Spark’s investment in Clora

John Melas-Kyriazi
Dec 7, 2017 · 3 min read

The average medical therapy costs over $1B to develop and takes more than 10 years to bring to market in the United States. This costs society dearly. Drug prices are too high, and life-saving medications take too long to reach consumers.

It’s hard to launch a new product in any industry, but particularly so in the life sciences. Highly specialized and diverse expertise (scientific, engineering, regulatory, clinical, marketing, manufacturing, etc.) is required to usher a project from idea to launch over the course of many years. Due to the cyclical nature of product development, most life sciences companies don’t employ all of the experts they need at any given time, so they dynamically seek out expert consultants and outsourcing agencies for help. The industry spends over $200B each year on consultants and outsourcing globally.

However, the inefficient organization of expert talent around this process hampers the industry’s ability to bring life-saving products to market quickly and cost-effectively. Finding an expert for a life sciences project is still mostly done via an inefficient, manual process: phone calls to friends and former colleagues, working with traditional agencies, and scouring general purpose professional networks like LinkedIn. Outsourcing companies and staffing agencies mark up their services meaningfully, ballooning costs. Lacking technology DNA, these services companies underutilize the available network of global talent and are slow to identify the right expert for the job.

Meet Clora, a startup in Boston, MA, that’s built an online platform to connect life sciences professionals directly to the companies that need their expertise. I’m happy to announce that Spark Capital led Clora’s $3.3M Series Seed round of financing, and I will be joining Clora’s board of directors. My partner Todd Dagres, who has been deeply involved with the healthcare community in Boston for many years, will also work closely with Clora.

I first met Clora’s CEO Rahul Chaturvedi this summer, and I was blown away by Rahul’s passion for speeding up innovation in life sciences. Rahul spent the first 15 years of his career as a clinical development executive, helping to bring drugs and medical devices to market. He experienced huge frustration as a hiring manager seeking out expert consultants and struggling to find the right talent. At a certain point, Rahul decided he had to quit his job and build a product to fix this problem, taking lessons from the consumer web and applying them to the life sciences industry.

Clora launched its talent platform about a year ago and has ramped up quickly, serving a variety of customers from small startups to Fortune 500s. Clora has taken a unique strategy in this industry, building an online marketplace that uses software to help match supply and demand for each specific project. This technology-driven approach gives Clora the ability to tap into a very broad pool of talent and to match experts quickly and accurately. They also offer expert consultants the ability to capture a larger share of the value they provide, attracting truly remarkable professionals to their platform.

The life sciences industry is enormous, both in its economic impact (~$2T/year) and in its affect on human health and happiness. Clora’s goal is to organize this fragmented industry and enable more efficient resource allocation through the application of technology. We believe that the future of work in the life sciences industry will be built on Clora, and we’re proud to support them on their audacious journey.

-John Melas-Kyriazi

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