Bio Architecture Lab, a UW Spinout, Raises $3.4M for Renewable Chemicals and Biofuels

Seattle-based Bio Architecture Lab, a stealthy spinout from the University of Washington, has raised $3.4 million in equity funding out of a $6 million offering, according to a regulatory filing. Michael Borrus of Menlo Park, CA-based X/Seed Capital is listed on the form as a director, which suggests that X/Seed participated in the funding round. But the form says there are two investors, and the other is unnamed. Reached for comment this morning, Bio Architecture Lab CEO Nikesh Parekh said the company is not talking to the media yet.

Bio Architecture Lab raised $1.5 million from X/Seed last year. (X/Seed is loosely related to Mohr Davidow Ventures.) The company has said it applies computational enzyme design and synthetic biology to produce biofuels and renewable chemicals from novel, sustainable biomass sources—the advantage being that these products cost much less than fuels and chemicals made from traditional sources like corn or sugarcane. The technology was originally spun out of the lab of prominent UW biochemist David Baker, whom Luke profiled here.

The latest funding seems to at least partially validate the efforts of the UW TechTransfer program in connecting venture capitalists with commercially promising technologies from university labs. More specifically, it is a significant step forward for commercial applications of Baker’s research, which has also spawned another Seattle startup working with enzymes, Arzeda.

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