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‘Moonshot’ Investments

by Paul Ebeling

#Moonshot #investments #synbio


“‘Moonshot’ is a term that Alphabet/Google began using it to describe research projects that were treated as possible businesses because the project had a shot at developing a business model and, even better, monetized. This is the1st time I have used it” — Paul Ebeling

Synthetic biology, or synbio, comprises the design and manufacture of biological systems and components that do not exist in the real world. To do this, scientists edit altered DNA before re-engineering DNA sequences from anything and putting them together into new genomes.

Interestingly, a couple of the synbio companies got their start several yrs ago as biofuel makers.

Amyris now makes synthetic elements for a variety of clean health and beauty products.

Codexis discovers, develops and sells biocatalysts, and its protein engineering platform is used by customers to discover novel biotherapeutic drug candidates.

Gevo remains as a biofuels maker and recently got a shot in the arm following an announcement that it was teaming up with Chevron to build a new plant to produce sustainable aviation fuel from corn.

Investment in synbio startups soared to $4.6-B in Q-1 of this yr, up 5X compared with Q-1 of Y 2020. At that rate, investment in synbio will rise by 200% to 400% Y-Y in Y 2021’s total investment of around $8-B.

Therapeutics claim the lion’s share of the investment because that is where the risk-reward profile is best. And the emphasis should be on the reward because the risk is not substantially different for diagnostics and similar technologies.

The company attracting the largest investment in the first quarter was ElevateBio, which raised $525-M in a Series C venture round. The 2nd-largest total went to Insitro, which raised $400-M in a Series C round.

The Direxion Moonshot Innovators ETF (NYSEArca:MOON) offers exposure to the 50 most innovative US companies at the forefront of changing our lives today, and tomorrow, by identifying the companies both pursuing innovation, and having the potential to disrupt existing technologies and/or industries. These 50 companies selected for inclusion are deemed to have the highest “early-stage composite innovation scores” and they span themes and emerging sectors such as smart transportation, clean power, and the human evolution.

Have a prosperous weekend. Keep the Faith!

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