Amyris may be the first synbio company to have cracked product market fit by selling direct to consumers.
Emerging frontier technologies like synbio are very hard to commercialize. There are no playbooks. Early on, processes are inefficient and expensive.
To come down the cost curve usually requires first hitting product market fit in niche, beachhead markets. I've written about this for solar, lithium ion batteries and historical traction in coal, steel, oil, automobiles, electricity, aluminum and more.
What are the early niche markets for synbio? Therapeutics (bio-based drugs) have strong traction. These are low volume, very high value + margin products where yields don’t matter as much. They often can only be made using bio.
But what other markets help pull demand forward?
Many startups are betting on variety of bio-produced materials, food products, specialty chemicals and more.
Which brings us back to Amyris. It may well have more consumer