Oncologie Closes an $80M Series B Financing

Oncologie Closes an $80M Series B Financing

BOSTON, MA, Biopharmaceutical company has closed an $80M Series B financing.

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Oncologie, an innovative biopharmaceutical company using proprietary biomarkers to drive clinical development of next-generation oncology therapeutics, announced today that it has closed an $80M Series B financing. Existing investors, led by Nan Fung Life Sciences and Pivotal BioVentures China, are joined by a syndicate of new investors including Panacea Venture Healthcare and Korea Investment Partners.The funding will be used to advance Oncologie’s three clinical stage programs, as well as its proprietary biomarker platform and in-licensing activities. Oncologie will initiate key clinical trials in the coming months, including a global proof of concept gastric cancer study with its lead compound, bavituximab, in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Bavituximab is an investigational immune-modulatory monoclonal antibody that targets phosphatidylserine (PS), a phospholipid that inhibits the ability of immune cells to recognize and fight tumors. Oncologie’s other programs include a TLR9 activator, lefitolimod, and a unique VEGF-targeting antibody, varisacumab. Oncologie’s biomarker platform is designed to better inform patient selection across the portfolio by matching patients lacking a genetic “driver” mutation with the right medicine and allowing for selection of patients for treatment based on the microenvironmental defects of their tumor. The Company will also continue to leverage its platform to identify best-in-class assets for licensing and development.

“Expectations for precision medicine are increasing worldwide. By matching the right drug to the right patient, Oncologie’s innovative biomarker platform is designed to build value by narrowing patient populations, accelerating development timelines and reducing failure,” said Laura E. Benjamin, PhD, Founder, President, and CEO. “This funding allows us to accelerate the development of our pipeline and platform, and grow our portfolio through partnering or acquisition.”

“Over the past year, Oncologie has assembled an outstanding team of experienced professionals and a robust pipeline around a truly innovative biomarker platform,” said Peter Bisgaard, Managing Director for NanFung Life Sciences and Managing Partner of Pivotal BioVenture Partners. “I am particularly excited by Oncologie’s biomarker strategy and approach, which leverages cutting-edge science to optimize patient selection in the challenging arena of the tumor microenvironment. This team has ambitious and strategic growth plan for building a leading oncology therapeutics company around this platform and around a pipeline of next-generation immunotherapies. ”

About Oncologie, Inc.

ONCOLOGIE is an oncology therapeutics company committed to delivering better outcomes for cancer patients through an improved understanding of which patients will benefit from each drug in the pipeline. The current pipeline is focused on mid-stage clinical programs that modify the immune system to enhance efficacy of current standards of care and emerging immunotherapy agents. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and Shanghai, China, Oncologie is working with global partners to acquire and develop innovative drugs for cancer patients around the world. For more information on Oncologie, Inc., please visit WWW.ONCOLOGIE.INTERNATIONAL.

Source: Oncologie Closes an $80M Series B Financing

Fireblocks raises $16 million to securely transition digital assets to blockchain

Fireblocks raises $16 million to securely transition digital assets to blockchain

Digital asset theft is on the rise, enabled at least in part by poorly secured credentials and APIs. Over $3 billion in assets were stolen by hackers in the past 18 months alone, and recently, cryptocurrency exchange Binance lost $40 million in bitcoin as the result of an insecure virtual wallet. Furthermore, cyber security firm CipherTrace reported recently that cryptocurrencies stolen from exchanges and scammed from investors surged more than 400% in 2018 to around $1.7 billion.

Fortunately, Michael Shaulov and Pavel Berengoltz — whose Israel-based mobile security company Lacoon Mobile Security was snatched up by Check Point for a reported $100 million in 2015 — along with former vice president of R&D at C4 Security Idan Ofrat are on a mission to solve the problem once and for all. Their new venture, Fireblocks, is developing a secure platform that expedites digital asset operations for financial institutions, and today it emerged from stealth with $16 million in series A funding from Cyberstarts, with additional contributions from Tenaya Capital, EightRoads, Swisscom Ventures, and MState.

“While blockchain-based assets by themselves are cryptographically secure, moving digital assets is a nightmare. After interviewing over 100 institutional customers, including hedge funds, broker-dealers, exchanges, and banks, we concluded that the current process is slow and highly susceptible to cyber attacks and human errors,” said Shaulov. “We built a platform that secures the process and simplifies the movement of funds into one or two steps.”

The tool suite, speaking of, leverages “chip-level” security and secure multi-party computation (MPC) technology to securely transfer assets across exchanges and wallets and keep them readily available. Fireblocks’ secure environment works with hot vaults — tradeable wallets — to enable digital assets to be transitioned from virtually any storage solution for settlement and transfer to the blockchain.

