HK-based Horizons Ventures invests $26m in UK’s bio-research firm Synthace

Photo: Bloomberg

London-based Synthace Ltd, a cloud-based platform that helps improve the success rate of biological research, has closed a $25.6-million Series B financing round led by Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of investor Li Ka-shing, according to an announcement.

Its existing investors, Luminous Ventures, SOSV and others also participated in the round.

Synthace will use the new funds towards product development and expansion of its customer base. Synthace uses artificial intelligence for designing, simulating biological systems and analysing experimental data.

“Digital-to-physical workflows have transformed the semiconductor, aerospace, automobile and many other industries. Now it is the turn of the biotechnology industry,” said Tim Fell, CEO, Synthace.

Synthace recently launched a white paper which shed light on how biotechnology will be transformed by cloud connected and digitally empowered research tools that augment human capabilities.

“We believe that Synthace will lead the industry’s transition to computer-aided biology, owing to its truly disruptive and cutting-edge AI driven experiment design capability and experiment execution technology,” said Patrick Zhang, of Horizons Ventures.

Synthace is currently developing Antha, a language and software platform specifically for biology that allows researchers achieve better results, faster.

According to Crushbase, Synthace has so far raised $45.2 million since establishment in 2011.

Its other investors include Sofinnova Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, 11.2 Capital and White Cloud Capital.

Horizons Ventures, which manages $150 million of private capital across three funds and has invested in 25 technology startups, focuses on communication and systems, semiconductors, healthcare and software applications for businesses.

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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.