SoftBank returns to back synthetic biology firm Zymergen in a $400M series C round

The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, with Goldman Sachs and Hanwha Asset Management joining as new investors. (pasja1000)

Zymergen has raised over $400 million in a series C funding round, which it says will help double the capacity of its synthetic biology contract manufacturing platform.

It will also use the money to begin commercializing its own proprietary products, which it says are aimed at “global quality of life and population health.”

The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund—which returned after helping the Emeryville, California-based company raise $130 million in an October 2016 series B—while Goldman Sachs and Hanwha Asset Management joined as new investors.

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In addition, Data Collective, True Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, DFJ and Innovation Endeavors also returned to back the company.

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Zymergen uses artificial intelligence algorithms and automated laboratory systems to genetically engineer microbes to produce a specific product, with applications in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, chemicals and materials.

While its customers have largely gone undisclosed, previous reports have pointed to a generic drugmaker, as well as Fortune 500 and 1000 companies.

“We believe biology will allow us to reinvent all kinds of material products we use in our everyday lives,” said Joshua Hoffman, Zymergen co-founder and CEO. “Zymergen enables its globally leading customers to deliver new and existing products faster, more profitably, at higher quality, with a dramatically reduced environmental footprint, all on a repeatable basis.”