Armed with $6.3 million in new pre-seed capital, Synonym Biotechnology has entered the development phase for its first bio-production facilities for non-pharmaceutical applications.
Edward Shenderovich and Joshua Lachter started the company in January 2022 to develop, finance and build commercial-scale bioproduction facilities to provide synthetic biology producers of all sizes with flexible production capacity while providing infrastructure investors with access to a new, carbon-negative biotechnology. production asset class they call “fermentation farms.”
Andreessen Horowitz, Giant Ventures, Blue Horizon, Thia Ventures and other venture capital funds active in decarbonization were part of the investment.
Shenderovich and Lachter closed funding this month, telling australiabusinessblog.com via email that the pre-seed round “has enabled us to build an exceptional and well-rounded launch team and bring our product to market.”
“We plan to use the capital to catalyze our facility development efforts,” said CEO Shenderovich. “This means we need to focus on hiring our design, engineering and finance teams to lay the groundwork for our first breakthrough facility and accelerate our reach for strategic partnerships across the value chain.”
Synonym develops both the standardized designs and the acceptance standards for financing its fermentation companies so that companies can easily use them to produce better quality bioproducts at a lower cost than the existing options. On the investor side, the company said it is building an underwriting model to provide ESG investment opportunities.
The company also channels recent US government publications executive command of bioproduction that wants to accelerate innovation in this area to achieve goals around climate and energy goals, food security and sustainability and supply chains.
However, Shenderovich and Lachter say this will only be possible if bio-products, such as dairy proteins, polymers and resins, have the same costs as legacy products.
And right now, the infrastructure to properly scale “doesn’t exist today” in a way that allows companies to make the quantity with the kind of quality that will meet future demand. They must either build their own facility — costing hundreds of millions of dollars — or rely on contract manufacturing organizations to manufacture products on their behalf.
“Cost will be the driving factor for adoption and production costs have prevented them from entering supply chains yet,” Shenderovich said. “The means of production for these products will therefore be critical, and Synonym’s key insight is that when it comes to industrial infrastructure, productization precedes financialization that precedes mass adoption.”
The global contract organization for bioproduction market, which includes venture capital-backed startups such as Planetary and Culture Life Sciences do, was estimated at $22.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to more than double by 2030.
Lachter said what Planetary is doing is “basically trying to close the capacity gap in fermentation,” but where Synonym varies, the approach is to “focus more on productization and financialization of facilities rather than a more traditional GMO model.”
The company is still in its early stages, with the co-founders saying their most significant milestone was the launch of the development of its first facility, including site selection and initial design. They expect to complete groundbreaking work on the facility in the third quarter of 2023.
This will be followed by further announcements about construction, architecture and other development partners in the coming months.