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Zymergen, Biofacturing Firm, Kicks Off Roadshow for IPO

Zymergen, which began the roadshow for its initial public offering, estimates its IPO will offer 13.6 million shares at $28 to $31 each.
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Biotech Zymergen  (ZY) - Get Zymergen Inc. Report on Wednesday launched a roadshow -- a series of presentations to investors -- for its initial public offering.

The company said in a regulatory filing that in the IPO it was offering 13.6 million shares at $28 to $31 each. 

Zymergen, which will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ZY, would be valued at about $2.96 billion.

The underwriters, led by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, have an option to buy another 2 million shares.

Based in Emeryville, Calif., Zymergen was founded in 2013 and booked $13 million in sales in 2020. Backers include SoftBank Group's SFTBY Vision Fund.

The company specializes in what it calls biofacturing. It designs, develops and commercializes products in which "microorganisms create the biomolecules that are the key ingredients in those products."

It explains: "A traditional chemical factory’s tons of steel and concrete are functionally replaced by a tiny, flexible, easily reproduced, but incredibly valuable engineered cell.

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"Our goal is to make our biomolecules by fermentation, where all biofacturing reactions occur inside the engineered cell in standard fermentation vats, rather than the expensive, purpose-built chemical plants used in synthetic chemistry."

Zymergen's "first innovations include films designed for electronics companies to use in new categories of smart devices, including rollable tablets and naturally derived UV protection," the filing says.

"Based on our experience and expectations with our first four products, which are electronic films and insect repellent products, and subject to any regulatory requirements, which could lead to longer timelines and increased cost, we estimate the timelines and costs of launching our products to be roughly five years and $50 million."

The company said that substantially all its revenue to date has been been generated from R&D service contracts and collaboration arrangements.

"Over the next few years, as we seek to grow our product sales and commercialize additional products, we expect revenue from R&D and collaboration arrangements to represent a smaller component of our total revenue," the company said.

Zymergen said the market opportunity for its biofacturing platform is "enormous and diverse."

"Our bottom-up, industry-by-industry, application-by-application, analysis suggests that our total market opportunity is at least $1.2 trillion across 20 separate industries for our potential products, all ripe for disruption," the filing said.

The "market opportunity of the first three industries we will pursue, electronics, consumer care and agriculture, is approximately $150 billion."