Beyond Meat (BYND) was one of last year’s hottest stocks. Shares of the plant-based meat company exploded 859% during its first three months out of the gate.
“Fake meat” was all the rage: an instant favorite with Millennials (I personally prefer the real thing). And the industry’s still booming today. It’s already worth $12 billion. By 2025, it’s projected to double again!
But here’s the thing: While most people have heard of Beyond Meat and the plant-based meat mania by now, they don’t realize that this is all part of a much bigger opportunity. In fact, many of the wealthiest investors on the planet have been going “all in” on this obscure megatrend.
Synthetic biology involves reconfiguring the DNA of an organism to create something entirely new. It allows scientists to design living things with attributes and characteristics we desire. In short, it allows you to “program” biology just like you would a computer!
It’s a way to create just about any product in the world. This is HUGE. Consider Beyond Meat and competitor Impossible Foods. These companies use a DNA coding sequence from soybeans to create meat that looks and tastes like beef but is actually made of vegetables.
But that’s just one thing you can accomplish with synthetic biology. Synthetic biology has also been used to naturally replicate rubber for tires, create “green chemicals” from agricultural waste, and engineer low-cost sugars.
Biotech company Moderna Therapeutics (MRNA) is even using synthetic biology to develop a vaccine for COVID-19! The vaccine is already in Phase 3 clinical trials.
Outside of artificial intelligence (AI), synthetic biology has the most potential to radically reshape our world. The possibilities are truly endless.
And yet, most investors haven’t even heard of synthetic biology. But those who do recognize the incredible potential of synthetic biology stand to make fortunes. It’s like investing in cloud computing years before it became a buzz word.
Microsoft (MSFT MSFT -0.6%) founder Bill Gates, who was an early investor in Beyond Meat, is pouring money into synthetic biology. He helped fund Ginkgo Bioworks, which is developing custom-built microbes, as well as Pivot Bio, a sustainable agriculture company.
Gates isn’t the only big tech founder who sees the potential of synthetic biology. Eric Schmidt—a co-founder of Google GOOGL -0.4%(GOOG)—has invested in several synthetic biology companies through early-stage venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors. His synthetic biology portfolio includes Zymergen, Bolt Threads, GRO Biosciences, and Ukko—a company that’s working to improve the lives of millions of people living with food allergies.
Read the full story at Forbes.com.