CATALOG Secures $35M in Series B Funding, DNA-Based Computation Expected Next Year

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Boston, Sept. 30, 2021 — CATALOG, a startup developing automated DNA-based digital data storage, announced it secured $35 million in Series B funding led by Hanwha Impact. This funding will spur the development of a computing platform where both data management and computation occur through the manipulation of synthetic DNA.

In addition, CATALOG will use the funding to help create an ecosystem of collaborators, partners, and users of DNA-based computing. CATALOG will continue active involvement in the DNA Storage Alliance to help the industry grow and establish standards around DNA storage and eventually computation.

As conversations continue on the energy consumption traditional computing requires to process explosive volumes of data and the vulnerability of electronic data, interest in chemical-based DNA computing systems has gained momentum. These emerging systems offer “air-gapped” protection, are immune to traditional electronic security vulnerabilities, have a low physical footprint and consume little, and in some cases, no energy for storage and data manipulation.

CATALOG has also discovered the means to incorporate DNA into algorithms and applications with potential widespread commercial use through its proprietary data encoding scheme and novel approach to automation. Expected areas of early application are artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and secure computing. In addition, initial use cases are expected to include fraud detection in financial services, image processing for defect discovery in manufacturing, and digital signal processing in the energy sector.

The IT industry has witnessed a proliferation of purpose-fit technologies over the last several years, including accelerators (GPUs, FPGAs, other), quantum computers, as well as extreme parallel computers. The advent of the DNA-based computer complements this portfolio, emphasizing low-energy, spatially dense, and secure computing, divorced from the realities and limitations of electronic systems.

“Simply preserving data in DNA is not our end goal,” said Hyunjun Park, founding CEO of CATALOG. “CATALOG will fundamentally change the economics of data by enabling enterprises to analyze and generate business value securely from data that previously would have been thrown away or archived in cold storage. The possibility of a highly scalable, low energy, and potentially portable DNA computing platform is within our reach.”

CATALOG’s first DNA writer, Shannon, was named in honor of the father of information theory, Claude Shannon. It is capable of hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions per second. Future versions of CATALOG’s automated DNA-based data platform will introduce computational capabilities in addition to storage. This will be the first commercially viable and automated DNA storage and computation platform for enterprise use.

“CATALOG is a leading developer of DNA-based storage,” said Dr. Earl Joseph, chief executive officer, Hyperion Research. “Their automation and scaling are designed to bring this new technology to market in products that commercial enterprises can easily use. In addition, they are the first vendor we know of that is developing a scalable DNA platform for computation.”

“CATALOG’s technology represents a viable pathway to solve the issue of not only mass data accumulation and preservation but more importantly, the effective usage of data,” said Nick Ha, Vice President, Hanwha Impact. “Most industries produce large amounts of data which become wasted because of the lack of an efficient way to preserve and analyze the data. We believe CATALOG will become the catalyst for a data revolution across many industries.”