Crossovers fund a $61M round for Twist Bio, spotlighting possible IPO

Twist Bioscience CEO Emily Leproust

Just 7 months after coming up with a $37 million Series C, Twist Bioscience has gone back to the well and drawn up another $61 million in private investor cash. That brings Twist's total to $133 million, with a group of crossover investors stepping in to help spotlight a potential IPO.

The San Francisco-based biotech uses its tech to mass-produce DNA fragments and synthetic genes that can be used for a multitude of drug development experiments--or for chemical or ag production as well as diagnostics.

ARCH Overage Fund, Merieux Developpement, Cormorant Asset Management, Fidelity Management and Research Company and Foresite Capital Management brought in the crossover money. Additional investors include ARCH Venture Partners, WuXi Healthcare Ventures, Illumina, Nick and Joby Pritzker (through their family's firm Tao Invest), Paladin Capital Group, Yuri Milner, Boris Nikolic and additional strategic corporate and venture investors.

In addition to the investment cash, Twist also opened up a $20 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank.

"To date, we have shipped 65 million base pairs of DNA to more than 100 customers through our high-fidelity, high-throughput gene fabrication. We will continue to leverage the power of scale afforded by our proprietary silicon-based DNA synthesis platform, targeting a beta launch in early 2016," said Emily Leproust, CEO of Twist Bioscience. "Importantly, with this financing we intend to build on our strong foundation of delivering high quality, high throughput DNA faster and cheaper, taking the next step to vertically integrate into advance research and development in multiple market segments with existing relationships in industrial chemicals and data storage, and additional partnerships expected in the pharmaceutical industry and other markets that incrementally extend the reach of our innovative production methods."

- here's the release