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August 4, 2020 Bioscience

Sema4 attains ‘unicorn’ status after raising $121M  

Stamford-based health intelligence company Sema4, which has a lab in Branford, raised $121 million in a Series C round, bringing its pre-money valuation past the $1 billion mark, according to the company.

BlackRock led the oversubscribed round along with additional new investors Deerfield Management Company and Moore Strategic Ventures, Sema4 said. Previous investors Blackstone, Section 32, Oak HC/FT, Decheng and the Connecticut Innovation Fund also participated.

The funding comes on the heels of a $120 million Series B round less than a year ago. The latest capital gives Connecticut another ‘unicorn’ -- a privately held company worth more than $1 billion.

There were 20 health care unicorns in the United States as of July 17, and 483 total unicorn companies worldwide, according to market research firm CB Insights. 

Norwalk-based cloud storage company Datto Inc. became a unicorn in 2015. Guilford-based health technology company Butterfly Network, maker of a pocket-sized ultrasound device, attained unicorn status in Sept. 2018. 

Spun out of New York’s Mount Sinai health system, Sema4 opened its Stamford headquarters in 2017. 

The company specializes in genomic testing and precision medicine focusing on reproductive health and oncology. Its technology platform, Centrellis, uses data science and predictive modeling to provide a more complete understanding of disease, the company said. 

In recent months, the company has also turned its attention to COVID-19, partnering with the state of Connecticut to analyze up to 10.000 virus tests a day at its Branford lab. 

“Sema4 is a leader at the forefront of one of the most exciting intersections in health care -- the application of technology, AI and machine learning to help improve patient outcomes,” William Abecassis, head of innovation capital at Blackrock, said in a statement. “We are excited to support this talented management team as Sema4 begins its next phase of growth.”

In a statement, founder and CEO Eric Schadt said the investment brings “world-renowned partners” to the Sema4 team, as well as significant financial resources to support the company’s “continued rapid growth and accelerated investment.”

Sema4 also announced that Andrew Elbardissi, MD, a partner at Deerfield, has joined its board of directors. 

Other recent additions to the board include Section32’s Mike Pellini, MD; Rachel Sherman, former principal deputy commissioner at the FDA; and Marty Chavez, former chief financial officer of Goldman Sachs, Sema4 said.

Contact Natalie Missakian at

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