Bill Gates takes part in US$35m investment in open science network ResearchGate

5 Jun 2013

Bill Gates along with Tenaya Capital have invested US$35m in a C funding round in open science era network ResearchGate. The network aims to remove archaic silos of science and intelligently connect scientists with data and resources.

Gates and Tenaya were accompanied in the investment by Dragoneer Investment Group, Thrive Capital and the company’s existing investors Benchmark and Founders Fund.

ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by the physicians Dr. Ijad Madisch and Dr. Sören Hofmayer along with computer specialist Horst Fickenscher. Five years later, more than 2.9 million researchers publish their findings, distribute them worldwide, and make a name for themselves on ResearchGate. The company has completed three rounds of financing from Benchmark, Founders Fund, Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital

“Our goal is to free knowledge from the ivory tower, to digitalize it and make it accessible for everyone in order to accelerate scientific progress,” Madisch, the CEO of ResearchGate, explained.

“With Bill Gates and Tenaya Capital, we’re excited to add to our group of investors whose goals are perfectly in line with ours, and who understand the relevance of what we are doing – not only for science, but for society. To ensure everyone has the possibility to lead a healthy and productive life, science has to come up with new solutions to eradicate diseases and spread new knowledge quickly and effectively. We are building the digital infrastructure to make this happen.”

Measuring scientific reputation

The new financing will help spur further innovation in the fields of sharing and searching for scientific data online, including raw data and data from failed experiments. ResearchGate is also improving the way scientific reputation is measured.

“Just as I witnessed at LinkedIn and Facebook, a true network effect business like ResearchGate has the power to change the world,” said Benchmark General Partner Matt Cohler, who led the Series A investment and is a member of the board.  

“With ResearchGate’s growing network of more than 2.9 million members, we are just beginning to see the transformative impact of removing the arcane barriers to scientific collaboration and sharing. We’re thrilled to welcome Bill Gates and Tenaya as ResearchGate enters its next phase of growth.”

Ben Boyer, Managing Director of Tenaya Capital said: “ResearchGate not only has the opportunity to influence the trillion dollars spent yearly on research and development but – through scientific breakthroughs enabled by the network’s knowledge share – impact the world as a whole.”

Bill Gates image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years