Social Network for Pharma’s Supply Chain TraceLink Grabs $20M Series B

Xconomy Boston — 

TraceLink, a company that sells cloud-based software for tracking pharmaceutical drugs, has raised a $20 million Series B funding round to develop its products and build a worldwide sales and marketing force, according to president and CEO Shabbir Dahod.

Volition Capital led the round, and was joined by Fidelity Biosciences and existing investor FirstMark Capital. TraceLink has received $7.2 million in other funding since its inception.

The Wakefield, MA-based company has built an online platform that can be used by any variety of companies that work in the pharmaceutical drug supply chain, from manufacturers to distributors. Regulators in nations around the world, from the U.S. to China to Brazil, have established requirements for drugmakers to implement tracking systems—such as unique sale numbers on bottles—for their products. These measures are meant to limit the sale of counterfeit drugs, and the illness and death they can cause.

TraceLink’s platform is meant to address these issues. It is a social media network of sorts for the life sciences industry. It allows companies to make certain they meet regulatory compliance standards, store what can be massive amounts of data from tracking individual packages of drugs, and interact with other companies that use it, such as a manufacturer coordinating with a distributor.

“They can configure themselves to be interoperable with each of those individual contract manufacturers,” Dahod said in a telephone interview. “One of my key thought patterns was to really apply to manufacturing what I was seeing in the social networking area back in 2008 and 2009.”

Since its founding in 2009, TraceLink has since been building the platform, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services. The company has been adding customers to the service since 2012 and had more than 100 customers as of last year, Dahod said. That translated to positive cashflow for the year, he said.

“We have margins of greater than 85 percent,” he said. “We have all the fundamentals where we know we can grow as a company.”

Dahod doesn’t expect to need further funding, unless it decides to approach the public markets.

Counterfeit drugs—everything from fake lifestyle drugs to treatments for diabetes and cancer that either have a fake active ingredient or lack one entirely—kill millions of people every year, which is part of the driving factor behind TraceLink, Dahod said.

“When you counterfeit a Gucci bag, it’s still a bag,” he said. “When you counterfeit Avastin, it has no value.”