While funding may be hard to come by in some high-tech sectors, bioinformatics companies seem to be bucking the economic trend. Last week, MolecularWare of Cambridge, Mass., closed on a $2.5 million first round of financing from several funding sources, led by the Aspen Investment Group and KnowledgeCube Group.
MolecularWare joins Viaken, Inpharmatica, and Scimagix, who secured a total of $82 million in funds during July.
Richard Kivel, CEO of MolecularWare, said the company would put the money toward new hires and continued development of its DigitalGenome data management software. He said the company would also look into building a second suite of software products that will address data mining and storage.
DigitalGenome automatically captures data from various high-throughput instruments, such as liquid handling robots, microarraying robots, and microarray scanners. There are currently three stages to the system: experimental design, analysis, and integration. Kivel said the company is hoping to expand the current functionality of the system based on user feedback. We have to stay ahead of the curve, he said. Some startup is out there trying to build a better product somewhere.
The company expects to increase its current staff of 10 to 15 through new hires in technology development and sales. Long term, Kivel said, he sees MolecularWare gaining more of an international presence.
MolecularWares current customers for DigitalGenome include the Whitehead Institute at MIT, and Riken University for Genome Research and the University of Tsukuba in Japan.