Google’s AI VC arm invests in first Canadian startup

By zaymalz malz

Google Gradient Ventures, Alphabet’s AI-focused venture capital arm, launched last year, has made its first investment in a Canadian startup, weighing in on BenchSci’s S$8mn Series A funding round.

BenchSci offers an AI-powered search engine solution that has to date scanned and analysed data on more than four million commercial antibodies, accelerating scientific discovery using advanced machine learning algorithms.

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“Machine learning is transforming biomedical research,” said Ankit Jain, Founding Partner of Gradient Ventures. “BenchSci’s technology provides a unique value proposition for this market, enabling academic researchers to spend less time searching for antibodies and more time working on their experiments.”

“As our first investment outside of the US, we look forward to collaborating with their team and working together to drive further innovation in AI around the world.”

Alongside the involvement of Gradient Ventures, the funding round was led by iNovia capital, with Golden Venture Partners, Afore Capital, Real Ventures and Radical Ventures also participating.

“Without the use of AI, basic biomedical research is not only challenging, but drug discovery takes much longer and is more expensive,” said Liran Belenzon, CEO and Co-Founder of BenchSci.

“With this latest injection of capital, we not only have the financial resources to execute on our mission, but also iNovia’s support to scale our people and operational excellence, and validation from Gradient Ventures that the work we are doing is groundbreaking.”

The funds raised will be used to expand BenchSci’s team of engineers and scientists, expand the company’s marketing reach to drive new customer growth, and enhance its AI technology to further accelerate biomedical development and discoveries.

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