Benchling Raises $50M to Accelerate Life Science R&D Globally
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Benchling Raises $50M to Accelerate Life Science R&D Globally

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Thursday, June 04, 2020

Benchling is announcing a $50M Series D investment, led by Alkeon Capital with participation from new investors Spark Capital, Lux Capital, and ICONIQ Partners, as well as existing investors Thrive Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Benchmark. We are thrilled to have these long-term partners on our journey.

The ongoing pandemic has put biotechnology under the global spotlight. As scientists race to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 on an unprecedented timescale, we’re seeing how far life science has come. Ten years ago, developing a vaccine within a year could not have been a credible goal. This is the world’s first taste of what the industry has known for some time: Life science has been undergoing a massive transformation that will change our lives to an extent comparable to what computer science has done over the last few decades.

Technologies like CRISPR, lab robotics, cloud-based software, and even artificial intelligence have fundamentally rewritten the rules for biotechnology. Scientists are running more experiments, processing more candidates, answering more questions, and collaborating across organizational and geographic boundaries more than ever before. Companies are blurring the lines between scientific modalities, vastly expanding the types of problems they can solve. We should all find hope and inspiration in how these developments are being brought to bear in response to COVID-19, but their impact will be felt far beyond the pandemic. From the medicines we take, to the food we eat and crops we grow, to the materials we use everyday, and even the energy that powers our lives, biotechnology is changing everything.

Data is crucial for this. Many of our customers are relying on Benchling in their efforts to solve COVID-19 with speed and precision, while others leverage Benchling to accelerate their research even when working from home. We decided to raise funding now in order to bring that same speed to life science as a whole, so that no matter the research area – oncology, food and agriculture, materials – we can achieve in 10 years what would otherwise take 30. In particular, with our upcoming products to support chemistry-based R&D and chemically-modified biomolecules, Benchling will soon become a singular solution for all of life science.

Over the past year, we’ve had the chance to accelerate life science R&D to a greater extent than ever before. We’ve doubled the number of companies we work with, as well as the size of our team. Beyond shipping big product improvements, we launched two new solutions: Benchling for Lab Automation, which helps companies harness the full potential of their lab automation investments, and Benchling Insights, which gives scientists the ability to query, visualize and collaborate around complex biological data. We’ve also partnered with a dozen organizations, including Corteva Agriscience, to implement Benchling pro bono for COVID-19 testing. Every week, scientists process tens of thousands of COVID-19 patient samples using Benchling.

While these are incredibly challenging times, we feel confident the life science industry will find a solution and we are grateful to partner with the scientists on the frontlines of advancing humankind. The scientist striving for a cure to the genetic disease that runs in her family. The scientist developing lab-grown meat because she’s witnessed the impact climate change is having on regions around the world. The scientist pioneering a new immunotherapy because he’s seen the toll chemotherapy can take on the body. Benchling has come a long way, but we haven’t wavered from our original mission: As the world looks to scientists for hope, we remain committed to building tools that accelerate life-changing work.

If you’re interested in joining us on our mission to help scientists solve our generation’s biggest challenges, we’re hiring.

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