Vertex Ventures joins funding rounds of US startups Obsidian and LaunchDarkly

Vertex Ventures
Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Two US-based startups Obsidian Therapeutics Inc, and LaunchDarkly received $49.5 million, and $21 million financing in separate rounds that were backed by Asian venture capital firms.

Takeda co-leads $49.5m round in Obsidian

Takeda Ventures Inc, a unit of Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, and Vertex Ventures joined GV, formerly Google Ventures, in a $49.5-million Series A financing in US-based Obsidian Therapeutics Inc.

Atlas VentureHC, Amgen Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Shang Pharma Investment Group also participated in the round.

Obsidian was founded in 2015 by Atlas Venture, which exclusively funded the company’s operations through mid-2017. The firm will use the proceeds to develop controllable cell and gene therapy products.

The company has also named serial entrepreneur and biotechnology executive Michael Gilman, PhD, as its chief executive officer.

Obsidian has developed a suite of platform technologies that allow for exquisite control of protein activity in cells, thereby enabling tunable cell and gene therapies.

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Vertex, Redpoint back tech startup LaunchDarkly

Vertex and Redpoint have co-led a $21 million Series B round in LaunchDarkly, a US-based feature management platform that serves over 10 billion feature flags daily to help software teams build better software, faster.

Founded in 2014, LaunchDarkly takes the feature flagging platform that the biggest tech giants (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) build in-house, and provide it as a service for everyone else.

LaunchDarkly’s co-founders Edith Harbaugh, and John Kodumal plan to use the fresh capital to accelerate the company’s own growth in engineering, customer success, and category education.

LaunchDarkly is a unified platform where developer, product, marketing, sales, and customer success teams can manage code in real time. Its three main customers are disruptors, transitioners, and innovators.

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