“Securing blockchain-based assets is one of the key challenges in modern cybersecurity warfare, and it requires heterogeneous expertise in mathematics, system level programming and years of hands-on cybersecurity experience,” said Sequoia Capital and Cyberstarts partner Gili Raanan. “The Cyberstarts team is thrilled to partner with Michael, Idan, and Pavel, who amazed us with their technology breakthrough to eliminate risk from digital assets management.”

New York-based Fireblocks’ team counts among its members security engineers from Symantec, Trusteer, and IBM Security, according to Shaulov.

“Moving digital assets 24/7, across the globe, uninterrupted, while meeting all enterprise security requirements is industry changing,” said Galaxy Digital CISO Ivan Brightly, an early Fireblocks client. “For digital asset trading operators, the Fireblocks platform provides a robust security system for digital assets, whether stored or in transit.”

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Source: Fireblocks raises $16 million to securely transition digital assets to blockchain

BlackThorn Therapeutics Lands $76M Series B Financing.

BlackThorn Therapeutics Lands $76M Series B Financing.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, BlackThorn Therapeutics today announced the close of its $76 million Series B financing.

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BlackThorn Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, neurobehavioral health company pioneering next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to advance targeted therapeutics, today announced the close of its $76 million Series B financing. New investors, including Polaris Partners, Premier Partners, Scripps Research, and Vertex Ventures HC joined the round, along with existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Biomatics Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), and Mercury Fund. In connection with the financing, Brian Chee, a managing partner at Polaris Partners, Lori Hu, a managing director at Vertex Ventures HC, and Julie Sunderland, a managing director at Biomatics Capital joined BlackThorn’s board as directors.”Making personalized medicine for mental health a reality requires the ability to gather, integrate and analyze a wide variety of data at scale,” said Paul Berns, Executive Chair of BlackThorn and a Venture Partner at ARCH Venture Partners. “BlackThorn has positioned itself at the forefront of these efforts by building the largest library of deeply phenotyped clinical neurobiological data and a cloud-based platform powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to inform rational, targeted drug discovery and development.”

“BlackThorn was founded to bring new therapies to patients by applying advances in computational sciences to address patient heterogeneity, one of the biggest historical challenges in the field of neuropsychiatric drug development,” said Bill Martin, Ph.D., BlackThorn’s president and chief operating officer. “Three years later, insights from our data-driven approaches are yielding patient enrichment strategies that could increase the probability of clinical trial success and improve patient outcomes. We are grateful for our investors’ support to continue advancing our platform and therapeutic pipeline as we build out a world-class team at the intersection of technology and clinical neuroscience.”

BlackThorn also announced two appointments to its executive management team: Jane Tiller, MBChB, FRCPsych, as chief medical officer, and Laura Hansen, Ph.D., as vice president, corporate affairs. Dr. Tiller, who brings extensive clinical psychiatry and drug development experience, will lead BlackThorn’s clinical and regulatory efforts. Dr. Hansen, who brings extensive strategic communications experience, is responsible for public and investor relations, scientific communications, and patient advocacy.

“I am thrilled to join BlackThorn particularly at this time when the nexus between artificial intelligence and the latest advances in neuroscience promises to modernize the way we understand and treat behavioral disorders,” said Dr. Tiller.

About Jane Tiller, MBChB, FRCPsych

Jane Tiller, MBChB, FRCPsych, is chief medical officer at BlackThorn. Dr. Tiller has deep experience in clinical psychiatry and drug development experience and was most recently head of European markets, Australia and Canada, at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), where she oversaw all medical functions. During her tenure at BMS, Dr. Tiller also served as vice president of global medical for neuroscience, virology and immunoscience and as full development team lead for the Alzheimer’s program. Prior to joining BMS, Dr. Tiller held positions of increasing responsibility at Cephalon, and, as vice president of neuroscience and pain, was responsible for all clinical development activities including programs for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and sleep disorders. Prior to joining the industry, Dr. Tiller was Clinical Director at the Maudsley Hospital, London, where she was responsible for clinical services for Southwark and across several London teaching hospitals. She was a Consultant Psychiatrist (Attending) and Hon. Senior Lecturer. Dr. Tiller is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. Dr. Tiller obtained her medical degree from Glasgow University, an executive MBA from Drexel University, and a MPhil in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She trained at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London and at Duke University as visiting faculty.

About Laura Hansen, Ph.D.

