BioData scoops up assets of competitor LabLife

The field of lab management software outfits just got smaller. Israel-based BioData has gobbled up the assets of struggling rival LabLife, a Cambridge, MA, firm that had gained thousands of scientists as users of its free web-based software but reportedly fell short on the revenue side. Israel's Globes reports that BioData is paying "a few million dollars" for LabLife's assets.

LabLife failed in its gambit to support its free software with revenue from advertising, and has had to lay off most of its employees despite the popularity of its products among scientists, BioData founder and co-chief executive Jonathan Gross told Globes. By contrast, BioData, which charges for its technology, has been growing its business, and last year sold a major stake in the company to the Digital Science unit of Macmillan Publishers, which owns Nature Publishing Group. The amount of the investment was between $5 million and $10 million, according to the Globes report.

"We're excited that the vision of LabLife will continue on and grow as a service through BioData, an organization founded and run by scientists who are committed to making it easier for scientists to conduct research," LabLife co-founder Kenneth Fan said in a statement.

"We are delighted to have acquired the activity, and we will continue to provide service to LabLife's customers," Gross told the Israeli news service. "Later on, we may transfer them to our product. For a scientist who buys software, the most important thing is continuity, and our association with MacMillan means we have strong backing." BioData's software is used in labs to manage supplies of materials, experiments and projects, according to the company.

- here's the release
- get more in the Globes report

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