Trinity Snares $15M to Sell Analytics to Big Pharma, Biotech

12/17/13Follow @benthefidler

Trinity Pharma Solutions has spent eight years building itself up without the help of any outside financing. But Trinity’s founders see an opportunity to grow, so the Waltham, MA-based startup is finally raising some venture capital, and giving up a portion of its equity ownership in exchange.

Trinity is announcing today that it has raised a $15 million Series A round being provided exclusively by New York private equity firm Health Enterprise Partners. The added cash will bankroll a big expansion push for the startup, which aims to double its employee count from about 50 to 100 over the next year and a half, and open up new offices in New Jersey and California, where a lot of its customers are. HEP general partner David Tamburri will join Trinity’s board of directors as part of the financing.

Trinity co-founder and CEO Zackary King says the company reached out for cash to meet growing demand for its analytics platform, known as AgileM.

“We kind of hit an inflection point this year,” he says. “It would’ve been difficult to support the type of scale that we needed or were seeing on our profits alone.”

Trinity is a spinout of Waltham life sciences consulting firm Trinity Partners. King joined the consultancy in 2002 when it took on a data analytics project the firm undertook that amounted to Trinity’s seed-stage: he and his team were creating a data integration and analytics engine specifically tailored to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Rather than keep it in-house, Trinity Partners spun it out under King’s stewardship in 2005 with no funding, but a product already in place: an early form of what is now known as AgileM, a cloud-based mobile analytics platform made exclusively for life sciences.

The idea, King says, was this: once a pharmaceutical company begins selling a drug, it’s sitting on massive amounts of data—such as which patients are taking it, which doctors are prescribing it, and which hospitals/clinics are, or aren’t using it—that it can use to try to help boost those sales numbers.

So Trinity created software that assembles all of that information and gives insight, via predictive algorithms, as to why a company’s drug might be selling better (or worse) at one place than another, or why one place might be prescribing a competitor’s drug instead—say, if it’s a payment or reimbursement issue. A pharmaceutical company sends Trinity the data, and Trinity integrates it, sets it up via a mobile interface. Trinity sells this via a monthly subscription fee. King wouldn’t say how much the company charges for it.

King says this type of information is typically compiled by pharmaceutical companies’ internal IT departments, who build data warehouses at the cost of millions of dollars. Or, pharma companies can get it with the various enterprise business intelligence applications on the market—Trinity’s competitors. Trinity says, however, that it’s the only company to provide such a tool exclusively for life sciences. King contends that’s its advantage.

“You still need a high degree of configuration and customization to get them stood up and deployed,” he says. “We can deploy it inside of eight to 10 weeks for a global billion dollar brand in support of thousands of users at a pharma company.”

With this product in place, Trinity grew organically. The company started with about 7 or 8 employees when it was spun out, to about 50 today. It counts about 10 large pharmaceutical companies and 20 or so other biotechs as its customers. King wouldn’t say what type of revenue the company is bringing in, only that the company is profitable and has been since it was spun out, and has been tracking at about 25 to 30 percent year-over-year revenue growth since it was spun out in 2005.

King says the company has had interest from investors over the years, but now was the right time to get backing because the company could do so “on its own terms.” Trinity wanted to choose the firm it would work with and keep management control, and it’s been able to do so with this Series A round, he says.

Trinity will spend a lot of that cash investing in sales and marketing and brand awareness, something it hasn’t invested in a whole lot so far.

“For us it’s really about getting the word out and proving our product is better than traditional approaches,” he says.

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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