Labfolder taps investors for cash to develop ELN system

Labfolder has pulled in more than $1 million to finance development of its electronic lab notebook (ELN) system. The startup will use the cash to advance its vision of creating a system to connect researchers and the networks of equipment, software and data that support their work.

Berlin, Germany-based labfolder described the fundraising round as a "seven-digit investment" led by Charité Biomedical Fund. Existing financiers VC Fonds Technologie Berlin and Vogel Ventures, plus angel investors Jan Bohl and Dr. Wolfgang Vahrson, also chipped money into the round. The backers are looking to labfolder to use the cash to develop the platform and break into new markets. To help with these tasks, labfolder has brought Joris van Winsen, formerly of GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), on board as a "late founder" and CFO.

Having added Winsen to the team and cash to its bank account, labfolder is positioned to pitch a system it sees as the answer to modern research headaches more widely. "The smart in-depth interlinking of data, devices and teams is the next logical step in research. It allows scientists of all disciplines to document and evaluate research results in a better and quicker way, so they can focus on insights and innovation rather than tiresome paperwork and documentation," labfolder founder and CEO Simon Bungers said in a statement.

The platform Bungers and his collaborators, who worked together at the Max Planck Institute, have made looks a little like an Evernote for lab research. Users can upload Word and Excel files, annotate images and share folders with collaborators. Mobile apps are available, too. Labfolder is far from the only company pitching such a system to lab researchers. ELNs were tipped to sweep paper away more than a decade ago, but early iterations caused as many problems as they solved. Since then, the likes of Agilent Technologies ($A) and CambridgeSoft have continued to refine the technology. 

- read the release (PDF)