China’s precision medicine startup Geneseeq closes $114m Series D round

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Geneseeq, a Chinese company that develops next-generation sequencing (NGS) for precision medicine, has closed 800 million yuan ($114 million) in a Series D round of financing led by state-owned China Reform Holdings Corporation.

China-based biomedical venture capital firm Lilly Asia Ventures, SoftBank China Venture Capital (SBCVC), the China-focused investment arm of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group, and other investors also participated in the new round, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Geneseeq was created in 2008 in Toronto, Canada to use NGS technologies in guiding precision medicine for cancer treatment.

Incorporated in China in 2013 and headquartered in the country’s eastern city of Nanjing, Geneseeq translates complex genomic information into decision-making tools for physicians, covering lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer & gynaecological cancer, prostate cancer & urological tumour, among others.

The dual-headquartered firm, with over 700 employees, owns 100,000 square feet of a clinical testing centre and diagnostic kit manufacture facility, as well as a new R&D centre currently under construction, shows the company website.

The global NGS market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 20 per cent to exceed $16 billion by 2024, according to Market Research Engine.

China’s NGS industry, now led by Shenzhen-based genetics major BGI Group, has the presence of several smaller players including Beijing-based Genetron, Genecast Biotechnology, which specialises in NGS and bioinformatics, and Gene+ Technology, an oncology gene testing and precision medicine startup.

Genetron completed a new funding round at over 500 million yuan ($71 million) last month, right before the company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States on November 21.

Genecast Biotechnology 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) in late October. Gene+ Technology closed nearly 200 million yuan ($28 million) in a Series B round of financing led by Shenzhen-based private equity firm Co-Stone Asset Management this September.

Prior to the Series D round, Geneseeq raised hundreds of millions of yuan in a Series C round from investors including Hungary-based private equity fund Innovation Capital and Chinese private equity firm Cowin Capital in July 2017.

In February 2017, the company also closed 50 million yuan ($7 million) in a Series B+ round from DNV Capital, which mainly invests in the healthcare and high-end manufacturing industries. The firm received 60 million yuan ($9 million) in a Series B round from Shenzhen-listed Beilu Pharmaceuticals and other investors in June 2016.

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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.