close up of microscope

THREADS: Fashion company turns to biotech for beauty.

Arcaea, a company launched on the Ginkgo Bioworks Platform, announced its $78M Series A to build a new, regenerative future for the beauty industry through expressive biology—where biology is used as a creative tool for self-expression. Arcaea will grow new ingredients and product experiences for beauty by leveraging technology such as DNA sequencing, biological engineering, and fermentation to activate unique storytelling.

Darwin’s Tree of Life (just think).

By culturing industry-leading, safe, and sustainable ingredients, Arcaea intends to create a new supply chain for the industry that does not rely on petrochemicals or on harvesting and depleting natural resources. This approach enables Arcaea to tap into the entire tree of life to develop new and previously unimagined or inaccessible ingredients using current practices. By harnessing the power of biology, Arcaea is poised to produce highly sustainable products that can deliver new functionality and performance across skincare, bodycare, haircare, and aesthetics.

Jasmina Aganovic, a chemical and biological engineering graduate from MIT, will lead Arcaea as CEO. She brings more than a decade of industry experience translating innovation in beauty through brands and products at various beauty companies, including Fresh and Living Proof and the innovative microbiome beauty company Mother Dirt, which changed the way we think about clean and healthy skin. Instead of stripping and sterilizing our skin, many now recognize the importance of the skin microbiome and the need for cosmetic products that benefit, balance, and enhance the population of microbes living on its surface. Jasmina saw the powerful role that biology can play in the cosmetics industry, which prompted her interest in creating tools to better realize its potential. She joined Ginkgo Bioworks as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, where she spent the last two years building the foundation for Arcaea.

“Through Arcaea, we see biology as a creative tool that will drive the next generation of products and innovation. We can now access many more molecules on earth ethically and sustainably, and therefore can unlock unlimited and previously unimagined possibilities for beauty,” said Aganovic. “By bringing together new advances in technology with designers, brand builders, and leaders from every point of the supply chain, we can spark a change across the entire ecosystem to create an industry that is reflective of the future we want to see for the industry.”

Arcaea has raised $78 million in Series A funding from a consortium of strategic and financial investors including Cascade Investment L.L.C., Viking Global, CHANEL, Givaudan and Wittington Ventures. This Series A financing round brings together a mix of expertise across the value chain of the industry. It will enable Arcaea to initiate multiple technical programs across key categories in beauty to develop a pipeline of ingredients and brand launches and create a world of previously unimaginable possibilities in beauty, such as: a fragrance that no one on earth has ever smelled before; proteins that can memorize hair styles; contouring through skincare and not just makeup; and biological filters that protect skin from the elements.

“One of the most impactful things we can do at Ginkgo is support entrepreneurs and help them accelerate their timelines to make incredible things happen with biology,” said Jason Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We are thrilled to see Arcaea launch and begin its journey to deliver creative solutions to the beauty industry through biology.”


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