Marrying precision med and AI, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky takes total haul for his analytics firm over the $1B line
The pandemic has taken Tempus — the company Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky launched to bring artificial intelligence to physicians and researchers focused on precision medicine — in quite a few unexpected turns.
Not only did it launch efforts to help doctors in their core field of cancer adapt to new ways of working, it also made a decision to expand into infectious diseases (starting with Covid-19), while doubling down on depression and cardiology.
One thing that hasn’t changed: It’s still got the funds to do it all.
With a new cash infusion on Thursday, in 2020 it’s raised more money than it has in all the years since its 2015 founding combined, bringing the total haul to $1.05 billion.
Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, Google, Novo Holdings, and funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price invested $200 million in a Series G-2 at a post-money valuation of $8.1 billion dollars. At the same time, Tempus has also secured $250 million in convertible debt.
That’s a jump of $3.1 billion compared to how it was valued in the Series G back in March.
“Never before has the need to bring the power and promise of technology to healthcare been more acute than it is today,” CEO Lefkofsky said in a statement, adding in an interview with Endpoints News: “I think Tempus is the first of what I hope will be a series of many companies that are actually able to practically bring technology and machine learning and artificial intelligence to healthcare by virtue of being able to access all that data.”
While Tempus started out as a tool for physicians, helping them analyze genomic data and make real-time decisions, it’s also been extending its tentacles deeper into biopharma. Just in November, the company unveiled partnerships with both J&J and ASCO: The former consists of a data deal to facilitate AI/machine learning projects plus Janssen’s participation in Tempus’ biomarker-driven trial network. The latter gives scientists access to a dataset of 500 glioblastoma patients with matched molecular and clinical data.
Its pitch for drug developers centers around the ability to aggregate “one of the largest repositories of healthcare data in the world,” at a level of detail that could be valuable for looking at how to hit a particular target.
“As we raise additional funds, we are consistently investing in new disease areas and building up the teams and then acquiring necessary data to bring big data to those areas,” Lefkofsky said.