NEW YORK – Bio-automation startup Volta Labs said on Thursday that it has raised $20 million in Series A financing.
The round was led by Maverick Ventures, which was joined by Illumina Cofounder John Stuelpnagel, Khosla Ventures, Casdin Capital, E14 Funds, Blindspot Ventures, and "several experienced industry executives" including 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki and Kapa Biosystems Cofounder Paul McEwan, the company said. Including seed funding from Maverick Ventures and other VCs, Volta said it has raised over $25 million in total to date.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it will use the new capital to accelerate the development of its sequencer-agnostic sample prep platform for commercial release in 2023, with a limited release program planned for the end of this year. Additionally, Volta plans to hire new staff across engineering, applications, research and development, and sales.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinout, Volta was founded in 2018 by CEO Udayan Umapathi, based on his graduate work at the MIT Media Lab. The company said it has developed "several technology demonstration prototypes" for next-generation sequencing sample preparation using "dramatically simplified" digital fluidics. It plans to unveil its platform, which integrates "electronics, automation, and materials industries with a modern software stack," at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in June.
In addition to sequencing sample prep, the company said it is keeping an eye on a variety of other applications, such as synthetic biology and protein quantification. "[W]e are starting with sequencing sample prep, but this is only the tip of the iceberg," Umapathi said in a statement.