DLA Piper represented SoftBank Group International, the investment arm of Tokyo-based telecommunications and internet company Softbank, in connection with its leading role in the US$130 million Series B funding of Zymergen, a Silicon Valley-based bioengineering startup.
Founded in 2013, Zymergen uses machine learning and robotics to genetically alter and enhance microbes that are used in the production of materials for sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, industrials and defense. Others involved in the round include previous investors Data Collective, True Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Innovation Endeavors, Obvious Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures. Additional funding was provided by new investors Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures and Tao Capital Partners.
Brian Wheeler, general counsel at SoftBank Group International, led the legal team. The DLA Piper team representing SoftBank Group included partners Jeffrey Aronson and Stacy Paz (Silicon Valley); of counsels Sherwin Chen, Debra Vernon (Silicon Valley) and Brian Chilton (Washington, DC); and associate Leilani Lipa (Silicon Valley).
DLA Piper's global life sciences lawyers work across practice areas and offices to support biotechnology and medical device clients at every stage of growth, from startups to fast-growing and mid-market businesses to mature global enterprises. In 2015 and 2016, Global Corporate Venturing
magazine named DLA Piper "Corporate Venture Firm of the Year" for its global practice dedicated to corporate venture capital and emerging growth companies. Last year, according to Mergermarket’s
league tables for legal advisors, DLA Piper again earned the No. 1 ranking globally for overall deal volume.