London-based BenevolentAI has closed an £80m funding round which included investment from the US as well as from existing backers.
British artificial intelligence firm BenevolentAI has raised £80.8m, valuing the group at £1.4 bn and marking one of the largest funding rounds in the AI pharmaceutical sector.
The firm secured the funding from investors largely based in the US, as well as from existing backers such as Woodford Investment Management.
BenevolentAI is applying artificial intelligence to develop new medicines for hard to treat diseases. To date, it has raised more than £141m in funding since its launch in 2013.
The company will use this latest cash injection to ramp up its drug development, broadening the disease areas on which it focuses and advance these programmes to the clinic.
The group – Europe’s largest private AI company – will also use the funds to further develop its self-learning system, while also helping the firm to expand outside the pharmaceutical sector to other science-based industries, such as energy storage and agriculture.
Ken Mulvany, founder and chairman of BenevolentAI, said: “We are very pleased with the response to the fundraising. It reflects the rapidly growing global interest in the AI pharmaceutical sector and the recognition of our place as the dominant player within it.
“We have come a very long way since we founded the business in 2013. The capabilities of our technology didn’t exist six years ago.
“We are pioneering this sector and have evolved into a fully integrated, AI enabled drug development company with the ability to deliver better medicines at previously unimaginable speeds - this ultimately means patients will receive the right medicines, at a lower cost, in less time.”
BenevolentAI currently employs 165 people who work in a unique, cross functional environment that incorporates leading edge data scientists, computer scientists, mathematicians and drug development R&D scientists working side by side.
The company is headquartered in London with further offices in New York and Belgium. It also has a research facility at Babraham Science Park in Cambridge.
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