Dublin and London-listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit has co-led a $12.3 million (€9.9 million) funding round for Evonetix, a UK-company developing a novel gene synthesis platform.
Evonetix was spun out of Cambridge Consultants in July 2016. The company was established to develop technology that enables the parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays, to facilitate the fast-emerging field of synthetic biology, where there is increasing demand for high-throughput and highly accurate synthesis.
The company’s technology is based upon a novel silicon array, manufactured with semiconductor microfabrication techniques and permitting the independent control required at the miniaturised reaction sites. This will allow massive parallelism in the DNA synthesis process and therefore very high throughput.
The latest funding round was co-led by Draper Esprit and DCVC (Data Collective) of Palo Alto, California. Other backers include existing investors Providence Investment Company, Cambridge Consultants, Rising Tide Fund and Civilization Ventures.
"Evonetix's platform offers the prospect of synthesising DNA sequences accurately without limitation of size. This is the superpower that could transform the world of synthetic biology and allow us to engineer next-generation medicines and better versions of products we use every day," said Vishal Gulati, venture partner at Draper Esprit.
The funding round is the second led by Draper Esprit in a number of weeks. In mid-January the VC firm announced a €75 million Series B funding round for Ledger, a French cryptocurrency and blockchain security company.
Draper Esprit is led in Ireland by Brian Caulfield, who is also a member of The Irish Times board. The company has previously backed a number of big name tech firms including Clavis Insight, Movidius and TransferWise.