With $300 Million In New Funding, Zymergen Aims To Sustainably Transform The $3 Trillion Chemical And Materials Industry


By making better, greener alternatives to petrochemistry, Zymergen sees a huge economic and environmental opportunity

As the smoke from a dozen wildfires darkened San Francisco, Josh Hoffman took his two children outside to see the surreal morning sky. It looked like a dystopian scene from Blade Runner 2049.

“My kids were scared because the sun never rose, and when it did it looked like a dying planet,” says the CEO of Zymergen, a biomanufacturing company. In the apocalyptic skies, Hoffman saw the end of times that so many warn about if we don’t get a handle on climate change. “It’s not going to be solved with gentle nudges to use a little bit less power. We need real technology-based innovation.”

Warmer, drier conditions, increased drought, and a longer fire season…these are just a few potential results of climate change. But by making better, greener alternatives for the $3 trillion petrochemistry-based chemicals and materials industry, Zymergen sees a huge economic and environmental opportunity.

Investing in the future of manufacturing

Investors see the opportunity, too. In September, Zymergen announced one of the largest deep tech investments of 2020 — $300 million — to accelerate its pipeline of high-performance chemicals and materials. The investment includes initial Series D funding led by Baillie Gifford, Baron Capital Group, Perceptive Advisors, and a number of current investors. Zymergen expects to raise additional capital in Q4 as part of the Series D round.

Hoffman says about 60% of Zymergen’s cash is going to new pipeline