May 11, 2012

Who do genomics companies get their venture capital from?

This week, I take another look at venture capital (VC) investments in genomics. As suggested by Daniel, I ask which VCs invested in a panel of representative genomics companies, and what these investments looked like.

The result: The most active VCs in genomics are Alloy, Google Ventures, and Mohr Davidow, which each invested in three genomics companies from the panel. They are followed by InterWest, Invus, and OrbiMed, which each invested in two.

On average, the companies in the panel raised a total of $32m from four different investors in three funding rounds. The median individual investment was $5.8m. The median investment per round was $11.7m, which is twice the 2001-2010 VC industry average of $5.9m per round.

The panel

The panel for the above analysis consists of all those genomics companies that I mentioned on this blog in the last few months: 23andMe, BioNano, Complete Genomics, DNAnexus, Fluidigm, Foundation Medicine, GenomeQuest, Good Start Genetics, Nabsys, Natera, Oxford Nanopore, PathoGenetix, PrimeraDx, RainDance, and Verinata.

For each company, I checked which VCs invested in it using Crunchbase. Not included are companies that have gone public, did not receive VC money, or for which no data is available on Crunchbase.

Having assembled this panel, I am wondering how I could improve it and which other interesting questions I could address with it. Any suggestions?


  1. Hey Art,

    Oops, only just saw this - nicely done.

    One key question: how comprehensive do you think the CrunchBase data are? I really don't know how those data are collected, so I'm not sure how much to trust them.

    Second key question is how representative the biotech companies are. They seem like a good set to me at first glance, but I wonder if there are any key fields that are under-represented. Do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts on this?

    I guess the natural next step is to branch out into some hardcore number-crunching. I see there are a lot of companies in CrunchBase that are potentially genomics-related ( - CB also has an API that could (I assume) be used to pull out the relevant funding data from all these companies, where available. Then you have some serious data to play with...

  2. Hi Daniel,

    Crunchbase data quality is acceptable. Whilst compiling the data, I compared some total investment figures from their database to those available otherwise, and didn't come across any serious inconsistencies.

    As for how representative the panel of companies is, I'm not sure. I've been thinking about how to structure the industry before, and I'd like to think to think that my list is not too bad. The panel could of course always be bigger.

    If I, or anyone else, comes up with any interesting ideas what to do with the API data, I'll have a go.