Exclusive: Online lab supplier Labviva gets $20M injection
Labviva, a digital marketplace for life science supplies, closed a $20 million Series A, CEO Siamak Baharloo tells Axios exclusively.
Why it matters: The life science supply sector is opaque and highly manual — causing delays in the delivery of chemicals and devices important for pharmaceutical and medical research.
Deal details: Biospring Partners led the round and was joined by insiders Senator Investment Group, B Capital Group and Glasswing Ventures, bringing total funding to $30 million.
- Alongside the funding, Biospring managing partner Jennifer Lum will join Labviva's board of directors.
- Funds will go toward hiring, expanding Labviva's presence in Europe and Asia and expanding product offerings to include more predictive analytics tools.
- Baharloo says the capital provides two-and-a-half years of runway, but says the company may collect a Series B as early as March 2024.
How it works: Boston-based Labviva connects researchers with suppliers of devices, reagents and chemicals in an effort to simplify and hasten the process.
- Its AI-powered platform integrates directly with procurement systems including SAP Ariba, Jaggaer, Oracle Procurement Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 356 and Coupa to offer tracking and reporting tools.
- Current customers include pharmaceutical giants Regeneron and Takeda, startups such as Bluebird Bio and academic institutions including Johns Hopkins and the University of California, San Diego.
Flashback: A molecular biologist by training, Baharloo led e-business strategy at biotech heavyweights Merck and Thermo Fisher before starting Labviva with an eye on helping scientists solve problems with bioinformatics tools.
- "Countless experiments fail because you didn't use the right reagents or optimize your protocol based on those reagents," Baharloo tells Axios.
State of play: Several other companies offer digital life science supply marketplaces, but few have attracted significant venture interest in recent years. For example:
- Life science e-commerce company Zageno in 2021 collected $60 million in a round led by General Catalyst.
- Science Exchange, another online marketplace for life science research supplies, in 2019 raised $28 million in Series C capital.
- Marketplace and lab inventory management system operator Quartzy in 2016 pulled in $17 million in Series B funds.
Between the lines: Baharloo and Lum say Labviva's comprehensiveness and market expertise lend it an edge over potential competitors and existing tech giants.
- "There's a reason Amazon and Google are not leaders here," says Lum. "With the workflows and the types of data life science companies manage, software needs to be tailor-designed."
Reality check: Still, as it seeks to expand, Labviva will face challenges including hiring quickly and deepening its offerings without losing sight of its core strengths.
- "We’ve tapped such a green field, if we don’t stay focused we may dilute ourselves," Baharloo says.