Halo Raises $2.6M in Seed Funding

Investors Include Founders of 23&Me, Catalant and Other Tech Leaders

CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Halo—an R&D collaboration platform where companies and scientists join forces to solve hard problems and bring new innovations to market—today announced $2.6 million in seed funding. Launched in 2020, Halo works with multiple Fortune 500 organizations across biopharma, medical devices, consumer goods, agriculture and other industries. The seed funding comes from a diverse group of investors, entrepreneurs and practitioners representing leading tech companies, including:

  • Asymmetric Capital Partners, founded by Rob Biederman, Co-founder, Chairman and former co-CEO of Catalant, a Boston-based marketplace of consultants
  • Village Global, an early-stage fund backed by tech luminaries, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Reid Hoffman
  • Anne Wojcicki, Co-founder and CEO of 23andMe
  • AirAngels, an angel group founded by Airbnb alumnus and product expert Lenny Rachitsky
  • Conrad Irwin, Co-founder and CTO of Superhuman
  • Rachel Hepworth, Marketing Chief at Notion
  • and others.

In the race to innovate, companies have more than tripled their investment in R&D over the last two decades, with an increasing amount dedicated to external partnerships with scientists at universities and startups. Yet a chasm exists between corporate R&D teams and potential scientific partners that prevents more promising discoveries from turning into commercial solutions. Companies struggle to find collaborators outside of their existing networks, while scientists spend much of their time seeking government funding. As a result, companies miss a large amount of research—and opportunities to innovate—that may be relevant to their businesses, while scientists miss funding from private industry sources.

Halo has built a market network that closes this gap.

“Collaborating in R&D is just as much about relationships as it is about the research itself. However, companies still rely on practices that don’t scale, like hearing a talk at a conference or reading a journal article. This limits businesses to a handful of existing relationships and pure happenstance,” said Kevin Leland, founder and CEO of Halo. “Halo connects corporate R&D teams directly with scientists. Through our platform, we engineer serendipity so companies can quickly and easily scout for new technologies, expand their networks globally, and build relationships with scientists year round.”

Halo’s platform consists of three parts:

  • a network of scientists at universities, national labs and startups
  • a marketplace of scientific partnering opportunities with companies
  • and a suite of software tools that enable corporate R&D teams to more efficiently collaborate both internally and externally

Companies create an R&D partnering page on Halo where they post Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for specific needs or Open Calls around general areas of interest. For each partnering opportunity, companies include resources that can be made available to the scientist, such as funding, expertise, technologies, facilities, data and compounds. Scientists submit short, non-confidential proposals in response to each RFP or Open Call, and companies select which projects to advance into a collaboration. Every scientist profile and proposal a company receives becomes part of a searchable, private content library, enabling corporate R&D teams and scientists to stay in touch and build relationships over time. To date, companies on Halo have posted RFPs on a range of topics, including sustainable packaging, technologies that make tap water safe for dialysis treatment, and diagnostics for rare diseases.

“Halo brings efficiency to R&D partnering using the same marketplace dynamics and network effects that have created massive businesses in other verticals,” said Rob Biederman, founding partner at Asymmetric Capital Partners and Co-Founder and Chairman of Catalant. “More than just a transactional marketplace, Halo’s suite of software tools enable R&D teams to more efficiently collaborate both internally and externally while providing increasing value over time.”

Since Halo’s launch, 4,000 scientists and startups across 95+ countries have joined Halo’s network. In addition to scientists and corporate R&D teams, university administrators in technology transfer, corporate relations and research development can also join Halo’s platform to share opportunities with faculty, track the status of their proposals and amplify their organizations’ reach.

Halo will use the $2.6M to grow the company’s team; develop additional collaboration features and tools; and continue to expand its network of scientists around the world. Scientists and universities can join the network and submit proposals at no cost. Companies can create a free R&D partnering page at no cost; posting RFPs and Open Calls requires an annual subscription. Learn more and sign up at www.halo.science.

About Halo
Halo is an R&D collaboration platform where companies and scientists join forces to solve hard problems and bring new innovations to market. On Halo companies scout for novel technologies, develop relationships with the scientists behind them and fill their innovation pipelines. Halo works with leading companies across diverse industries, including biopharma, medical devices, consumer goods and agriculture. Since launching in 2020, 4,000 scientists across 95+ countries have joined the platform. To learn more, visit www.halo.science  or follow Halo on Twitter at @HALOdotscience and on LinkedIn at Halo.