California-based outsourced research services provider Science Exchange has raised $28 million in its third funding round.
This brings its total to more than $58 million since its 2011 inception, with former rounds, including its latest series C, seeing cash from Norwest Venture Partners, Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Index Ventures, OATV, the YC Continuity Fund, and others.
As part of the series C, Casper de Clercq, general partner at Norwest and life sciences vet, joined the company’s board.
Science Exchange said in a statement that it plans to use the funding to “continue its expansion” and hire across product, engineering, sales, marketing, and other areas.
The group effectively runs a marketplace for scientific research and has been dubbed the "Uber" of research. Its business model is set up to allow access to a network of thousands of screened and verified CROs, academic labs, and government facilities that are available to conduct experiments on the behalf of scientists. Or, as The Economist has previously phrased it, the "Uber for experiments." With the latest cash boost, it also now hopes to “go beyond biopharma.”
The site recruits labs from around the world to list their available services and then invites researchers to browse for their ideal partner. If an individual wanted RNA sequencing done they would type that into a search bar and Science Exchange will list the 22 labs that can help, with prices ranging from $304 to $1,510 per sample. It also has an eBay-style feedback system rating each provider
“In the last decade, outsourcing of R&D has become a core strategy for improving efficiency and providing access to innovation for top companies globally. Forty percent of R&D spend is now outsourced and this trend continues to grow,” explained Science Exchange CEO Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., a research scientist who cofounded the company. She hopes to continue to build on these stats and builds on the $25 million raised last March.
“Science Exchange has developed an outsourcing platform that is enjoying tremendous momentum as many of the world's largest pharma and biotech companies have signed up,” added de Clercq. “They are well-positioned as the leader in a large and expanding market. We are excited to help Science Exchange become the world's largest platform for outsourced R&D.”