2016 by the Numbers
- $7M Funding to grow our product team and bring Benchling to every scientist in the world
- Features in TechCrunch, MIT News, FierceBiotech, R&D Magazine, CIO Review
- 50k+ Scientists at the end of 2016 (3x growth from 2015)
- 100+ Product features added in 2016
- 150+ Companies represented
- 1,000+ Major universities and research institutions
- 2,500+ Benchling t-shirts distributed to scientists around the world
We sure had a busy 2016! From our product team that’s been hard at work pushing out more than two new features each week (not to mention an entirely new pillar of our product), to our commercial team that attended 17 conferences this year alone (maybe you even met us and got a t-shirt), we’ve done quite a lot to make scientists’ lives easier these past 12 months, and it’s all thanks to our dedicated users that we get to keep doing it.
In 2017, we’ll be bringing Benchling to even more scientists, along with new tools to connect all teams within an R&D organization, from basic research through process development, so that entire teams can work together to create life-saving products. With Benchling powering their work, scientists around the world are changing the way research is done, so in the spirit of looking forward to what 2017 has to offer, here are some of our highlights from 2016.
Major Product Releases
Preformatted entries not only save scientists time doing everyday work – they standardize it so it’s easy to gather insights and results from notebooks, despite how freeform they usually are.
The ability to type @ and bring up a search window to link to any notebook entry, sequence file, registered entity, or even a fellow Benchling user brings a common thread of integration throughout the whole Benchling product, from notebook entries to sequence descriptions.
Finding the right plasmids and oligos has never been easier. In cases of misnamed or misplaced sequences (or if you’re just trying to find the right sequence in a library of thousands), being able to search for them by DNA and AA sequences makes it easy to find the right file.
We co-developed our improvements to our CRISPR tool with David Liu’s lab at Harvard and Feng Zhang’s lab at MIT to support the most recent developments in CRISPR techniques. In the case of our base editor feature, we developed it less than two months after Prof. Liu’s paper on the technique was published.
To support our cutting-edge functionality with cutting-edge design, we gave the Benchling platform a complete facelift this summer. The redesign made it easier than ever for scientists to use Benchling to its fullest.
We expanded our industry-leading molecular biology suite with protein functionality. Now, translating between DNA and AA sequences is as easy as clicking a button.
Bioregistry and Sample Management comprise the third pillar of the Benchling platform. Together, they extend the platform beyond planning, design, and documentation to support the gathering of knowledge around experiments and the management of biological data to an unprecedented extent.
Benchling’s new teams functionality, with rich calendar support, reinforces the platform’s key value of collaboration. They bring the power (and ease) of working together to all aspects of the product.
Academic Researcher Collaborations
Part of being a true research platform is giving researchers a platform on which to broadcast their research. Beyond collaborating with researchers to implement their discoveries in our products, we regularly feature their work to share it with the larger Benchling community. Here are a few highlights from the past year:
- Transcribing with the STARs
- GESTALT: Whole-organism Lineage tracing with CRISPR/Cas9 barcodes
- Negative design to prevent evolutionary failure
- CRISPR-EATING: a restriction/ligation method to inexpensively generate large sgRNA guide libraries
- Discovering novel CRISPR effectors and a new RNA toolbox
What’s Coming in 2017?
We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in 2016, and even more excited for where we’re planning to go in 2017. For starters, we’re planning to roll out significant improvements to our molecular biology tools, and we’re currently developing tools to allow all teams throughout an R&D organization to easily work together.
It’s thanks to the dedication of our users that we’re able to develop our tools and spread them throughout academia and industry. A big part of our success, as well as our ability to provide Benchling to academics free of charge, relies on the generous word of mouth that our users generate. You can continue to support Benchling and get some free perks in the process by inviting your friends through this link.