“Facebook for scientists” ResearchGate confirms $35m new funding led by Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Scientists’ network ResearchGate today confirmed its new funding round: a $35m Series C round led by Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital. 

Dragoneer Investment Group, Thrive Capital and the company’s existing investors Benchmark and Founders Fund also participated in the round, first reported last month and with Gates’ participation suggested last week.

ResearchGate, based in Berlin and Boston, is an online platform for scientists and researchers to get together and share knowledge and resources. Since Ijad Madisch, Sören Hofmayer and Horst Fickenscher started the company in May 2008, it’s grown to 100 employees and about 2.9 million members worldwide with several thousand new sign-ups each day. 

The new funding will go towards “further innovation in the fields of sharing and searching for scientific data online, including raw data and data from failed experiments”, the company said today. It is also working on new ways to measure scientific reputation.

ResearchGate – new funding to bring in the open science era

“Our goal is to free knowledge from the ivory tower, to digitalise it and make it accessible for everyone in order to accelerate scientific progress. With Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital, we’re excited to add to our group of investors whose goals are perfectly in line with ours, and who understand the relevance of what we are doing – not only for science, but for society,” Madisch said in a press statement.

“To ensure everyone has the possibility to lead a healthy and productive life, science has to come up with new solutions to eradicate diseases and spread new knowledge quickly and effectively. We are building the digital infrastructure to make this happen.”

Tenaya Capital managing director Ben Boyer added: “ResearchGate not only has the opportunity to influence the trillion dollars spent yearly on research and development but – through scientific breakthroughs enabled by the network’s knowledge share – impact the world as a whole.”

Familiar names from US VC Tenaya Capital’s portfolio include Eventbrite and Wooga; Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates’ recent investments include energy tech companies Aquion and LightSail, and genetic sequencing company Foundation Medicine.  

For more on ResearchGate, check out our video interview with Madisch earlier this year – including his lightbulb moment as a medical scientist, the niceties of researcher collaboration, and the vision driving him and the company forward:

Top image credit:
Bill Gates: Flickr user 
TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

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