Eric Lefkofsky saved people money on otherwise expensive group weekend activities. With his new startup, he aims to save lives. Tempus is Eric Lefkofsky’s cancer-data company, and it just received a $70 million boost from some familiar partners: New Enterprise Associates and Revolution Growth. The two Washington, D.C.-area venture funds led the new round of financing, bringing the total outside investments for Tempus to approximately $130 million.
With the latest round, the company’s value sits at about $700 million. Tempus was launched two years ago by Lefkofsky, who co-founded and was once the CEO of Groupon, after his wife had been treated for breast cancer. During her treatments, Lefkofsky noticed the poor infrastructure regarding clinical data collection in oncology wards. Since then, the company he founded in response has grown to almost 200 people.
Tempus has spent the past two years building a series of data pipelines to collect, cleanse, and analyze data at a scale. The system uses the most sophisticated technologies, including cloud-based platforms, cluster computing, next-generation sequencing, natural language processing, and AI-assisted image recognition. These data pipelines then power proprietary software applications that drive clinical decision support and frontline academic research.
“In oncology, and across healthcare more broadly, datasets have historically been small and disorganized,” said Lefkofsky. “Thankfully, technology has opened the door to new possibilities and for the first time in history. It is possible to amass massive amounts of molecular and clinical data and put it to work for the benefit of patients.”
“We are thrilled to have led an investment in Tempus,” said NEA’s Peter Barris. “Given NEA’s long and successful history investing in the intersection of technology and life science, we felt like the perfect strategic partner given Tempus’s mission to help doctors personalize care by collecting and analyzing large volumes of data.”
Lefkofsky, who remains Groupon’s chairman, is also cofounder of Uptake Technologies, which had raised $90 million at a $2 billion valuation as of April, according to VC funding database Pitchbook. Revolution is also an Uptake investor. Together, they have started several companies including their own VC fund Lightbank, advertising software company Mediaocean, and publicly-traded Echo Global Logistics.