EXOME

all the information, none of the junk | biotech • healthcare • life sciences

Reveal Biosciences Gets Intel’s Backing on “AI-Powered” Pathology

Xconomy San Diego — 

A 25-person startup developing advanced computing tools to speed up pathology work has raised its first institutional financing from a group of investors led by Intel Capital, the corporate investment arm of the chipmaker.

The San Diego-based company, Reveal Biosciences, is among 14 early-stage companies with business plans that include artificial intelligence, a catchall term for a wide range of “intelligent” computer programs, that the tech giant recently selected to back.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) said it invested a total of $117 million in the group of companies as part of a new strategy to make larger, “more strategic” investments in the startups it adds to its portfolio, but didn’t say how much it invested in each. The companies receiving funding were announced at Intel’s annual Global Summit, held this year in Phoenix, AZ.

Reveal isn’t disclosing the amount it raised either. GNI Group, a pharmaceutical company based in Japan, and PP Capital, an Austrian investment company, also invested in the round, CEO Claire Weston said.

Weston, who started Reveal in late 2012, said the Series A round will fund further development of its AI-powered pathology software, called ImageDx, moving it closer toward use in clinical settings. The software, which analyzes images of tissue samples, is intended to provide pathologists with data that can help them characterize and detect disease with greater speed and accuracy, with the subsequent goals of improving both drug development and patient care.

The company to date has been funded by revenue from laboratory services conducted for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. It was one of two healthcare companies included in the latest batch of startups in which Intel Capital announced it would invest.

“These companies are shifting the way we think about artificial intelligence, communications, manufacturing and healthcare—areas that will become increasingly essential in coming years as the linchpins of a smarter, more connected society,” said Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital, in a statement.

Under the terms of the Reveal deal, Intel senior director Ranjeet Alexis, who led the investment, will join the company’s board of directors.

Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested about $12 billion in more than 1,500 companies, including big names in the tech world such as Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO), Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), and VMware (NYSE: VMW). The division puts $300 million to $500 million annually into emerging companies, according to Intel.