Though it was never much of a benchwarmer, to begin with, Benchling has moved up to the major leagues with its new fundraising, which is by far the biggest in the startup's nearly decade-long history.
Sequoia Capital Global Equities led the $200 million series E. Altimeter Capital, Byers Capital, serial entrepreneur, and Color Genomics founder Elad Gil, as well as several previous investors, also participated in the funding round.
According to Forbes, the round elevates Benchling to unicorn status, with a $4 billion valuation. It also far outnumbers Benchling's previous funding rounds, the largest of which was a $50 million Series D investment led by Alkeon Capital and completed in May 2020.
The new funds will be used to extend the global scope and technological capabilities of the company's cloud-based R&D platform for biotech and pharmaceutical users.
Heavyweights such as Gilead Sciences, Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Sana Biotechnology are among those who have used the technology. They can analyze complex datasets, streamline research workflows, design DNA using CRISPR gene-editing technology, and more using Benchling's platform.
"The past year has shown the global effect that biotechnology can have. It has been exciting to see our customers at the forefront of creating everything from life-saving COVID-19 therapeutics to more sustainable goods for our planet," CEO and co-founder Sajith Wickramasekara said in a release.
"This funding will allow us to provide more goods, solutions, and services that scientists around the world will eventually need to solve some of humanity's most difficult challenges," Wickramasekara added.
Benchling's busy year has come to an end with the infusion of funds. In 2020, the company doubled its annual recurring sales, added more than 150 new customers, including Gilead and Sanofi, and opened its third office, the first outside the United States, in Zurich, Switzerland.
It also introduced a number of new items. Benchling most recently launched the Validated Cloud in January, which offers resources that bridge the gap between research and growth, making it easier for life sciences companies to plan their data results and research proposals for regulatory approval.
According to Forbes, Benchling's next goal is to maintain its track record of doubling sales every year while still making plans to go public. To that end, the company recently recruited new financial and information security executives and a general counsel, but no clear timetable for filing an IPO has been established.
Reference : https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/benchling-logs-largest-funding-round-yet-200m-to-expand-cloud-based-r-d-platform