Announcing our Series A: Building the AWS x Github For Biocomputing
We just raised a $28 million Series A financing round led by Coatue and Lux Capital to build the AWS x GitHub for biocomputing.
Automation, next-generation sequencing and multiplexed assays have drowned the modern biologist in a deluge of complex and unwieldy data. Scientists now generate 10,000x more data per experiment than they did a decade ago and it is far harder to understand. Transforming this flood of information into human interpretable insights is expensive and painful, bottlenecking life-saving therapies from reaching the clinic and grinding the forward march of research to a halt.
Biologists are often more comfortable in the wet lab than in front of a computer terminal and lack the background in software to solve this problem for themselves. The computational gap is filled by bioinformaticians, programmers familiar with the ecosystem of biological software tools, who cobble together scripts and undocumented programs to distill this data into insights.
Yet talented bioinformaticians, a rare breed of software engineer and scientist, are far and few between. Teams of biologists are left competing for the support of a handful of these individuals. Thus, a rift between the wet lab and dry lab emerges from this awkward handoff from the bench to the laptop. Moreover, as the volume of experimentation and the number of biologists within an organization swells, the need for data versioning, reproducible computation and high performance infrastructure becomes an enormous engineering project, requiring a small army and a fortune to build.
In the nascent stages of this biocomputing revolution, trailblazing organizations have had little choice but to build this infrastructure in house, putting dozens of salaried software engineers on payroll and reinventing the same siloed technology in-house. This repetition has bred waste and fragmented learnings. There is a need for a centralized and robust software platform for biotech companies to plug into from day one and that will grow with them to IND.
LatchBio is a repository of versioned no-code tools, managed computing infrastructure and collaborative data hub tailor made for biological research.
Biologists can directly process their data with a catalog of intuitive interfaces and collaborate with shareable visualizations. Bioinformaticians can use our developer toolkit to dynamically generate interfaces and portable cloud deployments of their local scripts. The entire organization benefits from versioned and reproducible program execution and traceable data provenance.
Usage of our platform has grown since our $5M seed from Lux in October. We’ve partnered with The Innovative Genomics Institute, BitBio, EligoBio, Geltor, and dozens of leading bio labs across the globe to speed up their time to the clinic.
Latch’s industry adoption is complemented by a swelling community of academic researchers. Developers in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the US have published novel tooling on Latch for phylogenetics, genome assembly, and CRISPR, making their research accessible and reproducible with frontend interfaces.
Our team has also seen growth, with fifteen full-time employees working in-person in our office in downtown San Francisco. We are cultivating the strongest technical and creative talent in the biotech space, building a team of polymathic talent who have eschewed derivative trading and ad optimization for the mission of accelerating fundamental science.
The capital granted from the series A will drastically accelerate our ability to build and disseminate the tools of the biocomputing revolution. The spirit of the company is loyal to basic research. As industry relations grow, our platform will forever be free and open-access to academic and non-profit users. We serve those who are making biology easier to engineer.
None of this would be possible without the enormous vote of confidence from Coatue, Lux, Hummingbird, Haystack, Caffeinated Capital and Fifty Years as well as support and guidance from George Church, Jeff Dean, Laura Deming, and Celine Halioua.
This is an opportunity to lay the foundational bricks of an enormous and generational project with an amazing team. If you are interested in building at the intersection of computing and biology, come join us.