Zageno: Helping Scientists Achieve More Eureka Moments

General Catalyst-backed lab marketplace Zageno.

The mapping of the human genome has unleashed a life sciences revolution. With a better understanding of specific cellular pathways, researchers have been able to derive nuances amongst types of cancer cells, discover new drugs to eradicate diseases, and prevent future illnesses of newborn babies through early detection.

As this era of personalized medicine has ushered more funding and activity, having the best and most comprehensive set of tools for research and development has become more essential. As a result, the market for supplies and input materials in the life sciences space is expected to grow from $120B to $165B per year by 2022.

Amazon has trained us as consumers to expect e-commerce to be easy. In a world where you can search for, compare, and purchase everything from books to furniture to dog food in an integrated, one-click online experience, you might expect buying products for research labs to be as painless.

It turns out that the very scientists and researchers who are on the front lines of defining the future in materials, drugs, food, and disease are also spending up to 1.5 hours each day searching for and ordering these supplies. That’s almost 400 hours per researcher per year taken away from the actual science itself. It involves scouring through eCatalogs (or sometimes even paper catalogs and CD-ROMS) and clicking between tabs of late 90’s-looking websites from disparate manufacturers and distributors.

Examples of current supplier websites researchers must navigate to make purchases.

Zageno is the everything store for life sciences supplies. In one centralized platform, the company provides a simplified e-commerce experience for searching for, comparing, and purchasing supplies. The core technology that makes Zageno unique is its ontological approach to organizing metadata around every product. Products can be sorted by research paper citations, target or reagent types, price, vendor, and more. For larger biopharma companies, Zageno integrates with procurement systems, provides a holistic view into purchases across departments, honors enterprise-specific pricing, and even reduces IT overhead associated with managing and multiple vendors.

Zageno is mutually beneficial for suppliers and distributors. With a unified platform to manage buyer relationships, Zageno increases transparency and enables a more curated relationship for both parties, while consolidating IT and invoicing processes. Suppliers and distributors rely on Zageno to grow their digital strategy and reduce their historically human-driven sales and marketing initiatives — particularly important with the Cambrian explosion of longtail biotech companies

We met the founders, Florian Wegener and David Pumberger when they began to grow their presence in the life science epicenter of the U.S., Cambridge, MA.. Florian had been leading business processes at Qiagen, a $8B life sciences manufacturer, where he identified the need to lead digital transformation and proceeded to build an eCommerce practice which he grew to 60 people & hundreds of millions in e-commerce revenue. Along the way, he met David, whom he hired at PwC to advise his team on the initiative. The two could not shake the idea of building a next generation independent online marketplace, and before long, were off to the races.

David Pumberger, Chief Product Officer (L) and Florian Wegener, CEO (R)

From Berlin to Boston, we look forward to working alongside Florian, David, and the company’s early investors at Grazia and Capnamic to drive impact across the life science industry and enable even more breakthrough discoveries.

— Spencer & Team GC