Animoca Brands and Untamed Planet have stepped out of the crypto and gaming sphere to invest in a genetic engineering startup looking to bring back the woolly mammoth.
US-based genetic engineering technology developer Colossal Biosciences received $60m in series A funding on Wednesday from investors including gaming and blockchain technology developer Animoca Brands and game studio Untamed Planet. The round was co-led by At One Ventures and private investor Thomas Tull, and also featured Bold Capital, Animal Capital, Breyer Capital, First Light Capital Group, Boost VC, Jazz Ventures, Builders VC, Draper Associates and Green Sands Equities. Private investors Robert Nelsen, Charles Hoskinson and Paris Hilton filled out the participants alongside unnamed others. Founded in 2021, Colossal is developing genetic engineering technology which makes use of the Crispr gene editing system, for use in species preservation, human healthcare and potentially to bring extinct species back to life. One of its long-term goals is to restore the woolly mammoth. The funding will be used to expand the company’s laboratories and support development of genetic engineering technology for human healthcare, in addition to work on the mammoth. Thomas Tull also led the company’s $15m seed round in September 2021, which included Breyer Capital, Draper Associates, At One Ventures, Bold Capital, Jazz Ventures, Climate Capital, Global Space Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Capital Factory, Winklevoss Capital, First Light Capital and angel investors Tony Robbins and Jeff Wilke. Benn Lamm, Colossal’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “We are making the path to de-extinction and species preservation a reality by bringing the planet one step closer to reversing the downward trend of ecosystem degradation and the staggering loss of biodiversity through cutting edge genetic tools. “The technologies and solutions developed through our mammoth restoration project will not only return Arctic elephants to the tundra, but will target larger implications for conservation, science and humanity.” Photo of Colossal Biosciences co-founders Ben Lamm (L) and George Church (R) courtesy of Colossal Inc.