DNA-based memory startup raises $24 million

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

The use of molecular electronics promises much greater miniaturization than current nanometer-scale materials assembly. However, molecular electronics has yet to find a way to be conveniently integrated into the mainstream of silicon-based semiconductor production.

Iridia was founded in 2016 by James Linton, who now serves on the board of directors. He led the company as CEO through to 4Q19. He helped raise the company’s Series A funding round of US$8 million. The latest round was led by LifeSci Venture Partners with other prominent participants including Western Digital Capital, JSR Corporation, North Sound Ventures and numerous high net worth individuals.

Iridia’s technology is designed to integrate the writing, storage, and read back of data in a microchip format using synthetic DNA as the storage medium. This combination of functionality would increase data density and durability compared to conventional approaches.

“This round [of finance] will empower Iridia to accelerate the development of the world’s first DNA-based memory chips and pave the way for DNA data storage to enter the mainstream,” said Murali Prahalad, CEO of Iridia, in a statement.

“The technology holds promise to disrupt archival storage, given its ultra-high density and low total cost of ownership, and we anticipate seeing innovation at an order of magnitude every year in this field,” said Steffen Hellmold, vice president of corporate strategic initiatives, at Western Digital.

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