Gingko Bioworks secures $350 mln for Ferment Consortium

Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks, an organism company, has raised $350 million for the Ferment Consortium, a new fund. Ferment Consortium’s investors include Viking Global Investors, General Atlantic and Cascade Investment. Ferment Consortium is focused on backing Ginkgo spinout companies.


BOSTON, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today at Ginkgo Bioworks’ second annual Ferment meeting, the organism company unveiled the Ferment Consortium, a private investment vehicle for funding Ginkgo spinout companies with transformative potential in established industries. Companies backed by Ginkgo’s Ferment Consortium will have the advantage of launching with full access to Ginkgo’s platform for cell programming and the market expertise of leading strategic partners. The fund is supported by a $350 million commitment from Ginkgo’s current major investors, including Viking Global Investors, General Atlantic, and Cascade Investment.
Ginkgo has already spun out two companies with a similar model in the agriculture and food industries. In the past two years, Ginkgo launched Joyn Bio and Motif FoodWorks on its platform for cell programming; Joyn launched in partnership with Bayer Crop Sciences with $100 million in financing and Motif with $90 million and strategic support from Fonterra and Louis Dreyfus Company. The $350 million Ferment Consortium will enable Ginkgo to replicate more of these successes.

“We’re seeing growing demand from large, sophisticated strategic players across multi-billion dollar industries who realize that synthetic biology will transform their fields,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “These incumbents want to be part of shaping that disruption and owning a stake in it rather than watching it unfold. The Ferment Consortium will catalyze these formations and help fund companies with the speed and strength to transform markets using synthetic biology.”

With the backing of Ferment Consortium and in partnership with market leaders, Ginkgo will focus on enabling spinout companies in mature industries where synthetic biology has been under-utilized but can have a profound impact on a business and its larger ecosystem. Strategic partners will support these new joint ventures with keystone investments alongside Ferment Consortium, and contribute market intelligence and critical channel access.

Ginkgo and the Ferment Consortium will enable company creation to tackle global problems and find better ways to make things across a number of different industries and applications, such as personal care, medicines, raw materials, and waste recovery. Ferment Consortium’s focus areas will be reflective of the opportunities born out of ever-changing technology, market preferences, and global challenges.

The Ginkgo team will be discussing Ferment Consortium and the larger synthetic biology ecosystem with more than 400 scientists, investors, and industry leaders today at the company’s second annual Ginkgo Ferment – visit here for more information.

About Ginkgo Bioworks:
Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow products instead of manufacturing them. The company’s technology platform is bringing biotechnology into consumer goods markets, enabling fragrance, cosmetics, nutrition, and food companies to make better products. For more information, visit