What and When
We are incredibly excited and profoundly grateful to announce the closing of our $80 million Series B which was co-led by Insight Partners and Alkeon Capital. This round brings our overall funding to over $92 million since Spin and I completely reimagined and rebuilt the company less than two years ago in our quest to deliver the world’s first and only open R&D Data Cloud, in pursuit of our mission to accelerate discovery and improve and extend human life.
This massive injection of capital validates our category leadership and enables us to materially accelerate our go-to-market capabilities, expand our industry-leading technical capabilities, and grow our cross-domain team of scientific, data science, and cloud experts.
Having only recently closed our 2020 Series A round and having most of that cash still on hand today, we were neither in need of capital nor were we actively seeking it. If this were most any other startup, we wouldn’t have been in favor of raising a Series B any time soon, but we ultimately chose to pursue it for the following reasons:
Our mission is to be the most trusted and valuable partner to the world’s scientific community, fueling innovation, facilitating collaboration, accelerating discovery, and enhancing and extending human life.
Unlike most startups, the achievement of our mission really does have life and death consequences for individuals and their families, and profound implications for humanity as a whole. To not accelerate our initiatives in furtherance of our mission would have been short-sighted and irresponsible.
The rise of cloud technology has been one of the most transformational innovation and growth stories in history, but its adoption has been uneven. Over the last two decades the private and public sectors have embraced the cloud to automate processes and/or organize and engineer data on a continuum – from non-core areas to increasingly core and now mission critical ones – as their trust in SaaS and cloud providers has grown.
Like our industry customers and partners, we view experimental research and development data, generated by the most advanced research labs in vital industries such as life sciences, chemicals, agricultural, materials, and energy, as the world’s most important data asset. Understandably, these industries have been reticent to move their most important intellectual property to the cloud until they had complete conviction in its underlying capabilities and their technology partners of choice.
While the benefits of cloud computing have grown unabated and likely met the risk/reward threshold for R&D labs a few years ago, COVID-19 has heightened the urgency to replatform to the cloud and take advantage of advanced data science and AI/ML as pharmaceutical companies face enormous societal, governmental, and shareholder pressure to radically accelerate discovery.
The growth of 23-month-old “Tetra 2.0” places us in rare company, alongside the fastest-growing cloud startups of all time. From a standing start in May 2019, our ARR, customer acquisition costs, retention and expansion, and capital efficiency metrics are all best-in-class.
Notwithstanding how essential our mission is, or how great the market timing may be, we are informed by our metrics and they are guiding us to invest aggressively in our business to fully capitalize on this generational replatforming opportunity.
While we weren’t actively seeking capital, I fielded inbound calls and spent time with nearly 20 funds over the past 5 months. I applied four criteria in evaluating potential financial partners – domain expertise, multi-stage investment capabilities, partner experience, and vision alignment.
Simply put, we wanted to partner with 1-2 funds for the long journey ahead and weren’t looking to simply optimize Series B terms. We wanted strategic financial partners who were informed, patient, mature, and supportive of our category vision. In the final analysis, while we had interest from some terrific partners at renowned funds, given our criteria, Insight and Alkeon were the clear choices for us.
Insight Partners, a leading global $30 billion venture and growth equity fund, brought to bear highly relevant investment experiences across our key domains of biopharma and cloud and a well-developed industry thesis which was consistent with our own. They also put forth a large and well-informed deal team, led by two GPs – Deven Parekh and Nikhil Sachdev – and were as efficient as any CEO could hope for in raising capital. We’re excited to announce that Deven will be joining our board while Nikhil will remain an active and trusted partner to me.
Alkeon Capital, a leading global $30 billion hedge fund and growth equity fund, also brought highly relevant experience in biopharma, cloud, and AI to the table. Leveraging insights derived from their significant biotech portfolio, as well as their investment in Benchling’s 2020 growth round, Alkeon immediately understood the market need for the Tetra R&D Data platform and the markers of a category leader in all we were building. Abhi Arun, our GP from Alkeon, has quickly emerged as a value-added partner to me and I’m excited to collaborate with him as we scale the company and build this transformational R&D Data Cloud movement.
Where to Now
From a standing start in May 2019 to a multi-hundred million dollar valuation and a fortress balance sheet of tens of millions in only 23 months is something to be proud of, but we are far more proud of the culture we’ve created to achieve this milestone and enable us to deliver for all of our stakeholders.
Notwithstanding the scale and velocity of our Series A and B rounds, everyone on Team Tetra knows that we are just getting started as we build a company of uncommon value and profound societal consequence.
Thank you to all who have believed in us these past 23 months.
Patrick and Spin