Boulder’s SomaLogic raises $121M in Series A round

SomaLogic CEO Roy Smythe.

BOULDER — Blood protein testmaker SomaLogic Inc. has secured $121 million in its Series A financing round, making it the largest venture-capital round in the region so far this year.

In a statement, the Boulder company said the round was led by New York-based health-care investor Casdin Capital LLC, whose founder Eli Casdin will gain a seat on the board. At least 10 other venture-capital firms were involved in the round.

SomaLogic develops platforms to read thousands of proteins in a patient’s blood or urine sample that may signal illnesses or future health conditions and suggest potential treatments via machine learning. The company has co-developed several programs with pharmaceutical giants such as Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) and Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) to measure samples from clinical drug trial patients.

In an interview with BizWest, CEO Roy Smythe said that while the company has raised more than $380 million since it was founded in 1999, all of those were single strategic investments rather than a round including a fundamental financial valuation and multiple investors at once.

The infusion of new funding will be used to expand SomaLogic’s offerings to both the clinical research community. However, Smythe is expecting more focus toward promoting the tests among practicing physicians and potentially directly toward consumers down the road a la genetics test 23andMe.

“We do think that we have a set of tools that will be really interesting to consumers, but we’re not focusing heavily on that right now,” he said. “We’re continuing to work on it from an R&D perspective, but that’s a market that’s gonna take a little longer for us to be ready to penetrate.”

The concept of a health-science company with large amounts of venture-capital backing that promises to unlock large amounts of patient health information using a small sample is similar to Theranos, a once-hyped firm that collapsed after regulators and journalists determined that its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, largely misled investors and the public on how effective the company’s devices were. Holmes is now facing federal fraud charges and is due to go to trial next March.

Smythe acknowledged the similarities, but said SomaLogic’s research has more than 20 years of peer-reviewed research published in known academic journals, and has allowed investors to tour the facility. Theranos was largely opaque with its technology and financials, and never published its methods in a peer-review setting.

“The scientific heft behind this, none of those things existed for Theranos,” he said.

The round has not been filed in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as of Wednesday morning. SomaLogic anticipates that more funding will close within the next 90 days, which will bring more clarity around how much exactly investors believe the company is worth. Smythe declined to specify what the round’s investors value SomaLogic at, citing confidentiality rules.

The round is the largest known haul of venture-capital money in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley so far this year, eclipsing Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX) raising $72 million in an initial public offering, JumpCloud Inc. raising $75 million in a Series E round and Fort Collins’ BillGo Inc. raising almost $60 million.

When asked if SomaLogic is preparing for its own IPO in the near future, Smythe said that while the timing would be unclear, the company would consider it as a viable option for its future growth strategy.

“I could see SomaLogic as a public company in the relatively near future,” he said. “I think that is definitely one path we could take, because that would be in line with this concept that the financial markets are the best way to make sure you have reproducible funding.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include an interview with CEO Roy Smythe.

SomaLogic CEO Roy Smythe.

BOULDER — Blood protein testmaker SomaLogic Inc. has secured $121 million in its Series A financing round, making it the largest venture-capital round in the region so far this year.

In a statement, the Boulder company said the round was led by New York-based health-care investor Casdin Capital LLC, whose founder Eli Casdin will gain a seat on the board. At least 10 other venture-capital firms were involved in the round.

SomaLogic develops platforms to read thousands of proteins in a patient’s blood or urine sample that may signal illnesses or future health conditions and suggest potential treatments via machine learning. The company has co-developed several programs with pharmaceutical giants such as Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) and Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) to measure samples from clinical drug trial patients.

In an interview with BizWest, CEO Roy Smythe said that while the company has raised more than $380 million since it was founded in 1999, all of those were single strategic investments rather than a round including a fundamental financial valuation and multiple investors at once.

The infusion of new funding will be used to expand SomaLogic’s offerings to both the clinical research community. However, Smythe is expecting more focus toward promoting the tests among practicing physicians and potentially directly toward consumers down the road a la genetics test 23andMe.

“We do think that we have a set of tools that…