Google joins $200M round for Tempus, now valued at $8B


Cancer treatment startup Tempus has raised another mega-round of venture capital funding as it continues to grow as Chicago’s most valuable startup.

Tempus raised $200 million in a Series G-2 financing round that included Google, a first-time Tempus investor. Existing investors Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, Novo Holdings, and funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price also participated in this latest round.

The tech company has now raised $1.05 billion and has a post-money valuation of $8.1 billion, up from $5 billion at the time of its last funding round in March.

Tempus was founded in 2015 by Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky. Crossing the $1 billion fundraising mark is a rarity in Chicago, but it's the second time Lefkofsky has reached the milestone. He led Groupon through numerous funding rounds, ultimately raising $1.4 billion before it went public in 2011.

Tempus uses machine learning and genomic sequencing to better understand cancer tumors, and it provides physicians with data to personalize patient treatment. The startup’s platform analyzes molecular and therapeutic data at scale, enabling physicians to make real-time, data-driven decisions to better treat their patients. The company now employs about 1,500 people, running millions of molecular tests annually.

“Never before has the need to bring the power and promise of technology to healthcare been more acute than it is today,” Lefkofsky said in a statemet. “As a leader in this space, we are very much aware of our responsibility and the power of this moment in time; one in which we now possess the technological capability to use artificial intelligence to eradicate disease and help people live longer and healthier lives."

The new financing will be used to expand operations beyond just treating cancer, a mission the startup announced during its last fundraising round. Tempus said in a statement that it aims to address other disease areas, including infectious diseases, depression and cardiology.

Earlier this year, Tempus pivoted a portion of its business to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. As of November, Tempus was performing upwards of 12,000 coronavirus tests per day. The startup also recently began collaborating with the Yale School of Public Health to accelerate the development of the university's at-home, saliva-based Covid-19 diagnostic test, and also works with CVS Health in a Covid testing partnership.

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