French Tech Seed Fund backs Biomemory's €5 million seed to deliver DNA storage tech

DNA-based storage banks are a potential elixir for next-generation data archives that use far less energy, remaining operational for thousands of years.
French Tech Seed Fund backs Biomemory's €5 million seed to deliver DNA storage tech

Paris-headquartered DNA storage drive developer Biomemory has raised €5 million in seed funds to optimise its tech and drive cost reductions.

The round was co-led by the Bpifrance-managed French Tech Seed Fund and eureKARE, the synthetic biology investor focused on dealmaking in Luxembourg, France and Belgium.

In terms of participants, the angel syndicate Paris Business Angels has invested, as has impact investor Prunay Impact, and unnamed backers from Biomemory's earlier rounds.

The breakthrough discovery of DNA's twirling double helixes in the 1950s gave scientists access to life's instruction manuals.

Some 70 years later, and it's DNA's ability to be synthesised and used as a microscopic storage for digital data that's garnering interest.

The use of an artificial DNA helix to keep a hold of data could build microscopic archives that last thousands of years, replacing enormous magnetic tapes typically used for archiving, which decompose in decades.

Rather than binary 1s and 0s, DNA's encoding is typically represented by four nucleic acid strings - A, T, G and C. 

By storing data in those strings, big energy usage reductions could be unlocked in cloud-side data servers, helping to make the rise of big data-driven technologies like deep learning more climate friendly.

Stats provided by Biomemory estimate some 60% of data that's generated each year is stored on magnetic tapes. By 2030, the overall value of the market is set to soar above $40 billion.

By the estimates of eureKARE CEO Alexandre Mouradian, Biomemory's DNA storage technology could address some 30 zettabytes of data per annum that's generated globally.

The startup aims to bring storage costs to around $1 per terabyte, from $17 for magnetic tape archiving. To do so, it has designed a microfluidic-driven DNA assembly device, which it says will offer best-in-class miniaturisation, automation and parallelisation.

At the moment, the cost of Biomemory's microfluidic DNA storage creator is estimated at around $1/megabyte, so there's a lot of R&D to be done. The €5 million seed round can only help.

Biomemory participated in the September 2021 cohort of the Agoranov accelerator, whose other graduates at this intersection include DNA synthesis startup DNA Script.

Since graduating from the accelerator in 2015, DNA Script's headcount has grown above 143 and the startup has raised at least €272 million in funds.

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