LabGenius, a London start-up which uses artificial intelligence, automation and DNA synthesis technology to discover new biological molecules, has secured $3.66m (£2.73m) in funding in an oversubscribed seed round.
The financing was jointly led by Kindred Capital and Acequia Capital with participation from Backed VC, Beast Ventures, Berggruen Holdings Ltd, and System.One.
The round also included former head of corporate strategy at Microsoft Charlie Songhurst and prominent angel investor Tom McInerney.
LabGenius, whose mission is to harness evolution with AI to develop radically new materials, will use the funds to establish a new R&D facility in central London and mature EVA – its autonomous AI-driven evolution engine.
“EVA is a Silicon Scientist hooked up to a bank of liquid handling robots. By combining intelligence with empirical exploration, EVA is able to iteratively learn through conducting its own scientific experiments,” said founder and CEO Dr James Field.
“Right now, EVA is unpicking Nature’s design rules with unparalleled speed and dexterity. Once equipped with this knowledge, EVA will give us the ability to engineer life with unprecedented control.
“Critically, this technology will give us the ability to harness new materials and therapies that we do not or even cannot fully understand.”
Leila Zegna, founding partner at Kindred Capital, added: “We’re delighted to have backed LabGenius.
“The company is breaking new ground at the interface of synthetic biology and data science and the potential of their technology is vast.”
LabGenius’ foundational technology was co-developed by James Field and Harry Rickerby with financial backing from Innovate UK, BBSRC and SynbiCITE.
The company has secured R&D contracts both from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and leading multinationals.