Money on the Move: a March Fundraising Bonanza


Venture partnerships won big this week, and genetic therapies-related startups raked in millions. Here’s where the money went.

Atlas Ventures

In its thirteenth round of fundraising (and its most profitable one yet), Atlas Venture raised $450 million to invest in biotech startups that address unmet patient needs. Since 2015, Atlas has raised over $2 billion to invest in biotech and has either built or helped grow more than 50 companies. The firm’s business model focuses on business optimization, discovery, de-risking and strengthening. So far, previous rounds of funding have proved profitable, especially for portfolio stars such as Chroma Medicine, Ikena Oncology and Translate Bio. Hopefully, Round XIII will be just as successful.

Kurma Partners

Kurma Partners, a financial planning firm dedicated to healthcare and life sciences investing, raked in €160 million (USD $174,096) in its first closing for its Growth Opportunities fund. With the funding, Kurma will invest in unlisted European biotech companies, giving a boost to companies with products in the final stages of development. The fund also has the Tibi label, giving it access to the €6 billion the French government set aside to grow domestic companies into global ones. With support from the European Investment Fund and the Belgian Growth Fund, Kurma hopes to invest in at least 15 biotech companies.


A Series B round of fundraising won Microbiotica £50 million, or roughly $67 million USD, which is the largest financing related to microbiomes in Europe’s history. Notable investment partners in this round included Swedish life science investor Flerie Invest, Tencent, British Patient Capital, Cambridge Innovation Capital and global microbiome investor Seventure Partners. England-based Microbiotica focuses on bacterial therapies and biomarkers, and this latest cash infusion will go largely toward its two live bacterial therapeutics, which the company hopes to push to Phase Ib clinical studies soon.

Creyon Bio

Creyon Bio is a new player in gene-targeted drug development. Launched this week with bases in San Diego and North Carolina, Creyon is starting off with more than $40 million in funding from seed funding and Series A financing. Longtime biotech investors DCVC Bio and Lux Capital led the financing. While most drug discovery and development companies use a trial-and-error approach to find the right molecules for their pharmaceuticals, Creyon uses its unique AI platform to engineer oligonucleotide-based medicines, which are engineered to directly target a certain genetic cause. The company hopes to use its starting money to identify new drug compounds that can be used for a variety of genetic diseases and cut down on the time needed to bring drugs to clinical trials.

Sherlock Biosciences

An $80 million round of Series B financing was a huge win for Sherlock Biosciences' at-home diagnostics. Led by Novalis LifeSciences, Illumina Ventures, Albany Capital and Catalio Capital Management, the funding brings Sherlock’s total funding to over $111 million. Sherlock first made major headlines in 2020 when its COVID-19 tests became the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR genetic technology. The funding will help Sherlock advance its DNA- and RNA-detecting diagnostics tests and democratize genetic testing, as well as help support its exclusive licensing agreement with Shanghai-based Tolo Biotech to do CRISPR genetic diagnostics on proteins Cas12 and Cas13.

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