Andreessen Horowitz backs bio-manufacturing facilities of the same name • TechCrunch


Armed with $6.3 million in new pre-seed capital, Synonym Biotechnologies has begun the development phase of its first bio-manufacturing facility for non-pharmaceutical applications.

Edward Schenderwich and Joshua Lachter launched the company in January 2022 to develop, finance and build commercial-scale bio-manufacturing facilities to enable synthetic biology manufacturers of all sizes with flexible production capacity, as well as infrastructure investors to access new carbon-negative bionics. -Manufacturing property class they call “Fermentation Farms”.

Andreessen Horowitz, Giant Ventures, Blue Horizon, Tia Ventures and other venture funds working on decarbonization were part of the investment.

Shenderovich and Lachter told TechCrunch in an email that closed the funding this month, saying the pre-seed round “allowed us to build a unique and well-rounded startup team and establish our product in the market.”

“We plan to use the capital to enhance our facility development efforts,” said CEO Schenderwich. “This means focusing on hiring across our design, engineering and finance teams to lay the foundation for our first facility and accelerate strategic partnership relationships across the value chain.”

Synonymy sets up procedural standards to finance both standardized designs and fermentation farms, allowing companies to produce lower-quality bioproducts than alternatives they could easily use. On the investor side, the company said it is building an underwriting model to offer ESG investment opportunities.

The company is implementing the US government’s recent bio-manufacturing executive order, which seeks to accelerate innovation in this area to meet climate and energy goals, food security and sustainability, and supply chains.

However, Schenderwicz and Lachter say this will only be possible if bioproducts such as milk protein, polymers and resins reach prices comparable to legacy products.

And the infrastructure to scale right now that “doesn’t exist today” allows companies to operate at the kind of quality scale that will meet the demands of the future. They must either build their own facilities – costing hundreds of millions of dollars – or rely on contract manufacturing firms to produce products on their behalf.

“Costs will be a major factor in adoption and production costs have already kept them out of supply chains,” Shenderovich said. “Therefore, the production methods of these products will be critical, and the main understanding of the synonym when it comes to industrial infrastructure, productivity precedes financialization, which precedes mass adoption.”

The global contract bio-manufacturing market is estimated at $22.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to more than double by 2030, according to venture-backed startups such as Planetary and Culture Biosciences.

Lachter said what Planetary is doing is “really trying to close the brewing capacity gap,” but while the synonym is different, it’s “focusing on manufacturing facilities and financing rather than the typical CMO model.”

The company is still in the early stages, the co-founders said, their most important step is to start the development of the first facility, which includes site selection and initial design. They expect to break ground on the facility in the third quarter of 2023.

This will be followed by further announcements on construction, architecture and other development partners in the coming months.



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