AI-focused precision medicine company raises $200M

Tempus, a Chicago-based precision medicine company that uses machine learning, genomic sequencing and other AI innovations, has raised $200 million in a series F funding round, the company announced. The financing brings the company’s valuation up to $3.1 billion, and it has raised $520 million since it was founded in September 2015.  

Tempus claims to bring AI to healthcare by building the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data, with an accessible and usable platform. The company’s work helps physicians and researchers make real-time, data-driven decisions for patients to benefit from treatments. The platform uses machine learning, next-generation sequencing and AI-assisted image recognition to discover new insights for patients.

Tempus’ database is aggregated from academic medical centers and community-based hospitals, and the company is in partnership with several academic medical centers, NCI designated cancer centers, hospital networks, physicians, researchers and the nonprofit subsidiary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, CancerLinQ. The company’s scale touches 1 in 4 cancer patients in the United States, according to a press release.

The new funding will go toward Tempus’ rapid expansion, including enhancing operations and accelerating the business into new therapeutic areas and geographies.

"From our founding, Tempus has been singularly focused on improving the lives of patients diagnosed with disease, starting with cancer,” Eric Lefkofsky, founder and CEO at Tempus, said in a statement. “Three and a half years later, we are empowering stakeholders across healthcare with insights derived from real-world clinical evidence connected to rich molecular data. We are humbled by the industry response thus far and remain committed to delivering on the promise of precision medicine to improve patient care.”

The funding round includes investors Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, NEA, Novo Holdings, Revolution Growth, as well as funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price. Under terms of the financing, Robert Ghenchev, of Novo Holdings, will join the Tempus board of directors.

The financing comes at a time when AI-enabled startups are gaining more attention from investors. Last year, startups using AI specifically for precision medicine and clinical decision support snagged $565 million in 17 deals­­––about 25% of all AI deals in 2018, Business Insider reported.