Ginkgo Bioworks Jason Kelly from Ginkgo Bioworks speaking at the SynBioBeta 2018 Conference
Home » Emerging technologies » Synthetic Biology Unicorn Ginkgo Bioworks Raises An Additional $290 Million

Synthetic Biology Unicorn Ginkgo Bioworks Raises An Additional $290 Million

Through biological engineering, Ginkgo Bioworks design custom organisms to create new products with the potential to transform industries. Today the company announced the Series E financing round totaling $290 million, with all their existing investors participating. This brings the total funding of the company to $719 million. The recent $290 million funding is dedicated to further aid Ginkgo’s cell programming platform. Ginkgo aims to do so by enabling greater access to expertise, resources, scaling and by further developing the underlying technology of the platform.

Ginkgo Bioworks has been busy the last two year, with launching deals and partnerships across major industries. In a $122 million deal with Cronos, the company aims to produce cannabinoids. On the hunt to discover novel antibiotics, the company partnered with Roche in a $160 million deal. With Synlogic, in a $80 million partnership Ginkgo aims to accelerate the development of living medicines. Furthermore, last year in with $120 million in funding, Ginkgo launched their own spinout company called Motif Foodworks to address the need for better alternative proteins.

Boston-based start-up accelerator Petri’s launched a new 12-month program just last week, with Ginkgo bioworks represented in the program’s mentor panel. Ginkgo also established another new partnership with Bay Area-based Y Combinator. And now, thanks to this access to Gingko and this most recent funding round, start-ups will now have more opportunity to translate their innovative ideas.

This funding will further propel Ginkgo’s platform as well as its team of engineers to reach the technology’s full potential and thereby hopefully impact society at large. Examples of some of Ginkgo’s portfolio are the engineering and fermentation of yeast to produce compounds for use as flavors, fragrances, food ingredients, cosmetics, and more in a sustainable manner. This funding is also further important as it resonates with companies across industries, in the belief in the potential of synthetic biology to replace costly and unsustainable manufacturing processes to solve global challenges. Over the past 10 years there has been a tremendous increase in funding for synthetic biology companies. There has also been a great increase in the amount of synthetic biology companies formed.

Funding synthetic biology

Funding for synthetic biology companies has increased tremendously over the last 10 years

Hopefully Ginkgo Bioworks’ impressive $290 million funding in latest round can serve as a motivation for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their inventions to life and translate their research.

Thank you to Stephanie Michelsen for additional research and reporting in this post. Stephanie is a Biotechnology Masters student at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Please note: I am the founder of SynBioBeta, the innovation network for the synthetic biology industry, and some of the companies that I write about are sponsors of the SynBioBeta conference (click here for a full list of sponsors)

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Originally published on Forbes

John Cumbers

John Cumbers

John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta. John is passionate about education and on the use and adoption of biological technologies. He has received multiple awards and grants from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences for his work in the field. John has been involved in multiple startups such as those producing food for space, microbes to extract lunar and martian resources, and hoverboards! John is an active investor through the DCVC SynBioBeta Fund and his synthetic biology syndicate on AngelList.

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