BenchSci, a University of Toronto startup that uses machine learning to help scientists speed up the process of drug development, has raised $63 million from investors as it looks to expand its platform, The Globe and Mail and Betakit reported.
The latest round of funding was led by Montreal-based Inovia Capital and American private equity firm TCV alongside BenchSci’s previous investors, which include Google’s Gradient Ventures.
CEO Liran Belenzon told the Globe that the company will use the money to double its 200-strong workforce and expand beyond its initial focus – helping scientists find and purchase antibodies for preclinical biomedical research – to more broadly “leverage the history of science to make better decisions.” That includes using AI to help scientists craft hypotheses and experimental designs and make other key decisions in their experiments.
BenchSci’s platform is used by 4,500 research institutions and 49,000 scientists around the world, according to Betakit, and its clients include several leading pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and Sanofi. Founded in 2015, BenchSci received support from the Creative Destruction Lab at U of T’s Rotman School of Management, having previously worked with the Entrepreneurship Hatchery and Health Innovation Hub (H2i).