NanoString Nabs $30M in Third Venture Round (Which It Hopes Will Be The Last)

6/9/09Follow @xconomy

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when it introduced its first commercial product just a couple months before the economic meltdown. It’s trying to drum up demand for a new product for pharmaceutical companies and academic labs that costs $250,000. It’s obviously not easy to sell those labs something that expensive, especially something unfamiliar. When I asked Waite if NanoString was running out of money before it got the new cash infusion, he said, “Pretty darn close.”

Still, Waite says NanoString has met its internal plans in terms of revenue, and sales unit volume, although he wouldn’t disclose numbers for either. The investors intend for this to be the company’s last financing, he says. The plan is for NanoString to build up domestic and international sales, and develop a second application for its technology, with an eye toward reaching break even on its cash-flow statement, Waite says.

Investors will want to see NanoString generate $50 million to $60 million a year in revenue, and develop a second application for its instrument, which isn’t being disclosed to keep competitors in the dark, Waite says. The existing product has been getting positive reviews from customers, which played a part in capturing the attention of Clarus Ventures, Waite says.

“We believe that NanoString Technologies has the best-in-class platform for expression profiling. Their uniquely user-friendly technology that does not require sample purification or use of PCR constitutes a breakthrough in the field, as evidenced by the excitement of the scientific community towards their products. We are delighted to be part of the success of this emerging leader,” Nicholas Galakatos, co-founder and managing director at Clarus Ventures, said in a company statement.

Nanostring has been without a permanent CEO since March, when Fell was replaced on an acting basis by Wayne Burns, the chief financial officer. Fell, a co-founder of Bothell, WA-based Seattle Genetics, stayed on as non-executive chairman of the board. The company is still searching for a permanent CEO, Waite says.

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  • http://www.GeekMBA360.com Andrew

    I’m a little bit puzzled by the amount of investment, given the company is not profitable.

    With $47 million of funding, VC probably will require an exit valuation of $300-500 million. And this company is not even profitable. Even if they get to $50-$60 million in revenue in a year, will they be profitable given their burn rate?

    I’m curious how much equity is left for the founders and current employees, probably not much.