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Ginkgo Bioworks, ‘the organism company,’ is now worth over $1 billion

It’s the latest unicorn incubated by Y Combinator.

A technician sits at a lab bench in order to test bottle of blood substitute. Tim Boyle / Getty

A biotech startup that creates fragrances and foods out of microbugs is now worth over $1 billion after a new financing round.

Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based company incubated by Y Combinator, has authorized an additional $265 million in fundraising that now values it at an estimated $1.3 billion, according to PitchBook.

Calling itself “the organism company,” Ginkgo has regularly been heralded as one of the more exciting young companies in synthetic biology, and the large fundraising round suggests that it has plenty of runway to keep developing new products.

The company declined to comment. The new financing was unearthed from a fundraising document obtained by PitchBook.

The company was valued in June of last year at only $450 million — previous backers have included Baillie Gifford, Viking Global Investors and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Ginkgo is closely associated with the prestigious Y Combinator, which made the startup its first biotech investment, and YC’s president, Sam Altman, who is said to have personally recruited the company to join his program.

GInkgo and the chemical giant Bayer this year started a new joint company to improve the efficiency of farming and fertilizer. That company raised $100 million in September.

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