Cradle uses generative AI to design proteins more efficiently. See the 17-slide deck it used to secure $24 million from Index Ventures.

  • Cradle, a biotech startup that uses artificial intelligence to design proteins, came out of stealth mode last year.
  • Index Ventures has now made a $24 million investment in the Dutch startup.
  • View the 17-slide pitch deck and messaging that were used to secure the extra funding.

Index Ventures has just invested $24 million in Cradle, a startup that uses generative AI to help design proteins more efficiently.

The Dutch startup, which emerged from stealth in 2022, has created an AI tool that enables biologists to engineer proteins much faster than the industry standard.

The startup employs natural language processing, a technology that allows scientists to predict which specific part of a protein’s genetic code needs to be changed in order for the protein to be more functional and stable after it has been altered. Its generative AI models have also been trained on proprietary data generated in its wet lab, as well as billions of protein sequences.

The web-based software program developed by Cradle is then distributed to scientists, allowing them to design and analyze proteins without the assistance of a machine learning expert.

“By using generative AI and machine learning to help biologists design and optimize proteins faster and more efficiently, we can help research and development teams innovate faster, spend less, and ultimately be more successful in developing new products,” said Stef van Grieken, cofounder and CEO of the company.

This technology has a wide range of applications, from modifying proteins for pharmaceutical research (such as the development of drugs and medication) to the development of alternative milks in the sustainable food industry.

Cradle has secured partnerships with a number of biotech leaders, including Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Novozymes, and Twist Bioscience, a year after emerging from stealth. The startup makes money by selling its software to biotech companies and working with academic institutions.

As the generative AI investor frenzy has grown in the last year, applications of the technology to the biotech industry have flourished and gained VC traction.

Index Ventures led the Series A round, with Kindred Capital and angel investors including Chris Gibson, cofounder and CEO of Recursion, and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters also participating.

This brings the total funding for the startup to $33 million. Cradle will use the funds to hire more employees and invest in its product development and sales teams.

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