2021 is shaping up to be a record year for synthetic biology investment. The first quarter of 2021 nearly quadrupled the previous Q1 record set in 2020 and is more than ten-fold higher than Q1 investments from only four years ago. If current funding rates hold for this year, investments into the synthetic biology sector could be more than 200-400% larger than 2020.
In many ways, this year’s record-breaking Q1 is a continuation of the record-setting ~$8 billion that went into the synthetic biology sector in 2020. Many of the investment trends in 2020 were driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those investment trends, particularly in therapeutics and life science tools and diagnostics, continued this quarter.
The healthcare industry as a whole is not the only sector seeing increased investment from the global pandemic. The global market impacts of COVID-19 also appear to be driving investment across the synthetic biology space. Q1 saw new trends emerge in synthetic biology food companies and the energy sector. Additionally, the new policies of the Biden administration will likely influence synthetic biology investment throughout the year, particularly in bio-based fuels and climate mitigation technologies.
These market influences raise two key questions:
- How has the funding environment evolved since the first year of the pandemic?
- Which trends can we expect to see as the year continues?
Read SynBioBeta’s full analysis including our look at Q2 2021 and why we project the industry could reach $36 billion in total investment by the end of the year.5