Singapore-based PatSnap closed a $300 million round to help R&D departments innovate more quickly and take products to market faster.
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The new round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Tencent Investment, with participation from existing investors CITIC Industrial Fund, Sequoia China, ShunWei Capital and Vertex Ventures. The company has raised approximately $400 million since being founded in 2007.
PatSnap has developed what it calls an “innovation platform” — for both research and development and intellectual property teams — which uses machine learning, natural language processing, AI and more to provide R&D and IP teams at companies, universities and research institutions access to market, technology and other competitive intelligence to help develop their product and take them to market.
“We help companies understand the technology landscape,” said founder and CEO Jeffrey Tiong.
Timing was right
The company decided to raise money as it looks to expand into new geographies — such as Japan with SoftBank’s help — and may seek out possible acquisition opportunities to grow inorganically, Tiong said.
“The market timing is right for us,” he said. “Companies more than ever need to innovate.”
Greg Goldfarb, managing director at Summit Partner, said PatSnap had something he rarely sees in a young software-as-a-service company — a truly global mindset.
“Before it had reached $10 million in revenue, the company had already built a global go-to-market capability with operations in Europe, Asia and North America, and a globalized product with data across regions,” he said.
Nearly limitless market
Tiong said with every company needing to create and innovate, he sees PatSnap’s market as nearly limitless. While some market and IP intelligence companies like Clarivate have offerings in a similar market, Tiong said he sees no direct competition for PatSnap, yet.
With nearly $2 trillion being spent on R&D annually, gaining just a small percentage of the market could lead to a large company.
“The market for innovation, IP and competitive intelligence is very large; any large or small organization, even universities and governments, are in the innovation business,” Goldfarb said.
“We believe PatSnap’s products can provide value to almost any company, research organization, or government, and as a result, the company has an almost endless runway as long as it continues to innovate.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.