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Sparrho spreads its wings

last modified Aug 18, 2017 08:56 AM
Sparrho raises $3 million to democratize access to science research

While the internet provides open access to a vast range of information, scientific research remains largely siloed and inaccessible. Sparrho is trying to solve this by offering a free platform to find and share research publications and patents. The London-based startup today announced funding of $3 million to further develop its product.

From remote sensing in geology to the effect of nutrition on cystic fibrosis, Sparrho claims to list and reference 60 million papers from over 45,000 publications. “We bench above our competitors in terms of the volume of indexed content as well as frequency of updates,” said Sparrho cofounder and CEO Dr. Vivian Chan. Chan founded the startup in 2013, after completing her PhD in Biochemistry, and is an alumni member at ideaSpace West.

The community of one million users across 150 countries includes a network of PhD researchers, academics, students, and curious minds, adds Chan. “To date, users have pinned and shared over 700,000 pieces of scientific content using the platform,” she said, making it a sort of a Pinterest for the science community.

To provide quality content, Sparrho vets the sources — whether peer-reviewed journals, established pre-print servers, or official patent repositories. The team then uses both artificial intelligence (AI) and human expertise to curate the content.

The startup monetizes by selling two types of enterprise subscriptions — one for research and development (R&D) teams to further their research and one for marketing teams to boost their brands.

The funding combines a seed round of $1.2 million and a pre-Series A round of $1.8 million. Investors include White Cloud Capital, AllBright, and Beast Ventures.

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