Benchling Raises $100M in Series F Financing Co-Led by Altimeter and Franklin Templeton
Leading R&D Cloud delivered triple-digit revenue growth and best-in-class dollar-based net expansion rate as total customer count increased 70% year over year
SAN FRANCISCO, November 18, 2021 — Benchling, pioneer of the R&D Cloud powering the biotechnology industry, has raised $100 million in Series F funding at a $6.1 billion valuation. The round was co-led by new investor Franklin Templeton and existing investor Altimeter Capital, and joined by new investors Tiger Global and Lone Pine Capital, as well as existing investors. Benchling will use the funding to continue investing in product development and global expansion, particularly its presence in EMEA.
Benchling’s growth is fueled by the rapid rise of biotechnology, one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. McKinsey estimates that over 60% of inputs to the global economy can be biologically produced, representing the potential for $2 to $4 trillion per year of direct economic impact over the next two decades across pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food, industrial fuels and materials, and consumer packaged goods. Modern R&D holds the key to unleashing biotechnology’s potential to radically transform our world — scientists must be empowered to discover and develop the next generation of medicines and biologically derived products, and ultimately get them to market faster than ever before.
As biotechnology companies come under increased pressure to deliver breakthroughs, they are turning to modern software to digitize all their scientific processes and centralize their data. Customer demand for Benchling’s R&D Cloud has surged and the company recorded triple-digit year-over-year revenue growth in its most recent fiscal quarter, with a 70% increase in year-over-year customer count. Expansion within existing accounts also contributed significantly to Benchling’s growth, resulting in a 169% dollar-based net expansion rate — among the highest in the software industry.
“Biotechnology is rewriting life as we know it. Our customers, spanning nearly every major industry, are engineering more effective medicines, nutritious foods, and sustainable crops, materials, and fuels to address humanity’s most pressing challenges,” said Sajith Wickramasekara, CEO and co-founder of Benchling. “These challenges are global and so are our customers. With this new investment, we’ll continue growing our teams and customer base in the U.S. and Europe. We’ll also keep broadening our platform’s capabilities to support our customers’ full product lifecycle, from research through to development and manufacturing.”
The next generation of scientists are adopting Benchling across both academia and industry:
Benchling’s R&D Cloud is used by over 600 companies, including some of the world’s most innovative biotech companies, including 22 of the 50 largest global biopharma companies.
According to Nature Biotechnology, 2020 was one of the best years on record for biotech financing. More than one in four biotech IPOs in 2020 and 2021 have come from companies running R&D on Benchling.
As Benchling has always offered a free community edition for academics, the company’s community has grown to over 200,000 scientists at more than 7,000 academic and research institutions.
"Nearly half of the world's diseases can be addressed with modern biology but producing biologics is complex, requiring an enormous amount of manual data capture and tracking across multiple teams and disparate systems. Benchling's unified R&D platform allows us to capture, standardize, and share data so we can learn from past experiments and make smarter decisions faster," said Frantz Gabeau, Senior Research Scientist at Gilead. "With Benchling, our scientists spend 63% less time on administrative tasks, freeing up more time for research and innovation. We've also improved our timelines as we can now forecast, review, approve, and track studies twice as fast."
Since announcing its Series E raise in April, Benchling has introduced new capabilities and solutions, including support for Early Development and RNA therapeutics. The company also hired Salesforce executive Lindsey Irvine as Chief Marketing Officer. In just one year since entering the EMEA market, Benchling has reached over 90 customers in Europe, including Cutiss AG, Sanofi, Selexis SA, and Syngenta, and grown its European team to over 60 people.
“Benchling’s R&D Cloud addresses a broad range of industries, such as biopharma, agriculture, consumer packaged and industrial goods, life science diagnostics, and more. Sajith and the Benchling team have achieved impressive growth, helping some of the most innovative biotechs on the planet make critical breakthroughs and get everything from COVID treatments to sustainable foods to market faster,” said Ryan Biggs, Managing Director of Franklin Templeton’s Franklin Venture Partners. “These companies are entrusting Benchling with their most valuable assets — their data and intellectual property. We are thrilled to invest in technology that we believe is foundational to the future of the biotech industry.”
“Now that scientists can read, write, and edit the code of life, biotechnology is becoming one of the most important platforms for innovation since the internet,” said Ram Woo, Partner at Altimeter Capital. “As biology grows more prominent in our lives and across many industries, we believe Benchling’s R&D Cloud will become indispensable to biotech companies. We look forward to seeing Benchling support new scientific techniques in more vertical markets and geographies.”
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