Investor Tim Draper. Photo by Bloomberg

Mammoth Funding Deal Signals Frothiness of VC Funding Market

Photo: Investor Tim Draper. Photo by Bloomberg

If only Michael Crichton had lived to see this day. The author of “Jurassic Park,” the 1990 novel that became a monster hit movie, would be pleased to see his fiction become reality in the biotech firm Colossal, which revealed today that it has raised $15 million in venture funding to bring back to life the woolly mammoth. That creature has been extinct for 4,000 years, according to Colossal, which dubs itself the “de-extinction company”.

Colossal isn’t looking to create a theme park for prehistoric animals, as was the setup for the Crichton novel, but to save the world by reversing the extinction of animals, which seems an admirable goal. Still, that investors like Tim Draper (a big winner in bitcoin but a loser on Theranos, ouch) and Winklevoss Capital put money into this rather ambitious venture seems symbolic of the frothy stage of the private tech investing cycle. Not that we need symbols, given the never-ending stream of stories about startups raising money at eye-popping valuations. (Examples from the past couple of weeks include Snyk and Melio.)

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