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SoftBank-Backed Synthetic Biology Startup Raises $300 Million to Build a Better Microbe

Zymergen and companies like it want to change industries from manufacturing to animal feed. 

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Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Synthetic biology startup Zymergen Inc. has raised $300 million in a new funding round—a signal of investors’ confidence that biological science can be harnessed in novel ways to manufacture products. 

The funding round was led by Baillie Gifford & Co., the U.K.-based funds giant, with participation from Baron Capital Inc. and a sovereign wealth fund that declined to be identified, said Josh Hoffman, Zymergen’s chief executive officer and co-founder. Other investors included existing backers DCVC, True Ventures and SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund.