Health, Wellness & Biotech Startups Venture

MasterControl’s $150M Series A Launches It To Unicorn Status

A decades-old biotech SaaS startup announced its first round of funding on Thursday. With it came a $1.3 billion valuation.

MasterControl, a Salt Lake City-based company that provides software to manage the development of life science products, raised $150 million in the round led by Sixth Street. The already profitable company has worked with over 1,000 names in pharmaceuticals, food and medtech over the past 30 years, including Pfizer, WD-40 and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

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The company offers software for the myriad of inefficiencies that occur in the drugmaking pipeline and in life sciences in general, which force companies to spend more time and money in development instead of going to market and turning a profit.

A complicated product development cycle

We’ve talked in-depth about the manufacturing issues that plague pharma and biotech, which lead to billions of dollars sunk into treatments that often come out on the other side with a 90% failure rate. But drugs aren’t a unique industry in this regard — companies in the life sciences are facing supply shortages, logistics issues and steep safety requirements that beget the need for enterprise software that organizes every step of the process.

These problems have “led us to attack inefficiencies in quality and manufacturing that were extending product research and delivery cycles. We see an urgent need to help our customers to deliver their breakthrough technologies to the market faster and at a lower cost,” said Jonathan Beckstrand, CEO of MasterControl. “Our goal is to add a strategic partner with resources and expertise to help us to meet the significant need for our solutions.”

MasterControl started off as a document-control startup aimed at helping medical companies navigate requirements from the Food and Drug Administration.

Now, the company offers platforms that tackle supply chains, regulatory paperwork, distributed clinical trials and product development. Funding will go toward building predictive technology that can forecast the quality of events before a clinical trial or manufacturing plan is put into place, as well as developing automation tools in the manufacturing process.

Illustration: Dom Guzman



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