Startup Novogy Acquired by Ginkgo Bioworks

By Thomas Price Saturday, January 9, 2021

With the bioengineering field continuing to ramp up as technology allows for greater advancement, many companies and startups have been innovating in a way worth noting. Thus, if that happens to be an up-and-coming startup making the innovation or creating something of value, the company often ends up being acquired by a larger, more successful company in the same field. This is certainly the case with Ginkgo Bioworks’s recent acquisition of startup Novogy, whose work in lipid production could prove to be extremely valuable. So, what do both of these companies do, what will happen once the acquisition finalizes, and what can we expect in the future?

Ginkgo Bioworks and Novogy

Ginkgo Bioworks, aptly named the Organism Company, is a bioengineering company. Its main overarching goal is building with biology as a basis through methods such as cell programming. The company’s focus involves work with enzymes, strain improvement, and cultured ingredients. Some of the most notable work done by Ginkgo Bioworks in these fields have been improving strains to create more sustainable agricultural practices, producing cultured cannabinoids, and scaling bioprocesses. The company is also currently testing scalability to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for Novogy, the startup’s work is far more focused and specific. The work Novogy does is deeply entrenched in the work of microbes, particularly oleaginous yeasts. Oleaginous yeasts can serve as a good and sustainable source of bio-based fats and oil, so Novogy modifies the yeasts in order to improve yields and generate molecules. Those generated molecules can then be used for a range of environmentally-friendly products. The startup’s work has gained much attention, especially in regard to lipid producing yeast strains, where Novogy is without question the best in the world.

As a result of Novogy’s impressive and specific work, Ginkgo Bioworks clearly took notice and acquired all of Novogy's main assets. Following this announcement, Ginkgo Bioworks released more specific details regarding how the company plans to utilize Novogy and what it was looking for from the startup in particular.

Details of Ginkgo Bioworks Acquisition of Novogy

Ginkgo Bioworks’s acquisition of Novogy involves a series of different equally important points worth noting. The first of which is what Ginkgo Bioworks will immediately be using from Novogy. The company plans on absorbing all of the startup’s strain assets and IP portfolio. Following this, they will integrate all of Novogy’s codebase into their own systems and take the work being done on lipid production and move it into Ginkgo Bioworks’s own bioengineering platform.

Along with these assets, Ginkgo Bioworks plans to take on the majority of Novogy’s workforce to continue their work now under their new company. This will help Ginkgo Bioworks to further the scaling up of their own work, producing sustainable and efficient sources of bio-based oils. More specifically, Novogy’s work with oleaginous yeasts will almost certainly help advance the company’s development and production of chemicals, oils, and materials.

Final Conclusions

Ginkgo Bioworks’s diverse and varied bioengineering projects have made the company a major name in the current world of the industry. The new acquisition of Novogy only goes to further show that this is a company planning only to continue to expand in the field.

With more information, a larger team, and a stronger codebase, Ginkgo Bioworks is primed to further their high scale production of chemicals, oils, and materials that are environmentally sustainable. Moreover, it looks like the company will have continued success going into 2021.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

Related Articles