Ginkgo Bioworks’ dev shop for genetic programming is now worth $4 billion

Ginkgo Bioworks is now worth $4 billion after a $290 million capital infusion that will give the company the cash to dramatically expand its developer shop for genetic programming.

The Boston-based company is one of a handful of U.S.-based early-stage companies that are on the forefront of developing the tools to modify genetic material for everyday applications.

“Cells are programmable similar to computers because they run on digital code in the form of DNA,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, in a statement. “Ginkgo has the best compiler and debugger for writing genetic code and we use it to program cells for customers in a range of industries. Today’s fundraise will allow us to expand our technology and continue our drive to bring biology into every physical goods industry — materials, clothing, electronics, food, pharmaceuticals and more. They are all biotech industries but just don’t know it yet.”

Ginkgo makes money in two ways. The company sells its development services to anyone who comes in with an idea. Kelly said that it’d be like any agreement with an entrepreneur who hires a coding shop to develop an application.

For example, if an entrepreneur wanted to

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