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Biotech Startup Benchling Hits $4 Billion Valuation

R&D biotech startup, Benchling, was started by Sajith Wickramasekara when he was just 24. He also made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 lists for his startup. Today, he has joined the ranks of unicorn founders as Benchling hits a $4 billion valuation. The valuation is nearly five times what it was worth last May. This came as the company raised $200 million led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities.

Wickramasekara told Forbes, “The industry tailwinds have never been stronger. It’s not just happening in medicine. It’s also diagnostics, agriculture, food, consumer packaged goods. I look at it as the fourth Industrial Revolution, and I genuinely believe it is going to rewrite life as we know it.” Benchling new investment brings it to total funding to $350 million. This makes the company a step closer to an initial public offering for which he says he has already begun preparing.

During the earlier month, Benchling announced that it had hired the first chief financial officer, Richard Wong. Wong was previously CFO of Houzz and vice president of finance at LinkedIn. Wickramasekaran said that they don’t have a firmly committed timeline for an IPO but they are getting ready. It is an aspiration for us.

Nine years ago, when he was in college at MIT, he started to work on an idea for a cloud-based Crispr design tools for scientists. He had studied computer science and spent time in a biology lab. He was frustrated due to reliance holding back research. He started out by giving his software away for free to academic researchers.

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