SPAC: Biotech Startup Ginkgo Bioworks To Go Public In $15B Deal
A biotech startup based in Boston is going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in one of the biggest such deals. That startup is Ginkgo Bioworks, which has agreed to merge with a SPAC in a deal valuing it at $15bn.
- Ginkgo Bioworks has agreed to merge with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG). The terms of the merger value Ginkgo at $15bn on a pre-money basis.
- With the merger, Gingko will go public with $2.5bn in cash proceeds, consisting of $1.7bn from Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. and a $775mn PIPE round committed by investors such as Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest and Counterpoint Global, an offshoot of Morgan Stanley.
- With a $15bn valuation, Ginkgo is one of the biggest SPAC deals to come out of the recent boom of SPAC mergers. It’ll see Ginkgo go public 13 years after its founding and roughly $800mn in venture funding raised over that period.
- Ginkgo was founded in 2008 by scientists from MIT. Its business entails applying genetic engineering to produce bacteria with industrial applications, and it’s a business lucrative enough to generate $76mn in sales in 2020 and expected to generate $150mn this year.
- At $15bn, Ginkgo’s agreed valuation with its SPAC deal is 100x its revenue projection for this year, talk about being high.
- Ginkgo is an alum of famous startup incubator Y Combinator, itself the first life sciences company to graduate from the incubator. Therefore, its $15bn SPAC deal marks a celebratory win for YC, poised to become one of its few incubatees to go public.
- In light of the Covid pandemic last year, Ginkgo was one of the companies awarded a loan by the US government to fund efforts in vaccine development. It took a $1.1bn loan in that regard.
Photo: Ginkgo Bioworks Co-Founder and CEO Jason Kelly