Friday, June 9, 2023

Venture Capital: "Synthetic Biology In Agriculture"

From AgFunderNews, May 16:

Synthetic biology in food & ag: We’re just getting started, says SynBioBeta founder, ‘Biology isn’t easy to engineer’

Synthetic biology startups in food & nutrition and agriculture attracted $101 million in the first quarter of 2023, a 73.5% decline versus the same period last year, according to a new report from synthetic biology innovation network SynBioBeta and tech consultancy Futurity Systems.

Of that total, $55 million went to food & nutrition synbio startups and $46 million to agriculture synbio startups.

The drop continues the downward trend experienced across venture capital sectors last year.

In the full year 2022, funding for food & nutrition synbio startups fell 70% year-over-year (YoY) to $1.05 billion, a sharp drop, but still above the $915.4 million raised in 2019. Funding for synbio startups in agriculture dropped 57% YoY to $527.9 million in 2022, an equally big drop, but still above the $294.4 million raised in 2019.

Total investment in synthetic biology startups fell 53% year-on-year to $10.3 billion in 2022. While this decline outpaced the 35% drop in global venture funding in 2022, the 2020/2021 numbers were inflated by the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted a surge of interest in applications of synthetic biology in areas such as vaccines, noted SynBioBeta founder Dr. John Cumbers.

“$10.3 billion is still an incredible amount of money. And if you take out the giant hype cycle in 2020 and 2021, it’s not too shabby to see that amount of money still coming into the industry,” said Cumbers....