10X Genomics scoops another $55M to fuel commercialization of long-read tech

10X Genomics CEO Serge Saxonov

10X Genomics has rounded up another $55 million from investors, bringing the total fundraising haul in its short history past $135 million. The latest injection of money will support 10X Genomics as it ramps up its attempts to commercialize its long-read genome sequencing technology.

Pleasanton, CA-based 10X Genomics burst onto the scene 14 months ago when it exited stealth mode with a $55.5 million Series B round and plans to roll out products that add long-read features to Illumina ($ILMN) sequencers. Having worked since then to build its GemCode technology into a suite of products for sequencing and single-cell analysis--while also striking deals with Illumina, Qiagen ($QGEN) and Agilent Technologies ($A)--10X Genomics has now returned to the funding font for money to fuel the next phase of its development.

"There's a strong push on the commercialization aspect. Funding will help that," 10X Genomics CEO Serge Saxonov told San Francisco Business Times. Academic researchers have been among the first to adopt 10X Genomics technology. In June, the Broad Institute was unveiled as an early user of the GemCode platform, which seeks to address the limited long-read capabilities of Illumina sequencers. By improving, rather than trying to displace, existing sequencers, 10X Genomics could turn Illumina's dominance of the sequencing market into an advantage.

The idea--and evidence that 10X Genomics can pull it off--has prompted investors to part with large sums of money. For the $55 million Series C round, 10X Genomics returned to its founding investors Venrock, Foresite Capital and Paladin Capital. Fidelity Management & Research led the round, which also attracted the support of new backers Softbank and JS Capital Management. The Series C round comes 14 months after 10X Genomics tapped some of the same investors for $55.5 million. Prior to that, 10X Genomics had raised around $25 million.

10X Genomics' performance to date has given investors the confidence to keep coughing up cash. "These guys have been fantastic at product development, and have brought industrialization and scalability to this effort," Venrock's Bryan Roberts told FierceMedicalDevices. "Every time I see them, the platform gets broader and there's new information that no one knows about."

- read the release
- here's FierceMedicalDevices' take
- and SF Business Times' piece