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Zymergen Announces $130 Million in Series B Funding

October 11, 2016

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-Zymergen, a technology company unlocking the power of biology, announced today that it has raised 130 million USD in Series B funding led by SoftBank Group (TOKYO: 9984). The round also includes prior lead investor Data Collective (DCVC), as well as return investors True Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DFJ, Innovation Endeavors, Obvious Ventures, and Two Sigma Ventures. New investors include Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures, and Tao Capital Partners.

“Zymergen has created a complete solution. As a result, they have achieved a level of scale and quality control previously unseen in industrial biology.”

Zymergen also announced two additions to its Board of Directors: former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate Dr. Steven Chu, and SoftBank Group International Managing Director Deep Nishar, previously a longtime senior executive at Google and LinkedIn.

Zymergen has developed a proprietary platform, which uses robots and machine learning to engineer microbes faster, more predictably, and to a level of performance previously unattainable. These microbes, and the products they produce, have broad applications across industries such as chemicals and materials, agriculture, and healthcare. Zymergen works with customers in these industries to improve the economics of existing products, bring new products to market faster, and to develop entirely new products.

“We’re thrilled that SoftBank understands our proven business and supports our long-term growth,” said Joshua Hoffman, Zymergen co-founder and CEO. “The intersection of machine learning and biology allows us to reliably engineer microbes, resulting in new products, new jobs, and wholly new markets.”

SoftBank Group International Managing Director and newly-appointed Zymergen board member, Deep Nishar, agrees. “We are investing in Zymergen because they are a preeminent bioengineering company and the market leader. They have a revolutionary approach to engineering biology that is already solving business problems for Fortune 500 customers, and a proven ability to impact the economics of these mature, at-scale businesses.”

Matt Ocko, Managing Partner of Data Collective, added “DCVC has doubled down on Zymergen twice since our seed investment because the company transforms pivotal biology problems into solvable engineering problems, with repeatable, high precision outcomes - more like semiconductor manufacturing than traditional biology. Zymergen’s superb team has solved some of the hardest problems in machine learning and applied robotics, uniting them in a platform and giving the company years of sustainable advantage.”

"Biology is inherently complex, and in the past, this complexity was used to explain inconsistent results. Zymergen approaches biology with an engineering and mathematical mindset. This enables them to put all the pieces together in a repeatable and trustworthy way,” said Dr. Chu. “Zymergen has created a complete solution. As a result, they have achieved a level of scale and quality control previously unseen in industrial biology.”

With this new funding, Zymergen plans to accelerate growth to further support customers in addition to recruiting top talent across software engineering, automation, and biology.

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