Microbiome Analytics Startup 'bitBiome' Bags $6.6 Million in Series B Funding
bitBiome, a Japanese microbiome analytics startup, hooks in 700 million JPY (approx. $6.6 million) in a Series B financing round. The investment was led by its previous and new investors, including The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners, Universal Materials Incubator, and other Japan-based venture capital firms. With the new influx, the company’s total equity financing has reached $10 million. Its last financing was in January 2019.
According to a statement issued by bitBiome, the company is looking forward to bolster its activities in the following areas.
*In-house research to analyze the relationship between microbes and disease states
*Purchasing lab equipment (including a next-generation sequencer) to further strengthen R&D capabilities and throughput
*Acceleration of global business development
*Securing and maintaining intellectual property
It’s a commonly known fact that microorganisms exist in multifarious environments, including human skin and intestines, soil, and water. But in truth, almost 99 percent of these microorganisms are neither cultivated nor analyzed, and hence they are considered as biological resources with undiscovered functions. The company had recently developed a single-cell genomics platform for microbes, bitBiome's bit-MAP®, which the company proclaims as a unique technology to precisely obtain whole-genome sequence data even from a single microbial cell. It specifically targets microbes and can also be applied on uncultured, raw samples to obtain unprecedented strain-level quantitative and functional insights.
Founded in 2018 in the incubation center of Waseda University, bitBiome had also signed a collaborative research agreement with National Cancer Center on analysis of gut bacteria related to cancer in December, 2019.