based biomarkers for IBD (Press release)

The U.S. government is asking industry to help identify ‘emerging technologies’

How Deepak Dugar is fermenting change in the chemical industry

FDA clears first xenotransplantation trial of skin cells derived from genetically engineered pigs (FierceBiotech)

Cathay Industrial Biotech invests an additional USD 500 million to expand its production capacity for new bio-based materials (Press release)

Novo Nordisk purchases Berkeley Lights’ Beacon® Optofluidic platform for cell line development and antibody discovery (Press release)

European Space Agency announce ‘Space for Biotechnology’ funding call

Prellis Biologics announces first ever pre-vascularized 3D scaffolds for research labs

Nine VCs who matter, but you never read about

Amyris receives GRAS notification from FDA for its new, sugarcane-derived, zero calorie sweetener (Press release)

ERS Genomics licenses CRISPR tech to Lonza (Genome Web)

Scottish Water launches demonstration of Microvi’s revolutionary wastewater treatment technology (Press release)

Intrexon and AquaBounty receive regulatory exemption in development of gene edited tilapia for more sustainable production (Press release)

Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Software Engineer – Back-end: Serotiny

Synthetic Biology Research Associate: LanzaTech

Scientist, Strain Engineering at 64-x

Head of Finance (VP/SVP level): Ginkgo Bioworks

Careers in Protein Engineering at Codexis

Senior Software Engineer: CATALOG

Head of Bioprocess: C16 Biosciences

Engineering Lead: Ansa Biotechnologies

Scientist, Microorganism Engineering at 64-x

Scientist: CATALOG

Mammalian Synthetic Biology – Protein Engineer: Serotiny

Mechanical Engineer: CATALOG

Synthetic and Microbial Biologist: C16 Biosciences

Feature your job here →


Click here to join our weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think about this article. Got a tip for our news team? Write to editorial@synbiobeta.com.

Editor’s picks