Berkeley Lights Emerges from Stealth Mode with $90 Million in the Bank

Partners with Sequoia and Walden Riverwood Ventures and raises $90 million

Emeryville, CA – September 21, 2015 – Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI) emerged from stealth today, announcing its fundamentally new approach to biopharmaceuticals, genomics and clinical applications. The company also announced it has partnered with Sequoia and Walden Riverwood Ventures and raised $90 million in funding to date.

"Berkeley Lights is poised to transform antibody discovery, cell-line development and single cell annotation and genomics,” said Igor Khandros, Berkeley Lights CEO and co-founder. “Our nanofluidic biosystems enable interactive biology at the cellular level, empowering scientists and researchers to study and interact with single cells in ways never before possible. Early engagements with biopharma companies and leading research institutes are demonstrating the enormous potential of our platform to enable new workflows and streamline existing ones. Massively parallel single cell sorting, selection, assaying, culturing and recovery for follow-on sequencing or processing can now be done on a single nanofluidic chip.”

The Berkeley Lights’ platform, which includes its OptoSelect™ light technology, automates challenging tasks such as tumor profiling – morphology, surface markers, sequence and protein secretions – of single cells from fine needle aspirates (FNAs) and other precious samples.

BLI is also engaged with several global biopharmaceutical companies to enable new workflows for therapeutic antibody discovery and production cell line development. Amgen’s Vice President of Research, Philip Tagari, will present information on BLI’s OptoSelectTM technology and its application in antibody discovery at the Discovery Summit conference on September 22nd. The company is pursuing collaborations to extend the use of its opto-nanofluidic platform into clinical and other applications.

In conjunction with the financing, Michael Moritz of Sequoia and Michael Marks of Walden Riverwood Ventures (WRV) joined Lip-Bu Tan of WRV, and company co-founders Bill Davidow, Dr. Wu and Dr. Khandros, on Berkeley Lights’ Board of Directors.


Berkeley Lights opto-nanofluidic platforms are enabling interactive biology at the cellular level and empowering scientists and researchers to study and interact with single cells in ways never before possible. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Berkeley Lights is working with biopharma and biotech companies to facilitate drug discovery and cell line development, and with research institutes on single-cell annotation and genomics. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About Sequoia

The Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 40 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. We’re proud that their success also fuels great causes: since 2000 alone we have returned more than $10 billion to non-profits like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT.

About Walden Riverwood Ventures

Walden-Riverwood Ventures is a partnership between two successful VC firms, Walden International and Riverwood Capital. Walden International is a leading international venture capital firm that has been providing investors access to cross-border, IT opportunities with the advantage of an unrivaled Pan Asia network since 1987. The firm’s funds total over US$2 billion in committed capital. Riverwood Capital is a globally-focused private equity firm that invests in high-growth businesses in the technology and services industries, across a variety of verticals and geographies. Berkeley Lights, OptoSelect and the Berkeley Lights logo are trademarks of Berkeley Lights, Inc. All other product, trademark, company or service names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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