Curing cancer doesn’t come cheap.
Tempus, a Chicago startup led by Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, raised $80 million in a new funding round Tuesday, bringing the company’s total amount raised to $210 million. Investors in the startup’s latest round include new backers Kinship Trust Company and T. Rowe Price, along with existing investors New Enterprise Associates and Revolution Growth.
The latest funding round comes just six months after the startup raised a $70 million round. Crain’s puts Tempus’ valuation now at $1.1 billion, making the startup one of the city’s latest “unicorn” tech companies.
Tempus says it now has around 400 employees, and it’s bringing on an average of 30 new people a month.
Tempus, founded by Lefkofsky and his business partner Brad Keywell, launched two years ago. It uses machine learning and genomic sequencing to better understand a patient’s tumor, and it tailors treatment plans best suited to combat it. The startup is building a molecular clinical library of patient information and an operating system to make the information useful for physicians. The centralized database allows physicians to learn from cancer patients that came before, and find treatment options that are more likely to be effective.
Tempus works with several cancer-fighting groups like the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan. The startup says it currently works with nearly half of all Academic Medical Centers in the United States. A company spokesperson said that with its current contracts and partnerships, Tempus will “touch 25 to 30 percent of cancer patients this year.”
Tempus is also eyeing diseases beyond cancer, the spokesperson added.
“Tempus was born out of frustration with a health care system that too often let powerful data and real world evidence go to waste,” Lefkosky said in a company blog post. “Given the breadth and scale of our current data set, we’re in a unique positon to help usher in an era of precision medicine to support patients battling disease.”