German synbio start-up raises $15m financing
Origin.Bio, a new German synthetic biology company founded by former AMSilk-CEO Jens Klein, has raised $15m funding round led by EQT Ventures.
Existing investor BlueYard Capital also participated in the round along with new investors including Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi, Acequia Capital, Inventures and Charlie Songhurst. The new funding will be used to expand the technology and team to execute on the company’s aggressive growth plans.
AI-driven synthetic biology in the focus
Origin.Bio drives the convergence of engineering with biology, using DNA as the programming language. Rather than editing genetic material only in or out of DNA, engineers can hack entirely new organisms that have never existed, all powered by computing, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine-learning while leveraging millions of years of evolution. Operating at an atomic level, the company farms organisms with microscopic precision and integrates into existing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) manufacturing processes. This asset-light approach enables Origin.Bio to generate sustainable materials at speed in a cost-effective way, without compromising on performance.
By 2050, the EU aims to be the world’s first climate-neutralbloc, which requires €1tn of sustainable investment over the next decade. To accelerate this, the private sector has a big part to play. There has been no shortage of climate-focused innovation in labs and startups across the globe, but the science has been very difficult to scale. Origin.Bio is changing this by bridging the gap between R&D-focused organisations and brands/OEMS. Founded in 2021 by Jens Klein, the former CEO of German biotech company AMSilk, the Origin.Bio team brings a wealth of experience from worldwide leading academic institutions, management consultancies and from companies including AMSilk, Clariant, Evonik, Fresenius and Syngenta.
Jens Klein, Founder and CEO of Origin.Bio, commented: “By partnering directly with nature, Origin.Bio evolves humanity beyond the ancient hunter-gatherer approach, generating resources instead of extracting them. Most of the products people use today stem from petrochemicals, including plastic, medicine, clothing, and personal care products. The energy consumed and waste generated in their production is at the core of our planetary crisis. As the climate crisis accelerates, consumer activism must be complemented by a fast-moving decarbonization effort among the Fortune 2000 and beyond. Origin.Bio is helping these companies create sustainable products with a lower CO2 footprint thereby giving consumers around the globe the opportunity to actively live change and make planetary life better. Having EQT Ventures backing us for this journey makes us proud and bold at the same time.”Gregory Bernstein, Investor and Venture Lead at EQT Ventures, added: “We believe that we are at the beginning of a new paradigm in manufacturing in which synthetic biology has the potential to renew humanity’s relationship with the natural world and our finite resources from it. Jens Klein and the Origin.Bio team are on a mission to lead this shift. This bioeconomy is a $4 trillionopportunity and Europe has the conditions to produce a global champion for it; its technical universities are second to none and the startup ecosystem only continues to get stronger. At EQT Ventures, we are tremendously excited to back Jens and Origin.Bio as they reinvent how goods and materials are produced for our planet’s benefit.”