Benchling Raises $14.5M from Benchmark to Advance Life Sciences Research
Announces 500% ARR Growth and more than 100,000 scientists using its platform
SAN FRANCISCO, June 14, 2018 — Today Benchling, the data management and collaboration platform built to advance life sciences research, announced it has closed $14.5M in Series B funding. The round was led by Benchmark, with participation from F-Prime Capital, a global venture capital firm associated with Fidelity Investments, and returning investor Thrive Capital. Benchmark General Partner Eric Vishria will be joining the board of directors.
The new funding comes as the company’s ARR skyrocketed 500% and its customer base tripled year-over-year. Today, more than 100,000 scientists across enterprises and academia are using Benchling. Since its last funding round in 2016, Benchling has seen leading pharmaceutical and biotech customers, such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Incyte, Editas Medicine, Agenus, Zymergen, and Obsidian Therapeutics, standardize on its R&D platform.
“Regeneron has been led by physician-scientists for our entire 30-year history,” said Nicholas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research & Development Operations at Regeneron. “Since our founding, science has remained our central guiding principle. Benchling fits perfectly into this philosophy, providing us a flexible informatics platform that enables our scientists to focus on high-impact research and deliver life-transforming medicines.”
Historically, biologics comprised a small percentage of pharmaceutical pipelines. Today, biologics are widely acknowledged to be the drugs of the future, making up 40% of the pipeline. The importance of biologics will only increase as breakthroughs like CRISPR impact not only pharmaceuticals but also industries like agriculture and energy. Despite these advancements, scientists are often stuck with archaic systems to track their work, including paper notebooks, offline spreadsheets, and legacy on-premise software, delaying critical decisions around research and experiments. Seeing this problem firsthand, the Benchling team created a purpose-built platform to give scientists the ability to compile and organize comprehensive data on all of their R&D programs. Due to Benchling’s platform, customers report up to a 4X increase in productivity and up to a 67% reduction in emails to collaborate on their research.
“We see scientists spending more than a third of their time on unscientific busywork. This is a huge loss of scientific potential and a drain on Ph.D. resources,” said Benchling co-founder and CEO Sajith Wickramasekara. “We started Benchling to help scientists make better decisions faster and use their time on higher-impact work such as experimental strategy and design. Our hope is that they can advance life sciences at a faster pace and do in 10 years what otherwise may take 30 to 50.”
The company empowers R&D teams with a suite of unified applications to encourage active collaboration, design and track biologics research, and accelerate the production and retention of knowledge.
“Within the next five years, the majority of top pharmaceuticals will be biology-based drugs,” said Benchmark General Partner, Eric Vishria. “Benchling is coming in at the optimal time to supercharge the incredible work scientists are doing, and help the world make breakthrough discoveries in a fraction of the time. Sajith and his team have identified a critical need for better software in life sciences, and their opportunity will only continue to grow as this field takes off.”
With this new round of funding, Benchling plans to accelerate product development and continue growing its team, which recently added the talents of Kaiser Mulla-Feroze as Chief Marketing Officer, who previously spent a decade at Salesforce before heading up marketing at Totango; and Sam Partovi, formerly VP of Sales at Medidata Solutions, where he played a key role in scaling the business into the hundreds of millions in revenue. Additionally, the company will focus on growing its customer base, which includes enterprise companies and some of the world's most renowned research labs at universities such as Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.