Meta inc. rode a wild rollercoaster of a startup, and then chan zuckerberg came along _ financial post

Soon after the birth of their daughter 14 months ago, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, launched the multibillion-dollar Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Paving block Over time the CZI will receive 99% of the couple’s Facebook stock to fund social and philanthropic causes, because, as they said in a letter to newborn Max, “Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.”

While the couple’s first investments focused on education, last September the initiative unveiled a breathtaking new mission: to “cure, prevent or manage all disease by the end of this century.” But who suspected that journey would begin in Canada?

Step One, said Zuckerberg, is to develop transformative medical technologies that would enable researchers to view old problems new ways – just as microscopes helped scientists understand infectious diseases. Baseball league In late January, the CZI announced the first phase of this effort – the acquisition of Toronto-based Meta Inc., a six-year-old, 22-person company committed to making medical research more accessible for researchers around the world.

Founded in a bedroom in their parents’ house by cancer-genomics researcher Sam Molyneux and his technologist sister, Amy Molyneux, Meta has seen highs and lows: learning business through an accelerator program, forging partnerships with publishing giants, seeking investors, surviving sales droughts. Asphalt paving process Just nine months ago, when the company suffered a cash-flow crunch, Meta’s investors had to decide whether or not to pony up more capital.


The company’s longest-serving investor group, iGan Partners, reinvested to give Meta more time to boost revenues – putting it in better shape to receive visitors when Zuckerberg’s team came calling last fall.

Meta started with an ambitious premise: that scientific knowledge has outgrown humans’ ability to track it. Fastpitch softball pitching rules In biomedicine alone, researchers publish 4,000 papers every day – most of which will never be seen by the scientists who need them. Dripping springs high school Sam Molyneux encountered this “broken ecosystem” himself, when he spent three years on a research paper only to learn similar findings had been published six months earlier. Backyard baseball 1997 He founded Meta to fix the problem, first by doing deals with publishers to index all scientific papers, going back to the 1800s.

Working with Silicon Valley-based SRI International (the creators of Apple’s Siri), Meta also commercialized artificial intelligence that can read millions of papers and analyze their potential, flagging important discoveries long before they might otherwise come to light. Backyard landscaping plans The company also developed an additional revenue model, helping vendors of scientific products understand who reads which journals, thus planning their ad spends more effectively.

“It’s not about a better search engine. Fantasyland It’s about organizing and delivering insight,” says Sam Ifergan, a board member and the president of iGan Partners, the Toronto-based venture-capital firm that led Meta’s seed round in 2013.

iGan, with its sister fund, Rowanwood Ventures, has a unique philosophy. Baseball america top 100 It specializes in early-stage investments, between $2 million and $5 million. Garden of words english dub And it works with just a handful of local companies in only two sectors: digital health and B2B software. Pitch dark pack Ifergan eschews the “spray and pray” approach of most VC firms, which spread their investments across a broad portfolio in hopes that a few will become 10-times winners. Washington softball iGan currently has 11 investments, and two more in the works. Francesca eastwood height By getting in early and really getting to know those companies, Ifergan says he and his partners can help firms overcome hard times. Facebook stock value “We know everything takes two times longer than you expect and costs twice as much,” he says. Asphalt 8 download “We don’t just walk away.”

Which, last spring, took courage. Baseball drills Between angels, the $4-million seed round and a $6-million A round in 2015, Meta had raised more than $10 million. College softball players But by the second quarter of 2016, it needed cash again. Facebook mobile “We didn’t have enough money to pay salaries,” says Ifergan. Garden state parkway traffic (Due to a CZI edict, Sam Molyneux was not available to comment.)

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