Vineti, a cloud software startup that manages the development of drugs such as cancer vaccines and cell and gene therapies recently raised a $33 million extension to its Series C round. Business Insider recently interviewed Vineti CEO and Co-founder Amy DuRoss about the company, why it raised an extension to its Series C round, and how it was able to attract Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff as an investor.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a slowdown in the development and commercialization of some drugs and therapies that had nothing to do with the pandemic. Because of that, Vineti found itself in need of cash, so it offered an extension to its Series C round in order to raise money in order to keep up product development.
Vineti’s original Series C round, which took place in February 2020, was oversubscribed, and there were many investors who were interested but didn’t participate, so, DuRoss said, there had already been discussions about expanding the round. When she began to see how her customers had been affected by COVID-19, she decided it was the right time to act.
The Vineti platform manages supply chain logistics, manufacturing, and clinical data for large pharma companies and small biotech startups. Many of the companies Vineti sells its technology to have had to slow down trials because of COVID-19, but once trials resume, DuRoss believes there will be “even more pent up demand” for Vineti’s tools.
As to how Vineti convinced Benioff to invest because DuRoss and other executives at the company had a previous relationship with him. Benioff had previously invested in Navigenics. A company at which DuRoss worked; and Vineti CTO Phil Calvin was previously head of platform engineering at Salesforce.
“In addition to Marc’s interest in our field and in personalized medicine and in supporting improvements in the supply chain overall, I do think he [also] had uber confidence in our CTO. I know that played a role,” DuRoss said.
Founded in 2016, Vineti employs more than 147 people and has raised $115 million to date. Although DuRoss declined to share Vineti’s latest valuation, she said there was a “sizable” increase in value between the original Series C round and the extension.
See the original story and the pitch deck here.