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its inception in 2004, don’t have an exit in mind—be it through an acquisition, IPO, or otherwise. Banerjee notes, for example, RainDance has been approached in the past regarding either partnerships or an acquisition. But RainDance refused to bite, feeling it had the cash, the investor support, and the business plan to build its value beyond what a few early buyout dollars would bring.
“We’re not in a hurry to sub-optimize the business,” he says.
Instead, RainDance is aggressively going after the opportunity it sees as a standalone company.
Banerjee notes that every single one of RainDance’s longtime investors participated in the financing and supports the company’s plans. The financing deal, for example, includes only equity, and it doesn’t need to hit any specific milestones to get the full funding amount.
That’s because, Banerjee asserts, RainDance is now on the precipice of its big move, which would drive its valuation upward significantly and make the eventual returns for investors worthwhile. RainDance, for example, will use the latest round of cash to expand its manufacturing and marketing capabilities, scale itself up to meet growing demand, and to make strategic investments to transform its business into the area of clinical diagnostics.
“We’re in the very early innings of a very big growth story,” Banerjee said. “We’re just entering the inflection point of that significant growth. So it’s an exciting time.”
Indeed, since mid-2010, when Xconomy last profiled RainDance, Banerjee says the company has increased its size and scale ten-fold, and expanded its customer base from fewer than 10 to more than 70. It has begun marketing two new systems, among them the ThunderStorm in October 2011, and will hit an annualized run rate of $20 million in sales in 2013 (RainDance generated sales in the “low single digits [in millions]” two years ago).
Customers last year ran over 20,000 DNA samples, a figure that Banerjee estimates will jump 50,000 this year, 100,000 next year, and then head into the millions as RainDance uses it technology in more applications.
When RainDance does achieve its growth goals, Banerjee is “agnostic” to which approach the company uses to pay its investors back, believing the company has the capability to either go public or sell itself.
“That said, do we feel we could fit well within any of the large usual suspects’ portfolios? Yes,” he says. “We’re an excellent fit in some very exciting markets with unique differentiated technology and a great team, and great IP.”