Bay-Area biotech startup Zymergen opens Seattle office, signaling big growth plans in the city – GeekWire
Seattle is the second home to yet another startup based in the San Francisco area.
That company is Zymergen, a heavily-funded biological engineering startup, which has announced the opening of a new Seattle office and plans for aggressive growth in the city.
GeekWire first reported on the planned office a year ago, when the company had just three employees in the city. The new, 4,770 square foot office now houses a team of six employees and has room to add 30 more as it continues to grow.
“We’re excited to be strengthening our presence in Seattle,” CEO Joshua Hoffman said in a press release.
The company told GeekWire last year that it picked Seattle for the new office because the city is a data science and software engineering hub, two areas that are core to Zymergen’s business. The office will initially be focused on engineering.
“With its strong data science community, existing ecosystem of tech companies, and as the home of the University of Washington, Seattle offers the perfect conditions for us to find the technical talent we need to meet our mission,” Hoffman said.
Zymergen has grown quickly since it was founded four years ago — the company now employs more than 350 people and has raised a sizeable amount of funding, including a $130 million Series B round last year led by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank.
Its leadership includes CTO Aaron Kimball, a University of Washington computer science grad who previously worked at Cloudera and WibiData, and CSO Zach Serber, whose past work includes contracting with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Its board of directors includes SoftBank exec Deep Nishar and former secretary of energy Steven Chu.
Zymergen is just the latest in a string of companies from the Bay Area and beyond that have established engineering centers in Seattle. Tech giants like Facebook and Google have sizable and growing Seattle presences, and Chinese tech giant Baidu announced a new Seattle office just last month.
GeekWire’s Engineering Centers list now notes over 100 outside companies with offices in Seattle, and that number is ticking higher and higher every month.