DrugBank Announces Successful Fundraise, Plans to Scale Rapidly.
October 5, 2020 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
The DrugBank team is pleased to announce the completion of a successful investment round. Over the past year, DrugBank has focused its efforts to scale its business, setting ambitious goals for growth, and targeting opportunities to help them accomplish those goals. This included being accepted into, and graduating from the prestigious accelerator, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), investing in talented software development and sales specialists, successfully being approved for numerous innovation grants, and investments in R&D.
The focus on building a foundation of success made DrugBank an attractive choice for investors, and the company ended up exceeding the initial target for the investment. The investors include BoxOne Ventures, who is the lead investor in the round, as well as Threshold Impact II, Startup TNT Investment Summit, AccelerateFund II, BlueSky Equities, AIoT Health, and several angel investors.
“Going into this fundraising round, we knew that we wanted to bring on investors that understand our values, and have a great deal of knowledge that we can lean on as we grow” explained DrugBank’s CEO, Michael Wilson. “We didn’t want investors for the sake of investment. It was essential for us to find the right match. I think we accomplished what we set out to do, and I am very proud.”
Josh Felker, Founder of BoxOne Ventures, says they invested in DrugBank because, "computational and machine learning advances are transforming the pharmaceutical and health industries. The success of these approaches is highly dependent on the scope and quality of their reference data. DrugBank has developed the world's most detailed, comprehensive and accurate resource for drug and molecular data. They are increasingly becoming a key input into major advances in data-driven medicine."
Before receiving this round of investment, the company had already seen success by bootstrapping. “We were fortunate enough to spin our core technology out of the University of Alberta, and already had strong customer interest before commercialization,” says Craig Knox, CTO of DrugBank. “Our first sale happened in our first week in business, and it hasn’t stopped since. We’ve grown from Mike and I, to a team of thirty in four years solely through revenues. When we decided to fundraise, it was to reduce our bottlenecks, and to help us accelerate and reach our goals more quickly.”
In the middle of their round, the DrugBank team was confronted with the realities of COVID-19. Fortunately for the company—whose customers range from drug repurposing companies like twoXAR to companies like Thrive Health, who is leading the way in COVID-19 tracking solutions—business boomed as the pandemic escalated. This gave the interested investors high confidence in the company’s resilience.
Arden Tse, Investment Manager for Accelerate Fund II said, “In the multi-billion dollar drug research industry, the percentage of successful drugs being approved has gone down, as costs for development have gone up. One of the levers that can speed up drug research is more effective access to data. DrugBank has built a scalable knowledge base that not only makes research faster and more economical today but provides a smart data structure that can be fed into machine learning programs.”
“We’ve always functioned as a company that builds tools that provide value to our customers immediately, and then scale our products from there—adding new features, new modules, enhanced data, you name it. It’s all about the customer for us, and always will be.” Knox exclaims.
The co-founders say that this customer-centric approach will guide them as they scale using their newly acquired investment dollars. They will focus on growing their customer reach exponentially in the electronic medical records (EMR) industry, and intend to expand both their development and sales teams to achieve their goals.
Within the next two years, the company expects to increase annual recurring revenue by 400% and double the size of their team. “We will be rapidly scaling across all departments including product development, marketing, R&D, sales, and customer success. A key part of our growth strategy is leveraging the great local talent in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology, computing science, and artificial intelligence.”, states Wilson. “Our mission is to enable major advances across the data-driven medicine industry that save lives and improve care. The importance of what we do has never been more evident. This funding will allow us to rapidly expand to new markets, increase the rate of product development, and make a bigger impact on the world. “
DrugBank is a pharmaceutical knowledge base that is enabling major advances across the data-driven medicine industry. It consists of proprietary authored content describing the clinical level information about drugs such as side effects and drug interactions, as well as molecular level data such as chemical structures and what proteins a drug interacts with. DrugBank was developed as a University of Alberta research project in 2006 in Dr. David Wishart’s lab, and was spun out commercially in 2015.
DrugBank offers a suite of products powered by the DrugBank Platform and has customers located around the world crossing multiple industries, including precision medicine, electronic health records, drug development and regulatory agencies. DrugBank also provides free resources for academic research and is used by millions of pharmacists, pharmacologists, health professionals and pharmaceutical researchers every year.
Their Clinical Drug Information is available to clinical software companies such as electronic medical records (EMR) companies, genetic testing companies, and precision medicine software companies. The Clinical Drug Information product provides tools to collect and analyze information about medicines and provides insights about that reduce the chance of adverse drug events.
DrugBank Scientific Drug Information is available to pharmaceutical companies and helps them use artificial intelligence, bioinformatics and data science to discover new drugs and find new applications for existing drugs.
To learn more about DrugBank, visit www.drugbank.com
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Shay Barker, Operations Manager