Genomatica issues US$90 mn equity offering with new investors

Novamont has opened the world’s first commercial-scale plant

US-based biotechnology company Genomatica has issued US$90 million in its latest equity offering, strengthening its balance sheet to fully execute on its business plan and fuel new growth opportunities. Participants include new lead investor Casdin Capital, returning investor Viking Global Investors, which continues as Genomatica’s largest shareholder, and organism engineering partner Ginkgo Bioworks. Genomatica also announced it is expanding its relationship with Ginkgo to accelerate biotechnology innovations for widely-used chemicals.

Genomatica’s commercial technologies impact everyday plastics and personal care products, and new technologies under development target textiles and fibres. The company has delivered two commercial processes. The first, for biobased 1,4-butanediol (BDO) is an ingredient in the production of millions of biodegradable, compostable plastic bags, coffee capsules and food packaging.

Genomatica says its Geno BDO process has made tens of thousands of tons of biobased BDO at Novamont’s US$110 million production plant since late 2016. The second process, for biobased Brontide butylene glycol, is being used to make a range of more natural cosmetic and personal care products.

Genomatica says it is also advancing a new process to make 100% biobased nylon-6 for clothing and carpets, to help move toward a more sustainable and circular textile economy. Its partners include Aquafil and the EFFECTIVE consortium, a dozen firms including brands such as H&M, Carvico, Vaude, and Balsan.

To further accelerate the pace of its innovations, Genomatica and Ginkgo Bioworks have strengthened their technology collaboration, which began in 2016. Ginkgo will now provide expanded access to their foundry capabilities and services, while increasing its equity stake in Genomatica. As a result, Genomatica says it is better positioned to expand its product lines and grow its impact on making everyday products more sustainable.

“Genomatica has delivered high-volume bio-based chemicals to market at costs competitive with petrochemical production, not just once but multiple times,” said Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We’re doubling down on renewable chemicals through our close relationship with Genomatica – and we’re honored to continue to partner with the best in the market.”

In short, Genomatica has commercialised processes for the chemical butanediol (for biodegradable plastics and apparel) and for butylene glycol (cosmetics and personal care); and is working on bio-nylon.


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