Genetic Analysis Firm Gets $77 Million to Fund Growth, Eyes IPO
(Bloomberg) -- Sophia Genetics, which helps hospitals analyze genetic data, has raised $77 million in funding in a round led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, which backs socially responsible companies.
The seven-year-old medical technology company, which was founded in Switzerland and has offices in Lausanne and Boston, uses machine learning to help doctors pinpoint mutations in genetic data and diagnose and treat cancer and hereditary conditions.
Generation Investment Management is taking a more than 10 percent stake in the company. Also participating in the round were existing investors Idinvest Partners, a European private equity firm, and Balderton Capital, a London-based venture capital firm. The new cash brings Sophia’s total money raised to $140 million. The company declined to disclose its valuation.
Jurgi Camblong, Sophia’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said the new investment would help prepare the company for a possible initial public stock offering. "We want to be ready in the next two years to afford an IPO and raise a substantial amount of capital because we believe there will be a health-tech player that will dominate this market," he said.
Sophia’s products have been used by more than 850 hospitals in 77 countries. Camblong said 100 hospitals in the U.S. were customers, including the Mayo Clinic and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute -- adding that there was still room for growth in the country. "The number of situations for which we are involved in computing genetic data in the U.S. could be much more," he said.
Sophia has also been looking to process other kinds of data -- such as medical imagery -- aiming to combine that with genetic analysis to help doctors find the best treatment for individual patients. It has already done this work with brain tumors and some lung cancers, Camblong said.
Sophia has almost doubled the size of its workforce to about 230 people in the past year, Camblong said, and has plans to add 100 more in the next year, including 40 workers in the U.S.
The company’s earlier investors included Invoke Capital, the venture capital fund run by former Autonomy Plc CEO Mike Lynch, and Marc Coucke, the Belgian pharmaceutical entrepreneur.
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