Zymergen Takes Aim at $3 Trillion Chemical & Materials Industry With $300 Million in New Funding

General Press Releases Wednesday September 9, 2020 13:09
EMERYVILLE California--9 Sep--PRNewswire/InfoQuest
One of the largest deep tech investments of 2020 to fuel additional product releases and development of breakthrough materials

Science and material innovation company Zymergen today announced $300M in new investment to accelerate its delivery of revolutionary, high performance materials. The investment includes initial Series D funding led by Baillie Gifford, joined by Baron Capital Group and one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, as well as additional growth financing from Perceptive Advisors. A number of current investors are also returning, and Zymergen expects to raise additional capital in Q4 as part of a Series D round.

This infusion of capital powers Zymergen's charge into the $3 trillion chemical and materials industries, speeding the manufacture of their groundbreaking Hyaline film, as well as the commercialization of additional breakthrough products across electronics, agriculture, consumer care and healthcare.

Zymergen develops and launches better performing products more sustainably and for a fraction of the cost and time that it typically takes using incumbent techniques. A unique combination of biology, chemistry, machine learning and lab automation underpins Zymergen's powerful proprietary platform, driving the company's ability to discover, design and commercialize never-before-seen materials.

Zymergen's broad portfolio of products is a beacon of innovation in an otherwise stagnant chemical and materials sector. The American Chemistry Council reported that the U.S. chemical industry contracted by 3% in 2019(1), an industry that has produced no breakthrough materials since the 1980s. Beholden to existing manufacturing infrastructure and outdated practices, many legacy chemical companies have reduced investments in research and new material development, leaving people with inferior products and a planet with increasing environmental damage. Even while contracting, the U.S. chemical industry remains a huge contributor to global climate change, generating over 190 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 alone as reported to the EPA(2).

"Our investment philosophy is to identify companies that can deliver transformational change over the long term," said Peter Singlehurst, Head of Unlisted Equities at Baillie Gifford. "Zymergen is demonstrating their ability to create products at scale with properties that were previously unimaginable. Their rich and growing product pipeline, coupled with their platform approach, makes this a repeatable process that gets better over time. As long-term investors, we seek out companies with the potential to change industries over decades. Zymergen is such a company."

The investment announced today helps to bring the revolutionary Hyaline product to market more quickly, and accelerates Zymergen's development of all-natural pesticides and other bio-derived crop protection products, as well as a bio-based insect repellent. These product innovations are supported by a powerful platform and technology infrastructure, protected by a strong and growing data set.

"Zymergen is taking the torch from earlier generations of innovators and tackling a huge opportunity to create transformative products with biology," said Jay Flatley, Chairman of the board at Illumina and Lead Independent Director of Zymergen's Board. "Zymergen is turning their powerful vision into reality - in the form of real products - and capturing massive new markets that provide value for customers and investors alike."

"We built Zymergen to make revolutionary hi-performance products that outshine existing materials while dramatically reducing environmental impacts," said Zymergen CEO Josh Hoffman. "This is the right investment for this moment, advancing our transformational long-term vision and bringing real products to market."

About Zymergen

Zymergen is a science and material innovation company rethinking biology and reimagining the world. A World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, Zymergen partners with nature to create never-before imagined materials and products across industries – from agriculture to electronics, consumer care to pharmaceuticals, and more. The company creates sustainable materials that are in use today, delivering value for Fortune 1000 companies with over $1 billion worth of products using Zymergen microbial innovations sold to date. At Zymergen we make tomorrow. Learn more at zymergen.com

Forward-Looking Statements. This press release contains forward-looking statements that are predictive in nature and depend upon future events or conditions, including statements regarding the company's growth, the growth of new markets and the creation, timing and performance of new products, services and solutions, as well as their broader impact. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual results, performance or achievements may be materially different from current expectations.

1 https://www.americanchemistry.com/Media/PressReleasesTranscripts/ACC-news-releases/Chemical-Industry-Outlook-Slower-Growth-Amid-Near-Term-Headwinds.html
2 https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/ghgrp-chemicals
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