EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 16, 2015) - Zymergen, which uses robots, big data, and novel software algorithms to unlock the potential of biology to engineer materials of the future, today announced $44 million in funding. Founded in 2013, this is the first time the company is revealing details about its business and impressive growth. Data Collective led the Series A, with participation from AME Cloud Ventures (Jerry Yang), Draper Fisher Jurvetson, HVF (Max Levchin), Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors, Obvious Ventures, True Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures.
Zymergen, an early leader in what's been dubbed the "New Bioeconomy," uses microbes to manufacture high-value chemicals and new materials. By applying its robotic automation, proprietary machine learning software, and deep computer analytics to the complex field of industrial microbiology, Zymergen can, cost-effectively, and predictably "program" microbes to produce high-value commercial molecules. Zymergen's approach unlocks the promise of clean, inexpensive, and reliable manufacturing through biology for the first time in history.
"It's amazing to know that we can harness activities at a cellular level to churn out the raw materials we use in our everyday lives. And yet the progress in this field has been slow and disappointing, because companies have been constrained, pursuing inefficient approaches," said Zymergen CEO Joshua Hoffman. "We think this is a problem of data and computation, rather than one of scientific discovery alone. We have developed algorithms for efficiently discovering the best paths for programming microbial DNA. The potential long-term applications are virtually limitless."
While the vast majority of materials today are created from petroleum and other nonrenewable resources, Zymergen's technology enables clean, sustainable, reliable biological manufacturing at industrial scale. Achievements in this field have the potential to revolutionize a range of industries -- from pharmaceutical to chemical to food -- with potential applications that include everything from more fuel-efficient cars to more pest-resistant plants to adhesives that can stay intact inside a patient after surgery.
"Unlike the prior generations of companies in this field, Zymergen is pursuing a repeatable, technology-focused approach with controllable costs and fast delivery timelines," said Matt Ocko, Managing Partner of Data Collective. "With a seasoned leadership team made up of scientists with decades in the field, world-class AI and robotics technologists, and business people with long experience in dealing with demanding Fortune 100 customers, Zymergen is already solving critical real-world problems with the potential for massive impact in the years to come."
Zymergen counts several Fortune 100 companies among its customers.
Zymergen is part of the New Bioeconomy, helping unlock the power of biology to create essential chemicals and novel materials from clean, renewable sources. Through an unprecedented combination of robotic automation, software, data architecture and machine learning capabilities, Zymergen is making biology industrially relevant. The company is headquartered in Emeryville, CA and is backed by some of the world's most visionary investors and entrepreneurs, including Data Collective, True Ventures, Obvious Ventures, DFJ, Max Levchin, Jerry Yang and Eric Schmidt. For more information, visit www.zymergen.com and follow us at @zymergen.
About Data Collective
Data Collective is a venture capital firm that invests in companies that are driving a big data and deep compute secular trend as enduring as the PC and networking revolutions of the last 30 years. DCVC and its principals have backed brilliant people changing global-scale industries for over twenty years, helping create tens of billions of dollars of wealth for these entrepreneurs while also making the world a markedly better place. DCVC brings to bear a unique model that unites a team of experienced venture capitalists with more than 35 technology executives and experts (CTOs, CIOs, Chief Scientists, Professors at Stanford and Berkeley) with significant tenures at top 100 technology companies and research institutions worldwide. Learn more at dcvc.com and follow us at @dcvc.