Latch Bio Emerges from Stealth with Seed Funding Round Led by Lux Capital
Company launches first-of-its-kind platform for performing no-code CRISPR workflows via any web browser
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Latch Bio, a company building data infrastructure for the biocomputing revolution, today announced the closing of a $5 million seed funding round led by Lux Capital with participation from General Catalyst, Haystack, Fifty Years, and Asimov co-founder and CEO, Alec Nielsen, Ph.D. The company has also announced the launch of its first-of-a-kind web-based platform which enables any biologist to analyze CRISPR data without any code or cloud infrastructure setup.
“Like genomics before it, the CRISPR community is facing a tsunami of data and a dearth of computational tools required for their analyses. As a result, skilled bioinformaticians are in high demand, and researchers are waiting days for what can be completed in a couple hours,” said Brandon Reeves, Partner, Lux Capital. “The Latch team has made it possible for any researcher in any lab to open a web browser, upload data and execute a powerful computational pipeline without having to enter a single line of code or build any sort of cloud infrastructure. By empowering the researcher, Latch is helping remove a significant bottleneck that is currently slowing down the whole CRISPR research cycle.”
Latch Bio was founded in 2021 by Alfredo Andere, Kyle Giffin, and Kenny Workman who met as undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley. Bringing together their backgrounds in engineering and computer science, they formed Latch Bio to build infrastructure for scientists who need ready-to-run solutions to advance their research. The Latch platform is a web-first solution that addresses some of the primary challenges facing CRISPR researchers, namely access to bioinformatics experts and the implementation of cloud resources.
“Since 2015, the ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute has been at the forefront of innovation in advancing the use of gene editing to support improved human health,” said Pawel Bialk, M.S., principal investigator at the Gene Editing Institute. “Access to the right tools is essential to our success. The Latch platform, which includes ChristianaCare’s DECODR program, will provide immediate access to a wide range of popular CRISPR workflows that will further accelerate our discovery and translational research programs.”
Using the Latch platform, any researcher can now create a centralized one-stop-shop for storing, transforming and visualizing their data without writing any code. Through the Latch plugins, users can import files from their existing data stack including Amazon S3, Benchling, and Illumina’s BaseSpace. Biologists have access to dozens of popular workflows including CRISPResso, MAGeCK, CasTLE, Cas.py, MultiQC, and CasOffinder, among others. After performing a specific workflow, users can further interrogate the results using the built-in genomic visualizer and quality controls. The Latch platform is offered free to academic research users.
“With the public launch of the Latch platform, we have officially begun our campaign to build and disseminate the data infrastructure for the biocomputing revolution,” said Kenny Workman, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.
“CRISPR scientists who are committed to changing the world deserve the best software, and at Latch we actually listen to them, then build what they want. We want to be their champion and build solutions that make their job easier,” said Kyle Giffin, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer.
“We look forward to working closely with our users, who are each revolutionizing the capabilities of gene-editing and will be invaluable partners as we continue to improve the Latch platform,” said Alfredo Andere, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are at the very beginning of realizing our vision and look forward to working closely with our advisors and growing base of users to further expand the platform's capabilities.”
To learn more about access to the Latch platform, please visit www.Latch.bio.
About Latch Bio
Founded in 2021, Latch Bio is on a mission to build and disseminate the data infrastructure for the biocomputing revolution. The company’s cloud-based platform offers no-code bioinformatics for CRISPR researchers seeking to store, transform and visualize their data. Through any web browser, the global CRISPR community can quickly access popular bioinformatics pipelines and data visualization tools. The company's investors include Lux Capital, General Catalyst, Haystack, and Fifty Years. Latch Bio is based in San Francisco, California and can be found online at www.LatchBio.com.
Source: Latch Bio