Case study - Twist Bioscience

TWIST Bioscience

  • >400
    Worldwide Employees
  • 2013
    Creation Date
  • San Francisco
  • 2014
    Investment Year
  • Mérieux Participations
    Fund Name
  • Exited
  • François VALENCONY
    Deal Team

Company profile

Twist Bioscience is a public company (Nasdaq: TWST) that manufactures synthetic DNA for clients in the biotechnology industry. Founded by Emily Leproust and Bill Peck, the company has developed proprietary equipment based in part based on the semiconductor technology used by the computer industry in Silicon Valley, as well as advanced liquid handling robot technology.

The company sells the genes, gene fragments, and oligonucleotides to customers who use them in basic research, drug discovery and industrial biotechnology (for example, companies wanting to find better enzymes with which to generate biofuel), and agricultural biotechnology.

Investment thesis

Prior to our Series A investment, we reviewed Twist Bioscience’s prorotype and considered this as a key potential disruption to the DNA synthesis market, with much more beyond a service business, based on the industrial applications and the quality of the management team.

Twist Bioscience has been able to assemble, over the years, a leadership position, not only as the provider of the largest offering of high quality DNA but also as developer of drugs, vaccines, diagnostic solutions and more recently in the area of data storage.

Added value by MxEP

Since its initial investment in 2013, MxEP has provided support to Twist Bioscience on several fronts, such as:

  • Business Development, introducing the company to key contacts within the pharmaceutical industry,
  • Provided advice and support on development strategy and financing, preparing for industrial applications in the life science market,
  • Hiring, alongside our business partner Paul Conley (former board member of Twist Bioscience, from 2013 to 2019)  and currently Venture Partner at OMX Ventures in the US.

Using their insight and intelligence, Mérieux Equity Partners provides more than just critical funding for High Tech companies. They guide in strategic positioning and share development and commercialization experience to help ensure our success. They anticipate future industry developments and facilitate the pathway for companies to achieve their objectives.