Mar 9, 2022 - Economy

A Colossal $60 million Series A

Colossal Biosciences, the firm pioneering "de-extinction technologies" to restore threatened or even vanished species, announced a $60 million Series A.

Why it matters: The early stage funding announcement comes five months after Colossal raised $15 million in seed capital, bringing the company's total funding to $75 million.

The big picture: The company straddles climate science and biotech — which is reflected in the investor makeup:

  • The funding round was led by billionaire Thomas Tull, CEO of Tulco, as well as At One Ventures, which focuses on sustainability and regenerative technologies.
  • It also included Untamed Planet, Animoca Brands, Breyer Capital, Animal Capital, Arch Ventures co-founder Robert Nelsen, Bold Capital, Boost VC, Jazz Ventures, Builders VC, Green Sands Equity, Draper Associates, and Charles Hoskinson. Also, Paris Hilton.

What's happening: Colossal has attracted the biggest headlines for its work to bring back the woolly mammoth, a species that disappeared roughly 4,000 years ago.

  • However, its work is also aimed at restoring threatened species, such as the white rhino (which the World Wildlife Fund characterizes as "near threatened") and others made extinct by human activity.

Yes, but: Colossal's first product will be "a software product around the biology pipeline," set to debut by the end of Q3, CEO Ben Lamm tells Axios.

  • The firm's work in biotechnology is focused on developing software to support genetic research and engineering, as well as what the company calls "wetware," to support lab work aimed at editing cells and getting viable embryos.

Our thought bubble: Just as direct air capture — a technology that's attracted tens of millions of dollars in investor backing — aims to repair our atmosphere and reverse climate change by removing carbon emissions from the ambient air, Colossal is framing is "de-extinction" efforts as a means to potentially turn back the clock on species loss.

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