Laura Hansen, Ph.D., is vice president, corporate affairs at BlackThorn. Dr. Hansen is a strategic communications leader with two decades of experience in the biotech industry. Before joining BlackThorn, she was vice president, investor relations at Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc., a leading food allergy therapeutics company. Prior to that, she held positions in corporate communications at Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and FibroGen, Inc. At both companies, she was also responsible for scientific communications related to novel therapeutic platforms in oncology, fibrosis, and anemia. Dr. Hansen holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin.

About BlackThorn Therapeutics, Inc.

BlackThorn Therapeutics, Inc., is a clinical-stage neurobehavioral health company pioneering the next generation of artificial intelligence technologies to advance its pipeline of targeted therapeutics for treating brain disorders. The company has engineered PathFinder™, a cloud-based computational psychiatry and data platform, to enable the collection, integration and analysis of multimodal data at great speed and scale. BlackThorn applies its data-driven approaches to create an understanding of the core underlying pathophysiology of neurobehavioral disorders and uses these insights to generate objective neuromarkers, which support drug target identification, patient stratification and objective clinical trial endpoints. By identifying more homogenous patient subgroups who share underlying neurobiology, BlackThorn aims to direct its drug candidates to neurobiologically-defined patient populations most likely to respond. BlackThorn is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit blackthornrx.com

Source: BlackThorn Therapeutics Lands $76M

Spring Labs Closes $23M Series A

Spring Labs Closes $23M Series A

LOS ANGELES, CA, Spring Labs has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by GreatPoint Ventures.

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Spring Labs, the company developing the Spring Protocol — a blockchain-based platform designed to transform how information and data are shared globally — today announced that the company has raised $23 million in Series A funding. The round was led by GreatPoint Ventures with significant participation from existing investors, including August Capital, as well as General Motors Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of General Motors, RRE Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Multicoin Capital, The Pritzker Group, and CardWorks.”We’re pleased to announce our Series A with strong participation from existing and new strategic investors, enabling us to accelerate the development of new products as well as the Spring Protocol itself,” said Adam Jiwan, CEO and Co-Founder of Spring Labs. “Additionally, we’re excited to expand our relationship with GM Financial, which has demonstrated its commitment to innovation and collaboration over the past year, playing an active role in the evaluation of products and use cases on the Spring Protocol.”

Via the GM Ventures investment, GM Financial joins more than 20 other leading financial services institutions in co-developing the first applications to be built on the Spring Protocol – all part of the company’s continued effort to better serve and protect customers and dealers.

As other forms of credit mature and evolve, such as the adoption of chip-enabled credit cards, auto financing fraud has become a path of less resistance, having increased by a rate of nearly 5x from 2011 to 2018. Fraud-related losses in auto-lending cost the industry between four and six billion dollars per year, with a large portion of that fraud resulting from the abundance of synthetic identities, a form of fraud wherein identity thieves establish credit accounts using a mix of genuine and fake customer information, such as a real customer’s name, but a fake address.

As a result, the first products being built on the blockchain-based Spring Protocol are Spring Verify for enhanced identity verification, Spring Defense for fraud monitoring and mitigation, and Spring Protect for loan stacking prevention. These products are designed to improve customer on-boarding processes by reducing costs while improving data availability, security and granularity. The products will deliver valuable anonymous data to lenders in a variety of verticals, including unsecured consumer lending, small business lending, credit card issuance, secured auto lending, and more.

“GM financial is excited to deepen its relationship with Spring Labs, and we look forward to the launch of the Spring products as we believe they have the potential to better protect our customers from fraudulent activity,” said Mike Kanarios, Chief Strategy Officer at GM Financial.

In addition to significant product, technology, and partnership traction, Spring Labs has continued to grow its team including two notable recent additions. Joel Eckhause, former CRO and COO of Renew Financial has been appointed as the company’s first Chief Operating Officer. In addition, David Kravitz, a former long-time cybersecurity advisor with the NSA, has joined the company as Director of Research.

Following its investment, GreatPoint Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Perlman will join the company’s Board of Directors.

“Spring Labs has assembled a world class team and developed highly innovative technology that has the potential to transform how information is shared not only within financial services but also in a host of other industries,” said Perlman. “We have observed the company’s development since inception and are thrilled to lead this investment round.”

For more information, visit SpringLabs.com.

About Spring Labs

Spring Labs (Springcoin Inc.) is a technology company building the Spring Protocol, a blockchain-based network that enables network participants to exchange valuable information without sharing underlying source data. The initial use case for the Spring Protocol will facilitate the exchange of identity, fraud, and risk information among financial institutions to create a more efficient, transparent, and secure ecosystem for consumer financial data than the one that exists today. Spring Labs was founded in 2017 and has offices in Chicago & Los Angeles. To learn more, visit SpringLabs.com.

