Ginkgo Bioworks: $290 Million In Funding To Expand Cell Programming Platform

By Noah Long ● September 25, 2019
  • Ginkgo Bioworks recently announced it raised $290 million in Series E funding with participation from all existing major investors and other new investors

Organism company Ginkgo Bioworks recently announced that it raised $290 million in Series E funding with participation from all existing major investors and other new investors including funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. Including this round, Ginkgo Bioworks has raised a total of $719 million. According to Forbes, this funding round brings Ginkgo’s valuation to more than $4 billion.

This round of funding will be used to further expand the reach of Ginkgo’s platform for cell programming thus enabling greater access to the expertise, scale, resources, and technology needed to effectively harness the power of biology.

Companies of all sizes and industries are starting to understand the potential of synthetic biology to replace costly or unsustainable manufacturing processes and solve pressing global challenges. And this funding round will propel Ginkgo’s platform and enable its team of experienced organism engineers to unlock the full potential of biological engineering while delivering transformative technologies.

Over the past two years, Ginkgo grew through large partnerships across major industries, including a $122 million deal to produce cultured cannabinoids with Cronos, a partnership with Roche for up to $160 million to discover novel antibiotics, and an $80 million investment in Synlogic to accelerate the development of living medicines. And last year, Ginkgo also launched its second spinout company called Motif Foodworks with $117 million in funding to address the need for better alternative proteins. This followed the launch of Joyn Bio in 2017 to bring more sustainable practices to the agriculture industry.

Ginkgo also established itself as a home for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs to build their biotech businesses. And through two new partnerships with Y Combinator and Petri, startups can access Ginkgo’s platform and mentorship in exchange for equity. With access to Ginkgo, startups now have a pathway to make world-changing ideas a reality.

“Cells are programmable similar to computers because they run on digital code in the form of DNA,” said Jason Kelly, the CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We believe Ginkgo has the best compiler and debugger for writing genetic code and we use it to program cells for customers in a range of industries. Today’s fundraise will allow us to expand our technology and continue our drive to bring biology into every physical goods industry – materials, clothing, electronics, food, pharmaceuticals, and more. They are all biotech industries but just don’t know it yet.”