Last week we were delighted to announce the closing of our £2.5m Series A investment round. Coinciding with our recent community growth of more than 1,400 users, we believe that this investment comes at the perfect time, as we focus in on strengthening our network, and building our thriving community.
You may wonder: why is community so important to our mission? Our mission at Repositive is to ensure easy and efficient access to human genomic data. Repositive is a community-driven platform, and we believe that our users are an integral and powerful force in making these goals a reality. Community activity and annotation can create a better resource for the scientific community, as we collectively improve dataset metadata. So rather than our community being a core goal for Repositive, it is rather the interaction and participation of our users which works as an enabler of our shared goals together.
Community is also seen as a mutual vantage-point for our users - seeing as they are able to benefit from interactions with peer scientists and researchers that they may not have usually been acquainted with. Users can collaborate with those with shared data interests, for instance, and from the specialised collections of data. One of our users, Dr Arindam Basu from the University of Canterbury, describes his experience of community on the Repositive platform perfectly:
“ I greatly appreciate the flexibility and ease with which Repositive.io enables search for gene and phenotype data and make both types of data accessible. Further, Repositive also makes it easy to access restricted data and even connect to teams who share data. I recently used Repositive site to access the Chinese Kadoori Project dataset. This not only enabled me to access their data sets and learn their protocols of accessing the data, it also made it easy for me to apply for and establish mutual collaboration with the researchers. I would not have known of this opportunity had I not used Repositive.io. “
To this end, with our investment, we would like to share some ways in which we will drive community to reach our mission goals…
1. Platform Features and Enterprise Solutions
We have already opened a collaborative space so that our users can share, follow and annotate datasets - providing a free technical resource which seeks to aid users in understanding data utility. Our team has been actively working on new and exciting features which will expand opportunities and incentives for our users to keep coming back to our platform, and to connect with other users in more personal ways. Future community-focused platform features, for instance, will allow users to fill their profile pages to share their work and interests with others, will allow users to manage and track datasets they have contributed to, and will provide acknowledgement for making data available or for helping other users find the data they need - such as on the Repositive PDX platform. Whilst our freemium model will always be intact, our investment means we are also able to expand our commercial offering more rapidly to our users – most primarily through the development of premium features and enterprise solutions.
2. The Expansion of Data Sources
Users can already zone in on their specific interests by searching our curated data collections such as autism, single cell sequencing or microbiome datasets. With our latest investment, we will expand the range of data sources on our platform and provide further collaborative opportunity to our community. More data from more sources will benefit all of our users including those in pharma, biotech, and academia, and the wider genomics R&D industry.
3. Event Outreach
Whilst we want to foster the bonds of membership which are already thriving in our community, we also want to share our core mission and values to capture the hearts and minds of new community members. Most recently, our team have been actively participating in at events in Spain and Netherlands – including workshops and conferences - and we had our First User Party in Cambridge! With this new investment, we can now develop a broader scope for user outreach and activities, and provide more opportunity for our users to come together.
Having investors who are also passionate and dedicated towards our goals means we have the strong foundation and support towards our vision. Our investors in this round include lead investor, Ananda Social Venture Fund and sees Amadeus Capital Partners and Jonathan Milner increase their investments, having previously participated in seed funding Repositive. Our investors not only see the potential of growth in our success and the significance of our user’s contributions, but also identify with our values of the need for democratising genomic data without ethical compromise.
With our ongoing developments, and with our secured number of significant partnerships with leading genetic research and pharma companies in oncology through the Repositive PDX Consortium – we will therefore continue to drive impact into our community, and together we will really make big changes to genomics.