SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24, 2016 — Benchling, the next-generation life science R&D software company, announced that is has raised $7 million in new funding. This latest funding round was led by Thrive Capital and included participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator partner Geoff Ralston, Sequoia partner Matt Huang, CXO of Tencent David Wallerstein, and actor/tech investor Ashton Kutcher. The company has now raised over $13 million from investors who have collectively funded SpaceX, Tesla, Facebook, and Airbnb, among other seminal technology companies.
Since its founding in 2012, Benchling has become a leading innovator in the R&D technology space. The company provides an integrated cloud-based software platform consisting of lab notebook, LIMS, and molecular biology tools to over 40,000 academic and industry scientists. These users represent more than 10,000 academic institutions and over 150 companies.
"Drug discovery is becoming more complex and costly, while offering significantly lower returns. In turn, scientists are generating more data and working on more complicated problems than ever, but the ways they manage that data and collaborate have barely changed in the past decade. The industry mostly runs on paper, spreadsheets, and otherwise clunky and outdated software that's designed with little scientist input," said Sajith Wickramasekara, Founder & CEO of Benchling. "Benchling develops its software with real scientist workflows in mind, so that scientists' tools can streamline their research rather than impede it. Instead of spending upwards of 30% of their time taking notes and searching through disjointed records systems, scientists can focus on science."
Biotechnology companies of all types, from emerging players through established pharmaceutical organizations, have adopted Benchling, viewing its platform as a competitive advantage over existing legacy systems. Customers have reported unprecedented scientist adoption, and on average, Benchling's industry scientist users report a satisfaction rating of over 90% when comparing the platform to their previous tools.
"Benchling represents a refreshing, intuitive, and modern platform that maps to the life scientist's brain. We love its focus on the user experience including its convenient chat-driven support, its ability to rapidly integrate with diverse internal and external services, and the profound engineering foundations it's built on," said Hari Jayaram, Associate Director, Protein Engineering and Computational Biology at Editas. "All of these ensure high daily use and a significant value-add to our research."
"Advances in the possibilities of life sciences research and dramatic reduction in costs is leading to a rapidly expanding set of innovations and new companies. The software for collaboration and data management though has not kept pace," said Miles Grimshaw, Investor at Thrive Capital. "Building on our partnerships with the market leading collaboration software in other verticals, such as Greenhouse for recruiters and Github for engineers, we are excited to support Benchling in building the best collaboration software for researchers."
The company plans to use the new funding to expand scientific operations, broaden development across more therapeutic areas, and further expand its platform to be increasingly comprehensive. In the coming quarter Benchling plans to release a product that bridges structured and unstructured scientific data.