Ginkgo Bioworks is seeking to raise up to $311.6 million in Series E funding, PitchBook has learned. The funding could value the company at up to $4.8 billion, per a PitchBook estimate, up from a previous valuation of $1.375 billion reached in late 2017.

Final terms and details of the financing haven't been announced and are subject to change. The company hasn't yet responded to requests for comment.

Founded in 2008 by MIT scientists, Boston-based Ginkgo is a bioengineering company that bills itself as "the organism company." It develops custom microbes for myriad uses, including sustainable agriculture and antibiotic resistance. The company also creates cultured ingredients for perfumes, foods, cannabinoids and cosmetics. Core clients include major corporations like Bayer and Roche

The new fundraising, if completed, would make Ginkgo the most valuable VC-backed company in Boston and the second-most valuable VC-backed biotech startup in the US, per PitchBook data. The company has previously raised funding from venture backers including Viking Global Investors, Data Collective and Felicis Ventures.

Expansion is certainly on the horizon. In June, Ginkgo invested $80 million in Synlogic, a clinical-stage biotech company based in nearby Cambridge, as part of a partnership using Ginkgo's cell programming platform to improve Synlogic's living medicines.

Then on Monday, Ginkgo announced a partnership with accelerators Y Combinator and Petri that's centered on making Ginkgo's platform available to YC and Petri startups in exchange for equity. Back in 2014, Ginkgo was the first biotech company to go through the YC program.

Here's a look at the company's recent funding and valuation history:

Mar. 2015: $9M Series A
Jul. 2015: $53M Series B | $200M valuation
Jun. 2016: $100M Series C | $450M valuation
Dec. 2017: $275M Series D | $1.375B valuation

Featured image courtesy of Ginkgo Bioworks

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