The Bulgarian BioSeek, a young software company building a new type of online work environment, has closed a new round of funding from its previous investor Impetus Capital. With the new €450k, the founder Rossen Genchev aims to further develop the semantic search engine which according to him could save corporate employees, regardless of their sector, up to one hour a day. The company uses the same technology to also create a platform in the Life-Science area – for researchers, doctors and most importantly, patients, who need trustworthy scientific information about diseases, new clinical researches, and treatments.
“I will ask you a question: If you see a billion-dollar company, wouldn’t you continue investing in it? The technology that BioSeek has developed has the tremendous potential to enhance productivity throughout many sectors,” says Viktor Manev, partner at Impetus Capital, who has so far invested $870K in the company.
From medicine to fashion to the medical Google
Genchev’s entrepreneurial career started some ten years ago with a startup called MediCloud, which later evolved into an ERP system for dental clinics and was sold to a Swiss corporate client. After the exit Genchev started working on his next endeavor – a mobile application that aggregated different fashion products and combined them into outfits corresponding to the style chosen by the user. In addition, the engine could easily make small or bigger adjustments in styles and colors according to users’ needs and wishes. Almost bankrupting it after an unsuccessful attempt to adjust the technology for automotive, and trying to sell it to a client, Genchev, realized he was left with $2k from the exit on his banking account and changed the strategy.
Using the same technology the founder started another venture – in the life science space. Today, the company has developed a platform for the needs of scientific research in the domain of Life Sciences. It’s based on a semantic search engine and on a graph database that contains all the information scientists need to support their research efficiently: aggregated and indexed are scientific publications, patents, grants, drugs, diseases, authors, etc. The platform includes cutting-edge analytics visualization tools, an online marketplace, and a fully integrated specialized messenger. In a nutshell, it allows users to browse reliable medical information. For instance, when entering lupus or sclerosis, the user can find genes and enzymes that are related to the disease, or the best universities that research the matter.
This product, which is kind of the b2c business for BioSeek, is now rolled out for researchers, but the official beta for doctors and patients will be available by the end of the year. The end destination is something like medical Google – a space with as many as possible well-profiled users. “From that point on, countless revenue streams are possible,” says Gentchev. And his investor agrees.
The twist: once you have the technology, everything’s possible
While building this product, however, Genchev stumbled across another opportunity. He partnered with Dynamo Software, where he previously worked – a company that provides software solutions for private equity, venture capital, and asset management firms. In around a month through this partnership, he managed to close five deals in the US, and started generating revenue. How is his product relevant to them?
Thanks to the developed search engine the solution allows employees of the companies to have all the information they need extracted from their mail correspondence and sent to other relevant software solutions they use – be it information about the sender, or invoices that need to be sent to the accounting. “Our estimation shows that on average an employee would waste up to an hour daily in browsing through the mailbox and then opening different windows and software to get a particular job done. With the solution you have it all in front of you as you open up the mailbox and click on a mail queue,” he explains.
“To make it easier to understand, imagine the difference between a touchpad and a mouse when trying to mark a text. This is how the solution increases the efficiency,” says Manev. According to him, the opportunities are countless, and the young company could partner with other tech vendors to reach clients in diverse sectors.
Not a unicorn, but…
“The optimization product cannot be a unicorn. It is, however, something that will help us generate enough revenues to sustain the life-science and medicine product,” says the founder. The current investment, BioSeek will use to polish the product and launch the b2c version of the life-science platform. It will be targeted at the Chinese market, something rather rare for Bulgarian software companies, as it turned out that 80% of the organic traffic to the platform, which is a couple of thousand users, comes from China. And this is what Genchev thinks will be the big hit.