Source: Spring Labs Closes $23M Series A

SeedInvest Receives FINRA Approval to Launch an Alternative Trading System

SeedInvest Receives FINRA Approval to Launch an Alternative Trading System

Today SeedInvest announced that we received FINRA approval to operate an Alternative Trading System (ATS) to facilitate secondary trading of startup investments.  This is an important step towards our goal of democratizing the private capital markets.

When we first began to work on the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act in 2011 (before it was called the JOBS Act), we envisioned a world in which everyone’s investment portfolio included startups.  We were confident that millions of people would invest in startups for the first time and that, as a result, a vibrant secondary market would emerge to facilitate liquidity. It turns out, we were right that millions of people would invest in startups for the first time but were wrong about the secondary market.

Over seven years later, we feel as strongly as we did back then that a balanced portfolio should include alternatives such as startups and not just stocks and bonds.  Some of the most sophisticated investors on the planet (pensions and endowments) have a significant portion of their portfolios invested in venture capital and we believe that ordinary people should have that opportunity as well.  Through the passage of the JOBS Act, online platforms have been able to leverage the Internet to provide access, greater transparency and significantly lower investment minimums which has enabled easier diversification. But a lack of liquidity remains the biggest missing piece to getting startups in every portfolio.

The other day someone asked me why liquidity is so critical for startup investing and I provided two reasons. First off, for most people, investing in anything for the first time can be nerve wrecking.  But if you invest in Apple stock, you can always change your mind the next day and sell it. If you invest in an early-stage startup on the other hand, you are often making a 5+ year decision and that’s tough for many people to swallow.  Second, when you invest in a public company, there is an immediate feedback loop; you always know exactly how you are doing based on the stock price. When you invest in an early-stage startup, it’s often difficult to know how your investment is actually performing for months or sometimes years at a time.

A true vibrant secondary market for startups would address the aforementioned challenges and make investing in startups more attractive.  In turn, this would result in more capital for the very startups which drive job growth and innovation in America and abroad. Once we formally launch our ATS, it should be a big win for entrepreneurs and investors alike.  In the meantime, today marks a big milestone in our new journey as part of the Circle family.


Ryan M. Feit
CEO & Co-Founder



All securities-related activity is conducted by SI Securities, LLC dba SeedInvest, an affiliate of Circle Internet Financial Limited, and a registered broker-dealer, and member FINRA/SIPC, located at 116 W Houston Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012. This communication is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation of, or an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy, any financial product. Investments are offered only via definitive transaction documents and any potential investor should read such documents carefully, including all risks, before investing. Startup investments involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) or afford to lose their entire investment should not invest in startups. To learn more about investing in startups and its risks visit www.seedinvest.com/academy.

This post was written by Ryan on April 26, 2019

SeedInvest Receives FINRA Approval to Launch an Alternative Trading System

Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

Intel Capital today announced an investment of $117 million in 14 startups doing things like making AI inference faster, helping manufacturers deploy AI systems, building semiconductors, and creating disruptive tech beyond AI in health care and communications.

The companies hail from China, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Companies supported as part of the announcement include Landing AI, a company created by former Google Brain cofounder Andrew Ng that helps manufacturers apply AI to their business practices, and Untether AI, which makes chips specifically for neural net inference.

An Intel Capital spokesperson declined to share specific amounts invested in each startup. Intel Capital routinely invests between $300 million and $500 million annually in startups creating unique, forward-thinking, or disruptive solutions.

Other AI startups that received backing today include:

  • Cloudpick, based in Shanghai, which uses deep learning and computer vision for ecommerce solutions.
  • Medical Informatics, based in Houston, which uses machine learning and data to bring predictive insights to patient care.
  • Zhuhai Eeasy Technology, based in Zhuhai, China, which makes AI systems for media-related use cases for deployment on the edge, such as video encoding and image processing.

While the majority of the 14 companies being supported by Intel Capital are creating products and services related to artificial intelligence, other companies are in different fields, such as Polystream, which delivers 3D applications for video games in the cloud; Pixeom, which helps clients manage large-scale hybrid cloud and edge computing; and Tibit Communications, which makes a device to improve Ethernet internet connections.

The news was shared today at Intel Capital’s Global Summit, a gathering for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs now in its 19th year, which is taking place this week in Phoenix, Arizona.

Intel also announced today at Global Summit an investment in hbcu.vc, a nonprofit organization that helps students from historically black colleges and universities, as well as Hispanic students, learn more about venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Source: Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

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