ResearchGate was started by Ijad Madisch in 2008, who wanted to transform the traditional scientific methods. This does not mean that Madisch wants to replace the total investigation and observation system along with the tools. Scientific research has been proliferated into a diverse array of disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology and others. The scientists engaged in academic works in these fields generally live in offline conditions. As a result, redundancy is severely jeopardizing the scientific research and innovations.
Why A New Platform?
It is not uncommon for a team of dedicated scientists to work hard on protein data analysis and once they are about to publish the results, they come to know that another group of scientists just did the same research and have published the results already. Being a researcher and a physician, Madisch concluded that in order to avoid research redundancy, an online network of professionals will be useful. Various professionals will share information, data and results about their ongoing research. The founder and CEO of the platform has stated the task as a challenging one. Nonetheless, ResearchGate never failed to attract investors who are optimistic about its future.
The investment got a significant boost recently. On Tuesday, the company announced that its Series C financing was closed with $35 million investment coming from Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, Tenaya Capital with Thrive Capital and Dragineer Investment Group being the other notable investors. The 3rd round financing is followed by Series A and B, taking place in 2010 and 2012. Those rounds of investments included names like Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo, David Sacks, CEO of Yammer, Founders Fund, Simon Levene, Benchmark Capital and Accel Partners.
The investors of ResearchGate are certainly not looking for short term returns. Among them, Bill Gates has been focusing more on investing in energy, high-impact education and healthcare technologies, all of which are long term investments. Matt Cohler, Benchmark Partner and also a board-member of ResearchGate, has explained why he decided to invest on a company which does not have any potential of becoming a billion dollar company overnight. He support Madisch’s target of liberating knowledge, digitizing it and ensuring easy access for everyone for accelerating scientific progress.
Future Prospects For The Platform
Cohler also acknowledged that he found the ambition of ResearchGate to be similar to the early aims of Facebook and LinkedIn. He believes that the platform has enough potential to become an influential network affecting business. Though ResearchGate is not following the early growth curves of those two companies, it has already found some movement in its relevant community. Being spread in 131 countries, the network has 2.8 million registered users, among which more than 30 percent log in at least once in a month.
The founder of the platform has informed that the latest investments will be used in scaling and ramping up the growth rate and active engagement. It is also thinking of creating its own API and opening the platform to third-party developers for creating useful apps and necessary tools. Though being a startup platform, ResearchGate is showing the signs of changing the way how the huge amount of money would be spent on scientific studies along with providing the scientists with an easy and secure way of sharing knowledge and connecting with the others. The increased speed and efficiency of the platform will help in shrinking the gap between the research and its real world implications.