Matrix-backed Chinese biotech startup Genecast closes $43m Series D1 round

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Genecast Biotechnology, a Chinese biotech startup that specialises in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and bioinformatics, has raised 300 million yuan ($43 million) in a Series D1 round of financing led by CICC Capital, an investment platform of China International Capital Corporation (CICC).

The round was joined by return backers Chinese TMT and healthcare-focused investment company Cowin Venture; Yahui Precision Medicine Fund, which mainly makes investments in the gene testing field; and Matrix Partners China, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Genecast was founded in November 2014 to develop biotech technologies such as bioinformatics and NGS, a DNA sequencing technology that can sequence an entire human genome within a single day. Through precision cancer diagnostics and companion diagnostics, the startup seeks to improve the treatment of cancers like lung cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer and oesophagal cancer, among others.

“Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, has been more frequently applied in the treatment of tumours. Genetic testing, in particular, plays a vital role in tumour treatment,” said Eric Yu Zhiyun, managing director of Matrix Partners China, in a statement. Yu leads the firm’s investments in the healthcare field.

“We believe there will be two trends in the future development of genetic testing for tumours: Firstly, the testing for gene mutation will increase and the second-generation sequencing will serve an increasingly important role. Secondly, the adoption of genetic testing will begin as early as when the development of innovative drugs starts,” said Yu.

Proceeds of the new round will be used to upgrade its technologies, products, research and development, as well as marketing, according to the statement.

The company aims to expand cooperation with overseas pharmaceutical companies in promoting clinical trials, which will help the firm foray into the global market.

The is the fifth investment raised by the Chinese biotech startup. Genecast closed 210 million yuan ($30 million) in a Series C round led by Matrix Partners China and Chinese private equity firm Loyal Valley Capital in February 2018. Yahui Precision Medical Fund and Cowin Venture also participated in the previous round.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.