Zymergen, a five-year-old company that manufacturers molecules for a wide array of uses and industries, has closed on $400 million in Series C funding led by one of its earlier investors, the SoftBank Vision Fund.
Even in a world where triple-digit million-dollar rounds have become de rigueur, the amount stands out, as does the company, which occupies a 301,000-square-foot campus in Emeryville, Calif. and has been growing like gangbusters. How? By engineering yeast and bacterial strains for outfits across the pharmaceutical, food and agricultural, specialty chemical and electronics industries.
Its objective is typically the same: to engineer tiny microbes with the aid of advanced computing to help increase the yields from these customers’ fermentation processes — and fatten their bottom lines in the process. Zymergen doesn’t care if it’s an antibiotic they want to make, an alternate feedstock or even flexible OLEDs — the kind that Apple uses to produce its screen technology.