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Authorea Raises a new round of funding to Advance Open, Reproducible, Data-Driven Research

Hi friends! We're happy to announce today that we raised another round of funding to make Authorea better and advance Open, data-driven science and scholarship. This financing round is led by Lux Capital, a VC firm with an incredible track record and reputation in the scientific and academic fields. They recently referred to Scientists as the new rebels! Among the new investors, we also welcome on board Knight Foundation which supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the art. Awesome! The full Press Release of the announcement is included below. (Oh, and we're hiring!)

Press Release. (Link)
 
NEW YORK --- Authorea, the fastest growing science collaboration and publishing platform, today announced that it has closed a $1.5 million financing to deliver valuable new tools and capabilities to scholars and researchers across the world. The financing was led by Lux Capital, a venture firm that invests specifically in counter-conventional science & technology companies, along with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting transformational ideas that foster informed and engaged communities. Earlier seed investors ff Venture Capital and New York Angels also participated in the round.

Authorea.com is the leading collaboration platform to write, share, and discuss research – all in real-time. It was created in 2013 by Dr. Alberto Pepe, a Harvard astrophysicist, and Dr. Nathan Jenkins, a UC Berkeley physicist, who met while working at CERN and were disappointed by the slow, inefficient, and obsolete ways by which research papers are written and disseminated.

Authorea is currently used by more than 80,000 scholars across 70 countries, in fields as diverse as physics, astronomy and computer science. The company offers users a collaborative online editing platform tailored for academic and technical writing – a word processor, which makes adding citations and equations and formatting references incredibly simple. Authorea is built on a Github-style model and every document created is a Git repository. This allows users to track changes in documents in a very granular way and to easily integrate data into documents.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Lux Capital and Knight Foundation as new investors,” said Authorea co-founder Dr. Pepe. “Both have strong reputations and excellent track records in backing transformational companies in science and technology.”

Authorea allows researchers and academics of all kinds to share findings, lessons and data, creating richer, more quality information," said Ben Wirz, Knight Foundation director for venture investments. “By enabling collaboration, it can serve as a building block for more knowledgable communities and drive new discoveries and innovations."

"All economic growth depends on new discoveries, which depend on science,” said Adam Goulburn, PhD, Partner at Lux Capital and Authorea Board member. “Authorea is taking on the science of science itself – how it's researched, reviewed, produced, and published. Whether taking on the crisis of reproducibility or shortening the time from discovery to market, Authorea is an indispensable tool spanning breakthroughs from the cosmos to cancer."

"The future of science rests on powerful methods for collaborating on open and reproducible research – Authorea is leading the way to make this happen,” said Sam Arbesman, PhD, Scientist in Residence at Lux. “What Github did for software developers, Authorea is doing for scientists. Forget stale research stuck in static journals, Authorea catalyzes real-time collaborations and sparks curiosity and creativity in the scientific method. Whether powerfully handling formulas, figures, comments, research results or references – it is a game-changer and competitive edge for any scientist.”

Authorea is rapidly growing in fields outside of the hard sciences, such as genomics, environmental science, and computational biology. For example, in June 2015, a dedicated global team of epidemiology researchers began an ambitious project to track the Ebola virus using large-scale genome sequencing. Their groundbreaking research, written on Authorea, was published in the journal Cell and covered by the New York Times. The Authorea version of their article is the only place where readers can peruse the history, workflows, and research data connected with the study. Authorea is poised to shake up the stale academic publishing industry via an online platform that encourages data sharing, and a more open and transparent dissemination of research results complete with all the data sources necessary to reproduce them. Authorea plans to use the proceeds of this funding to encourage more open, data-driven research of this kind.