Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston, MA-based organism design company, raised $9m in Series A round of funding.
Backers included Felicis Ventures, OS Fund, Data Collective, iGlobe Partners and Vast Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to complete the construction of its new foundry (Bioworks1), which uses robotics and advanced software to make the process of engineering organisms scalable.
Founded in 2008 by Tom Knight, Jason Kelly, Reshma Shetty, Barry Canton and Austin Che, Ginkgo Bioworks specializes in engineering microbes to produce cultured ingredients, such as flavors, fragrances, cosmetics, and nutritional ingredients. The company has secured 20 organism design contracts to date with customers including Fortune 500 companies.
The company previously secured over $15m in contracts from DARPA and other advanced research government agencies to fund the development and demonstration of their foundry’s core technology such as automating the writing of DNA code.
Ginkgo was part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2014 class.