BOSTON, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks, an organism design company, today announced that it has raised $100 million in a Series C round of funding with participation from Y Combinator's Continuity Fund, Senator Investment Group, Cascade Investment, Baillie Gifford, Viking Global Investors and Allen & Company LLC. This brings the company's total private funding to $154 million in the past 15 months. The new funds will be used to help fuel the company's growth into new markets, such as commodity chemicals, industrial enzymes and human health markets, as well as to build its next-generation automated foundry, Bioworks2, where Ginkgo's organism engineers can develop new designs at massive scale.
Ginkgo's growth signals an evolution of technology companies, especially in a tightening startup economy where capital is more difficult to secure. "At YC, we have invested in more and more 'hard tech' companies like Ginkgo in the past few years," said Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator. "There has never been a better time to take a long-term view and use technology to solve major problems, particularly with the advancements happening in synthetic biology."
"We believe that designed biology will be for this century what information technology and computers were to the last," said Jason Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. "Biology is the most advanced manufacturing technology on the planet. As we get better at designing biology, we'll use it to make everything, disrupting sectors that the traditional tech industry hasn't been able to access. In the past few years, we've heard that biology is becoming a software problem, but biology can do many things that software simply can't."
Ginkgo also announced today that it has partnered with Twist Bioscience and Gen9, the leading providers of synthetic DNA, to have an unprecedented 600 million base pairs of DNA manufactured—the largest supply of DNA ever purchased. This is the raw material for Ginkgo's biological prototypes, and will be used to generate genetic designs that will be built and tested in Ginkgo's new foundry, Bioworks2.
In 2015, Ginkgo announced its plan to purchase 100 million base pairs of DNA, which at the time represented 10 percent of the yearly global market for synthetic DNA. The company is currently using this DNA to enable rapid prototyping of organism designs delivered to customers in the fragrance, flavor, and food industries. Today's announcement demonstrates the trajectory of growth, as Ginkgo continues to scale biological design into new markets.
The company was also named to CNBC's Disruptor 50 2016 list. The list is comprised of the country's most ambitious and innovative private companies revolutionizing various industries.
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks is an organism design company that is building organisms to specification for customers across a variety of markets including food, health, and consumer goods. The company's organism engineers work directly with customers, including Fortune 500 companies, to design microbes for their specific needs. The company was founded in 2008 by Tom Knight, a world-renowned computer scientist, and MIT biological engineering PhDs Jason Kelly, Reshma Shetty, Barry Canton and Austin Che. Ginkgo Bioworks is based in Boston and is financially backed by Viking Global Investors, Senator Investment Group, Cascade Investment, Baillie Gifford, Felicis Ventures, OS Fund and Y Combinator, as well as other funds. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com or follow our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/Ginkgoo.
SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks