Molten Ventures joins $54m funding round of biotech firm Evonetix

7 Feb 2023

Evonetix clean room. Image: Tom Orsino-Allen/

The Cambridge-based start-up is developing its own silicon chips to speed up the synthesis of DNA.

Molten Ventures, one of Europe’s most well-known venture capital firms focusing on high-growth tech start-ups, has joined a Series B funding round of UK biology company Evonetix.

The $24m funding round extension was led by Foresite Capital and included other early-stage investors such as Morningside, DCVC, Cambridge Consultants, Civilization Ventures and Providence.

The extension brings Evonetix’s total Series B funding to $54m. This investment will be used to help bring its semiconductor chips to commercial scale.

Based in Cambridge, Evonetix is developing its own silicon chip to control the synthesis of DNA. The novel process involves synthesising DNA at thousands of thermally controlled reaction sites, which can then be assembled into accurate long DNA on the chip’s surface.

The start-up said this process lets scientists synthesise DNA accurately and at a much faster time than other methods, which can help accelerate synthetic biology research.

Evonetix CEO Colin McCracken said the investment round shows “continued confidence” in the company’s potential to “revolutionise the accessibility of gene synthesis”.

“Evonetix is in a very exciting phase, having recently opened our early access program,” McCracken said. “This investment will support us as we execute our commercial strategy to put DNA synthesis into the hands of users.”

Molten Ventures, which was previously known as Draper Esprit, has backed European unicorns in the past such as Revolut and Aircall.

The VC firm has led a number of funding rounds in recent months, such as the recent $7m round in legal-tech company Apperio.

Last December, Irish cybersecurity start-up Vaultree closed a $12.8m Series A funding round led by Molten Ventures. The VC company also co-led a €16m funding round for low-code blockchain platform SettleMint last October.

Molten Ventures principal Nelly Markova said the company has been a supporter of Evonetix “from a very early stage”.

“We are delighted with the huge progress the company has made towards revolutionising the gene synthesis process and look forward to continuing our partnership,” Markova said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic