Prolific Machines

Prolific Machines Secures $55M Series B Funding to Transform Biomanufacturing with Light

Prolific Machines' platform leverages light, combined with bioengineering, hardware, and AI, to control cellular functions with unparalleled precision.
Funding & Investments
June 6, 2024

Prolific Machines, a leading innovator in photomolecular biology, has announced the completion of an initial $55 million Series B financing round, including convertible notes, raising its total funding to $86.5 million. The financing was led by The Ki Tua Fund, the venture arm of Fonterra Co-operative Group, and saw participation from notable investors such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Mayfield, SOSV, Shorewind Capital, Darco Capital, Conti Ventures, and In-Q-Tel (IQT), among others.

Founded in 2020 by CEO Deniz Kent, PhD; CTO Max Huisman, PhD; and CIO Declan Jones, Prolific Machines was established to create more efficient and sustainable manufacturing methods for essential products like food and medicine. Over the past four years, the company has developed a platform that enables commercial partners to produce high-quality biological products more efficiently, spanning fields such as cellular agriculture, nutritional and therapeutic proteins, tissue engineering, disease modeling, and drug screening.

Current cellular biology processes, which are crucial for producing everything from immunotherapy antibodies to the high-value nutritional proteins in infant formula, are limited by expensive and imprecise molecular methods. Prolific Machines' use of light, combined with bioengineering, hardware, and AI, offers a groundbreaking alternative. This approach allows precise control of virtually any cellular function in any cell type, promising to significantly enhance efficiency and precision.

The recent funding will accelerate the commercialization of Prolific Machines' platform through strategic partnerships, which will be announced in the coming months.

“We set out with a vision to use one of our most abundant resources – light – to create an exponentially better way to control biology. I’m beyond proud of our team for making this vision a reality. We have proven that we can successfully control several cellular processes using light. This enables unparalleled control in both the space and the time axes, and this control is critical to making cheaper and higher quality products. I’m thrilled to be introducing the platform we have built to the world, and I'm excited to see all the different ways our partners will use it. We have only scratched the surface of what’s possible with our technology,” said Prolific Machines Co-Founder and CEO, Deniz Kent, PhD. “We have an incredible group of investors and commercial partners joining us to scale our impact. Stay tuned for some big announcements from us in the months ahead.”

“I joined Prolific because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to use the immensely powerful optogenetics tools to bring new and superior bioproducts to life across diverse commercial applications,” said Maximilian Hoerner, PhD, Prolific Machines Head of Optogenetics and former PI in the space. “This is the first time light’s ability to control cellular functions is being used outside of research labs to make everyday essentials. It’s incredibly exciting and the start of something very big for lots of different industries.”

“Breakthrough innovations like Prolific Machine’s biomanufacturing platform don’t come along often — we’re proud to help accelerate and scale this disruptive solution that could make a positive impact on both human and environmental health, across multiple industries,” said Ki Tua Fund Managing Director, Komal Mistry-Mehta. “We’re thrilled to back this expert team, partnering with them through their next phase of development and commercialization. We’re excited to see the impact this technology will bring in the years ahead.”

​​"We are excited about Prolific Machines' potential to dramatically lower the costs of producing biologics such as protein therapeutics, vaccines, and engineered antibodies,” said Eugene Chiu, Senior Partner at IQT. “Scalable biomanufacturing is vital to the continuous supply of medicines and medical countermeasures that can be crucial for health and biosecurity for the nation and the world.”

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